Raw honey, bad for ants?

Posts and questions relating to ant diet & nutrition. Let us know what you’re feeding your ants.

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CampoKing
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:20 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Raw honey, bad for ants?

Post: # 46115Post CampoKing
Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:53 am

Yeah I'm referring to the real stuff, the kind of maple syrup you get from Canada or Vermont. Most cheaper stuff is just a lot of corn syrup mixed in. Might be more pricey, but ants will take a long while to go through that, so it works out.
Keeper of:
C. pennsylvanicus & C. subbarbatus

MorbidBugg
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Orangeville

Re: Raw honey, bad for ants?

Post: # 46953Post MorbidBugg
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:05 pm

PwnerPie wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:41 am
CampoKing wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:38 pm
Ok I'm definitely hopping on this topic because I just did massive research into the safety of honey for ants.

My conclusion: Don't use honey. Use maple syrup.

Here's why. Honey has more stuff in it than just sugar. It also has very low water content, so it will dehydrate ants when fed directly. The honey can and probably will have dormant bacteria or other pathogens in it, and that's one reason why there's a warning label on most honey to not feed it to kids under a certain age. Since bees and ants are both insects, it's likely that any pathogens carried by bees (and getting in their honey) will affect ants negatively, including killing them. There are documented cases of some ant species being carriers of chronic bee paralysis virus. It's not impossible that bees are also carriers of things dangerous to ants. Honey is so dry because nothing can grow in it, allowing it to keep fresh basically forever. But when you add water, it can quickly spoil because of the things waiting in it for the right growing conditions.

I recommend maple syrup for one very simple reason: it's basically tree sap. What do ants do in the wild all day when crawling up trees? Collecting tree sap (or closely related aphid honeydew). It makes much more sense to use syrup instead of honey, since syrup is pretty much what ants naturally eat anyway.

Hope that helps everyone.
Quick question. By "maple syrup" i assume you are referring to the really expensive stuff or the regular $2 giant bottle of it?
As a former compound mixer for a large unnamed corporation, allow me. the two dollar bottle is full of essentially heavily processed chemicals that are measured and remixed and poured into the bottle. While there is quality control it is given a leway amount as to what's passable. This may be insignificant to us humans who by and large require lots of chemicals to affect us however ants would be different. I'd honestly check the ingredients if it lists a chemical you're unsure about search online for the sds and find out what it is. Maple syrup (which is expensive unless you love somewhere you can make you're own or a group) is tree sap and is essentially processed plant sugars and as long as the trees have never been sprayed with ant toxins (most places that do maple syrup making in the spring are usually set up in animal sanctuary/ conservation zones so are generally protected from that stuff) is the best option in theory next to tending aphids or growing a maple tree and doing it yourself the plus side rhe expensive bottle if used ONLY for your ants should last almost until the Next year's harvest.
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

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