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Ants and Unidentified Larvae

1176 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Joseph Clemens
Bee Insect Honeycomb Honeybee Pest
Hello everyone! I am new to beekeeping and recently started two hives. I used nucs and setup the hives about two weeks ago. Both hives are doing well, drawing comb on foundationless frames, and have new eggs. During my last inspection this weekend, I noticed that one of my hives was infested with ants. I'm not sure of what kind of ants they are. Also, in the tray of my screened bottom, there were larvae and ants together. Is this bee larvae? I don't know if the ants are eating the bee larvae or if I have another pest growing in my hive. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!
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They look similar to "red imported fire ants", but I don't think that's what they are. Red imported fire ants carry their larva with them, like those in your photo. But many other ants do likewise. There are so many different species of ants, you'd either need a dedicated expert to identify them, or be exceptionally good at matching them to photographs or identification charts of ant species.

I can only say that I am familiar with about a dozen different species, but do not immediately recognize the ants in your photo, but only that they resemble imported fire ants, but not exactly - so I don't believe that is what they are, or they might be a variant of that species. Maybe this could help - ants of Tennessee.
 

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One thing that amazes me about ants: on my one acre in the Tucson desert, is that, I generously use Amdro poison ant granules, which is a great help to control the strength and persistence of red imported fire ants. Despite that, everywhere there are at least a half-dozen other ant species, that seem little affected by the poison granules, and their populations seem very strong. Fortunately only the red imported fire ants have ever posed a problem for my honey bee colonies and the poison keeps their populations manageable, but doesn't really eliminate them completely.
 
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