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The health of ants/do ants get sick?

propolis health of ants

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4 replies to this topic

#1 Offline wolfshape - Posted December 29 2018 - 2:16 PM

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Hi All!

 

I am a beekeeper and my bees use propolis to use it as a natural form of antibiotics... 

 

Now I was wondering, do ants also use something like that? Or if not, why don't they get sick?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Marco



#2 Offline Leo - Posted December 29 2018 - 5:06 PM

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They do get sick. Well, they get parasites such as mites and nematodes. 



#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted December 29 2018 - 8:28 PM

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Welcome! Bees are my first love, which led me in a roundabout way to this crazy hobby. To answer your question, ants are extremely cleanly creatures. They spend much of their waking time cleaning each other. They also possess a special metapleural gland that produces anti-microbial secretions.
I’m sure more knowledgable folks can chime in here as well, but I hope that helps.

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#4 Offline Subverted - Posted December 30 2018 - 11:06 AM

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This is a complicated subject. The short answer is yes, absolutely.

On the more detailed side of things you have a large variety of organisms that can be pathogenic in insects and some that specialize on ants. One of the main culprits are entomopathogenic fungi. As Leo mentioned they can also get mites or nematode infections and they can also be infected with bacteria (Wolbachia/Spiroplasma/etc) or viruses. When talking about the bacteria/viruses there are generalists and then species specific ones like Solenopsis invicta virus 1, 2, and 3, Linepithema humile virus 1, or the more general Deformed wing virus (common in hymenopterans).

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#5 Offline wolfshape - Posted December 30 2018 - 2:10 PM

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Thank you very much for your answers... I got enough keywords/links to search further!

 

Thanks!






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