Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  

Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use, and contain no ads for members. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo
- - - - -

Nutritional Value of Honey


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Offline TooManyAnts - Posted April 19 2017 - 4:19 PM

TooManyAnts

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts

I was wondering what was the nutritional value of honey for ants. On this website/forum i notice people say that honey is better for ants nutritionally, but why? Can someone explain what exactly does honey have in it, that is better than just sugar water?


Edited by TooManyAnts, April 19 2017 - 4:20 PM.


#2 Online Serafine - Posted April 19 2017 - 5:05 PM

Serafine

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 751 posts
  • LocationGermany

"Hello Pandora, this box looks shiny you don't mind if I open it?"


  • Jelly likes this
We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull.

Join the antkeeping discord chat! & reddit - r/antkeeping

Welcome to Lazy Tube - My Camponotus Journal

#3 Offline Kevin - Posted April 19 2017 - 5:13 PM

Kevin

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 715 posts
  • LocationSouth Jersey

Actually, it is the other way around. White sugar and honey actually contain little nutritional value, ant have been scientifically proven several times that they widely prefer sucrose over fructose (aka sugar over honey).


  • Loops117 likes this

Still developing formicaria, we shall see what I create.


#4 Offline TooManyAnts - Posted April 19 2017 - 8:13 PM

TooManyAnts

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts

Actually, it is the other way around. White sugar and honey actually contain little nutritional value, ant have been scientifically proven several times that they widely prefer sucrose over fructose (aka sugar over honey).

So, should i instead feed my ants honey or sugar? Or it doesn't matter / they provide energy just the same?



#5 Offline Antsinmycloset - Posted April 19 2017 - 9:23 PM

Antsinmycloset

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 106 posts

A lot of people use honey because a lot of people recommend it.

Honey does have the hypothetical benefit of possessing various trace vitamins and minerals, but it's unclear if these actually provide any sort of tangible benefit. Some add a tiny dash of sea salt to their sugar water to achieve a similar injection of minerals/electrolytes. It seems reasonable to suggest either of these would do more good than harm, but a healthy colony should be capable of getting all this from their protein sources.

As Kevin said, studies done on quite a few species of ants show a clear majority prefer sucrose. That said, it's worth noting the enzyme(s) which breaks down sucrose in ants produces fructose and glucose. Honey is primarily composed by two types of sugars, drum roll please, fructose and glucose. There's a bit more fructose than glucose, but the ratio is close enough to 1:1.

While there are plenty of studies showing ant preference, I've never heard of anything suggesting a colony does better when fed exclusively on one or the other. If you use honey, just make sure your poor little workers don't get stuck and die. They're like toddlers looking for a fork and an outlet sometimes.

For the ant species people are likely to keep, just make sure they have SOMETHING available and don't stress about it. Sugar water (sucrose) is cheap, though, and it stores very well in a squirt bottle. Honey water... doesn't. I like to give my founding queens a honey snack, but my colonies get nearly constant access to sugar water.

Edit: I know some people here have strong opinions on AntsCanada, but he provides constant sugar water with a weekly treat of unpasteurized honey. That might be a good compromise for you, if you can't make up your mind. Oh, and obligatory "honey could be tainted with something bad", though, unlike with pesticides on fruit, I've never heard of it happening.


Edited by Antsinmycloset, April 19 2017 - 9:27 PM.

  • T.C. likes this

#6 Offline T.C. - Posted April 19 2017 - 9:28 PM

T.C.

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,321 posts
  • LocationWestern Wisconsin
Offer both, then see which one they go for. Also, I recommend you try syrup. All my ants like it. Or you can mix all three like I have and they like that too. :P I have yet to try it, but I hear ByFormica Ant Nectar is well liked by all species.

Edited by T.C., April 19 2017 - 9:30 PM.


#7 Online Serafine - Posted April 20 2017 - 1:47 AM

Serafine

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 751 posts
  • LocationGermany

My ants prefer Maple Syrup (which is mostly sucrose) and Sunburst (sucrose, however they seem to like it when the Sunburst has dried out a bit into some sort of more goo-like liquid).


  • T.C. likes this
We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull.

Join the antkeeping discord chat! & reddit - r/antkeeping

Welcome to Lazy Tube - My Camponotus Journal

#8 Offline TooManyAnts - Posted April 20 2017 - 8:34 AM

TooManyAnts

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 18 posts

Hmm, the reponses i've gotten so far are interesting! I'll try giving my ants a variety of sugar/energy sources then.



#9 Online Serafine - Posted April 20 2017 - 9:22 AM

Serafine

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 751 posts
  • LocationGermany

Variety is always a good thing. Ants are as prone to nutrition deficiencies as we are when eating a one-sided diet.


We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull.

Join the antkeeping discord chat! & reddit - r/antkeeping

Welcome to Lazy Tube - My Camponotus Journal

#10 Offline drtrmiller - Posted April 20 2017 - 10:32 AM

drtrmiller

    Vendor

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,119 posts
  • LocationGeorgia, USA
With all the nonsense and misinformation about this topic, I may sit down and make a video explanation within the next few weeks when I finally get some free time.
  • Loops117, noebl1 and Nathant2131 like this


#11 Offline Nathant2131 - Posted April 20 2017 - 11:35 AM

Nathant2131

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,432 posts
  • LocationDracut, Massachusetts

With all the nonsense and misinformation about this topic, I may sit down and make a video explanation within the next few weeks when I finally get some free time.


Yesssss.

#12 Offline Ozz - Posted April 21 2017 - 1:40 AM

Ozz

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
Is anyone even able to give definitive proof from lab conditions or is all the info really just people's experiences and what they 'think' is happening?
I would love to hear the proof part, but the real world experiences are just as valuable imo.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users