Are Argentine ants a threat to honeybees?

September 25, 2015

From: University of California

You know them from the line across the kitchen counter and the swarm around your water faucet: Argentine ants. California sits atop a super-colony of these unwelcome houseguests, and new research suggests they may be doing more harm than previously suspected.


“There’s no evidence that the dicistrovirus found in Argentine ants does anything negative, and the presence of DWV in Argentine ants is only suggestive at this point,” says Tsutsui.


“Beekeepers are more concerned about varroa mites,” says Elina Niño, assistant extension specialist in apiculture at UC Davis. Varroa mites are a known carrier of DWV, and have been a growing problem for beekeepers in the United States since the late 1980s. “Argentine ants can do considerable damage to bee colonies regardless of their potential to vector DWV. They feed on brood; but unlike mites, they carry the brood away and don’t stay in the hive.”

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