I have noticed in my apiary the odd healthy looking bee perplexedly running madly around on the ground. Being overly fond of my bees I try to pick these up and put them near a hive. However the crazy ones run around- jump onto- then straight off of- any perch you offer them- and seem incapable of accepting aid. Just yesterday I saw another one of these bees- scrambling about dementedly. Despite my best intentions she seemed beyond help.
Then I took a leaf and grabbed her with it. Only on close examination did I see to very small ants clinging to her- one on a leg and one on her abdomen. Looking from a distance you would never see them. They were determinedly nipping at her- and whenever one came in range of her head she would try and bite (?) it. Her mad scrambling on the ground now made sense. The ants were just too small to pick of her- so I dunked her in water ants and all. The water gave her the opportunity to get them off. I put her on a branch and after a few minutes she seemed well recovered!
It seems if an ant gets a hold of a bee it holds on for dear life and harasses the bee until other ants join in and finally bring the (to them) behemoth down to ground. Persistent Little Buggers!
Whilst you have to admire ants for their strong industrious work ethic and cohesive society - compared to bees they as light to dark:
The Ant Queen is Big and Ugly- The Bee Queen is Big yet Pretty (and not too big in comparison to her kind like the horrid ant queen). Furthermore the queen bee roves all over her hive, inspecting and greeting all. No worker is too lowly to meet her on the combs! Meanwhile the queen ant lies bloated, immobile in some fetid dungeon, disgorging eggs for all the world like a miniature Alien Queen from Aliens. Despicable I tells you!
The Ant colony is twisted, chaotic and lets face it: ugly- the Bee colony is a marvel of form, engineering and orderliness.
(many) Ants thrive on detritus, decay and death: Bees thrive on Glorious Spring Flowers!
Ants crawl around on the ground: Bees own the very sky! I’d like to see an ant forage over 7km in one day… (actually I forgot- ant’s can fly too- dang it- yet mostly they choose not to: idiots)
Whereas a bee gives it’s life if it chooses to sting- so takes the decision seriously: an Ant is free to nip, and nip again-ad infinitum. There is no end to their nipping.
Bees rarely annoy: Ants often do.
Finally: Bees make golden honey- and yes- Honey ants also make honey- but it is nowhere near as good or as much- and you have to eat the ant to get it and ants don’t taste good they are bitter. I bet bees taste better too. Not that I am going to eat any.