[NAFEX] Re: Ants on Apples

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Fri Apr 22 17:42:47 EDT 2005

That's certainly a possibility.  I notice that last year I had troubles 
with tiny caterpillars a little later in the season on the same 
branches.  On the other hand, it seems plausible that ants would 
selectively attack the flowering buds of the domestic apple parts.  I'm 
sure the domestic apple tastes better than the crab - my local deer 
show a clear and strong preference.  :)  I assume that either the 
domestic apple is sweeter (more carbohydrate) or less bitter (fewer 
toxins), which might lead the ants to prefer it, too.  And the 
squirrels and rabbits have taught me that fruiting buds taste better 
than vegetative buds (at least to mammals.)

If it is a disease, does anyone have any ideas what it might be, or how 
to combat it?  Whatever the problem is, it affects five different 
cultivars of domestic apple on this tree.  (Ashmead's Kernal, Karmijn, 
Cox's Orange Pippin, Ribston, and Tydeman's late orange, from two 
different sources)


On Apr 22, 2005, at 1:40 PM, Doc Lisenby wrote:

> Ginda, it could be that the ants are merely opportunists.  As you 
> probably know, from you medical background, some human disease 
> organisms only feast on damaged tissue.  I removed two old failed 
> grafts this morning  which were still covered with grafting tape and 
> both of them had ants under the tape.  These ants were of two types, 
> one type was brown and the other was black.  Of course some ants 
> select mainly protein foods and others select carbohydrates.  Fire 
> ants are not attracted to carbohydrates but prefer proteins.  These 
> may be a seasonal preferences.  I don't know.  Maybe our entomologist 
> member has a better explanation.
> Doc
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> nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
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