Hi, a few days ago I moved my Messor barbarus colony into my conservatory where its warm and they seemed to be doing fine. Then I went up to London for a couple of days to leave them to it with water and food. I've returned today to find five minors and one of my only medias dead in the foraging area! I feed them regularly and there's no more trouble with condensation that there was last week. They usually dispose of their waste in the foraging area but there is still a small piece of 4 day old chicken in the nest which they have just left. I'm not sure why they aren't getting rid of their waste now but I don't want to keep disturbing them to remove waste from their nest. I guess I've got no choice and will have to remove it but would mold have really killed six apparently healthy ants so quickly?
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Uneaten chicken can have a build up of bacteria over a few days out of a fridge, such as Salmonella. I think the death of the workers more likely to be from bacteria than from mould or something else. Any uneaten food is best removed after 3 days if you can get to it.