It was thought that the ants were beneficial to the Peony. The idea was no ants, no opening flowers.
On the buds is sweet-tasting nectar, a combination of sugar, water and amino acids. Most ants are drawn to this sugar and will swarm over the unopened buds, collecting the nectar. This feeding frenzy may give the appearance of the ants actually helping the peony blossom to open but in reality, they are simply collecting food. The blossoms will open regardless of whether the ants are there or not. (But personly I am still not quite convinced)
If you are wanting to transplant some Peonies from one site to another it is very crucial that you make sure you plant them exactly at the same depth they were before you moved them. If they are planted to deep they will expend too much energy trying to get out of the ground and therefore have no more energy left to produce flowers. If planted too high they will spring out of the ground with little effort and therefore become too weak to stand up in normal conditions.
So take note as to how they were before you pushed that shovel into the ground.
If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info and pictures on the subject check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com