I've been doing some experimenting with some branches from a box elder tree that came down in a wind storm last month. I've been making some small bud vases with some of the smaller branches and had used them up so I turned my attention to a larger branch that had what I thought was a dried out rotten area inside.
I cut off a large section of the branch and put it on the lathe and began turning it into a cylinder when all of a sudden a whole bunch of ants came flying out of this rotten area and right at me! Big ants! And probably wacked out from being spun on a lathe.
I stopped the turning and brushed all of these critters off of me and then I took the wood off of the lathe and went out and shook out the rest of the ants. There was a lot of them inside. I also took a can of compressed air and blasted the this area clean.
Here is a photo. You can see a little bit of the rotten area on the bottom:
Moral of the story-make sure there are no hidden insects in your lumber before you turn it!