I planted a few cucumber plants back in May, and a few weeks ago, they have started to flower and produce fruit, though they have not grown much, perhaps due to the lack of pollination. After doing some research and asking some friends, I received mixed answers as to whether or not I should pollinate the plants. I don't know if the appearance of fruit signifies that they have already been pollinated, still need to be, or maybe the ants crawling around in the flowers are doing the pollinating. Any insight into this would be helpful. Thanks.
Ants pollinate...all insects attracted to flowers pollinate. Ants are kind of different however. They are looking for real estate to raise a herd of aphids. Aphids are not a big deal...but be on the look out.
Are these cucumbers out of doors in the garden or are they in a greenhouse?
Get a soft water color paint brush. Dip into 'male' flower and then brush lightly over the pistil on the female flowers. This link will help you to recognize male from female 'flowers'. Certainly will not hurt anything and it has been shown that 'helping' pollination produces more fruit.
Have you fertilized at all? I am seeing rather chemically deficient plants.