ALMOST BEEKEEPING - RELATED TOPICS > OTHER INSECTS BOTH GOOD AND BAD FOR THE GARDEN

Ant Set up

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nepenthes:
I have an ant Set up that houses about 100-120 workers (and queen of course), tons of brood hear is a picture or two.

The set up as you see it walking by,the board is to keep the light out.


What it looks like w/ the cover off


The ants, they take the brood to the very top of the glass to give them warmth, helps them develop faster, and its what they do in the wild any ways.


Close up of the foraging chamber, Theirs a Test tube off water, bunged up with cotton so the ants dont drown, Couple insects food for brood, and a piece of cooking paper w/ some sugar.


Ants eating some Bee pollen you can see the brood (larvae) eating it too



and just a little kicker for fun, its an allot better picture and a good one of the queen

Cindi:
nepenthes.  Now that is a very dramatic bunch of pics.  I am impressed.  I think that having an ant colony would be an absolute blast.  I probably will never find the time to get something like what you have together, but it is a nice thought.  Ants are truly fascinating.  Great day. Cindi

nepenthes:
Really only took me a Day of planning to make, If you would like I can make you a design I have wanted to experiment with you can be my tester if you find A queen in you're area. (come spring Time)

Cindi:

--- Quote from: nepenthes on January 12, 2007, 12:08:53 am ---Really only took me a Day of planning to make, If you would like I can make you a design I have wanted to experiment with you can be my tester if you find A queen in you're area. (come spring Time)

--- End quote ---

nepenthes.  You are a good salesperson.  You now have actually caught my attention.  Things that I would need to know are:

-  the amount of time that it takes to "look after"
- knowledge of how to care for these critters
- any information that my be perfect criteria for tips for someone new into the world of ants

There may be other holdbacks.  I live in Canada.  I don't know what regulations are about importing insects from the U.S. to our country.  Oops, would you be sending ants too?  That was an assumption, not right to do.

So, add some more information.  Consider me a dummy with the ant world, so I woud  need lots of mentoring.  Like I said, I find them fascinating and would enjoy becoming more knowledgeable regarding them.

There is no hurry, so let's take our time with this.  Great day.  Cindi

nepenthes:
In the USA it is illegal to import ants across state lines or send them out of country or receive them in country with out a Permit. In Canada it is not watched (I will have to look into it allot more) but good luck finding a European country that will sell you a colony of ants.

The amount of time it takes me to look after ants is really a very small amount of time. Prior to the actual collection and introduction of the specimen to the Set up. But this usually can be easily done by just starting them out in a Test tube (that of witch I can supply) Bunged up. I find my self looking from time to time half an hour just looking at what they are doing.

The basic things you need for keeping ants are this.

Humidity, protein, variety in protein filled substances, and a supply of something sugary for the adults. Humidity is for the brood mainly, but usually not so much for the worker ants, but they will quickly die if their is no source of water for them even if their is very low humidity they could survive, but why take the chance when you know they can develop better with the humidity? This is why I always supply some kind of water source in a test tube. Protein because the brood need it to develop. Their are several options you can take, fruit flys, meal worms, crickets (crickets need to be dead prior to putting them in a foraging area) all do a swell job at supplying food and you really only need to feed them once a week, this will usually last them a good while. The reason you want variety is because ants like all other living things need a variety in the vitamins they eat too. This is why i found it very surprising and cool that they readily accepted the bee pollen. Bee pollen as you know has lots of vitamins, minerals and of course protein. While they can survive a long time on meal worms you really want to try to mix it up. I tend to kill the meal worms first because the colony's are allot smaller and would take longer for them to get the beast. If I had an ant colony of say 1000 i would be tossing in a meal worm a day with out a worry. But the odds of you having that many ants any time soon is unlikely. And you still even then don't have to feed them as much ants are VERY tough and can survive along time in poor conditions. I know some one who quickly got a colony of ants in the 2000's but they supplied the very same insect fresh every day even as a young colony. Of course they had a colony of roaches ready at hand to do this but I don't suggest you get a colony of roaches just for you're ants. If you want more information on starting a feeder colony you can ask but it isn't required because you can buy a thing of 50 meal worms and that would last you at least 4-5 months if not longer depending on how you feed them. Their really is not set rule on how much to feed you're ants its just kind of a get a feel for how much they regularly eat.

Collecting the queen can be a hassle and it can be easy too. If you look for Camponotus you could easily find 20-30 species. These are often found in wood but you don't have to worry if you're house is relatively kept in good condition cause "carpenter ants" burrow in rotten wood with humidity. You can find these now by going to the woods and finding them in rotting logs by breaking them open. I found at least 5 Reproductives in 1 small log, about 2 feet long. So if you are lucky you can find a Species of Camponotus easy. But Campo's usually reproduce slow and numbers tend to grow VERY slow but if cared for right will boom!

I will post more later I don't have time to finish this but will post more later Hope this helps some.

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