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Author Topic: Ant Set up  (Read 7294 times)
nepenthes
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« on: January 11, 2007, 08:31:52 PM »

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
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"I have never wished to cater to the crowd, for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know." - Epicurus.
Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2007, 10:36:25 PM »

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
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
nepenthes
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2007, 11:08:53 PM »

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)
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"I have never wished to cater to the crowd, for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know." - Epicurus.
Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2007, 07:47:34 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)

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
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
nepenthes
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2007, 09:19:04 AM »

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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"I have never wished to cater to the crowd, for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know." - Epicurus.
Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2007, 09:28:57 AM »

nepenthes.  Thank you for the great information.  I am looking forward to hearing more stuff.  I am going to also find out about Canada's importation of "ants".  I am pretty sure that they lifted the ban on U.S. bees imported to Canada in December just past, but not positive on this.  Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
nepenthes
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2007, 01:15:55 PM »

Yea bee's are different though, they have agricultural purposes and that produces a crop and an income.


Really the only other thing that is of importance is the species of ant. Some species need special requirements. Some are parasitic meaning they will found a colony off an already existing colony in the genera. Like those Aphenogaster sp's I had posted a while back for example.

http://myrmecos.net and http://antweb.org are good sites on World wide ants.

Identification is key in finding out what kind of set up you would want for you're ants, once (assuming they need a test tube) they out grow their test tube. I think you should be able to find Tetramorium. Their are 4-5 main species of ant you would want to try and get.

-Lasius niger
-Formica species (as a whole are preatty easy large ants) and colorful and have great eye site
-Camponotus pennsylvanicus/ herculensus (not sure on spelling on the C. herc)/ novaeboracensis are the easiest ones and you shouldnt have trouble finding them.
-Tetramorium

What part of Canada Western or Eastern or Central? This would help find a species for you. http://www.pestcontrolcanada.com/carpenter_ant_photos.htm has Sp's found in Canada if it looks similar (is linked too myrmecos.net) take it to antweb.org cause allot of those photos aren't on myrmecos any more.

Some more information on keeping them is that You can have an open Set up this means not enclosed, if you have a tube leading to the set up where they are in, you can Coat the sides of the Foraging area with 3-1 oil or this stuff http://bioquip.com/html/view_prodpics.asp?CatalogNum=2871A And you don't have to worry about you're ants escaping, this also helps ventilation and food can be in the foraging area longer cause it wont mold. You can even have a Ridge with the oil or anti escape product coated on it and they wouldn't dare try walking on it cause its vertical and they get no grip.

1 way too collect queens is Lay cardboard in the yard in the spring or large flat boards near tree's and out in the open as well. Queens feel secure enough under something to de-alate or take off their wings and will find a spot to build a nest, they might even start right their.

You can always tell its a queen cause
- they  have large heads (males have smaller cause they don't do any work in a colony just reproduction)
- they have scar's where the wing used to be or left over wing areas
- they have a bigger build than worker ants (not always some ants have queens the same size as workers)

Female alates are always bigger than males. If you happen to find a swarm pick out 2-3 queens that you see being mated fallow them till you have seen them walk away from the mass of ants mating, and if you have seen them with a male Pick them up put them in you're test tube, or collecting jar w/e you are using, and be ready to take a few photos if you have a decent enough camera. And then put them in their test tube or founding set up.

You can feed you're queens this helps production cause they will use their own body muscle as food to rear brood. Some actually forage so you need to know species, when they don't forage its called a clustural cell, they close it up and they are in their until workers come and open it up.

I'm sure I have forgotten something if I remember ill post it later, if you have any questions go ahead and ask.
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"I have never wished to cater to the crowd, for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know." - Epicurus.
Cindi
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Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2007, 02:00:43 PM »

nepenthes, thanks, I am processing in my mind your information and will determine if I want to get involved or not.  It appears to be quite a bit of work.  I may be wrong, but I have a very busy life with gardens, bees.  We'll see.  Like I said, I am intrigued, but just have to really think about if I need an extra hobby at this point or not.  Processing, thinking.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Cindi
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Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2007, 02:16:19 PM »

nepenthes, forgot to answer the question.  I live in the south western part of Canada, actually in the south western corner of British Columbia, this province borders north of Washington.  I reside about 45 km from the ocean, wherein the city of Vancouver lies.  We have usually a very mild and wet climate.  Our temperature usually does not rise above 30 celsius in the summer.  The mean temperature in summer is between 25 to 28 celsuis (77 to 82 F).  It can get warmer, but this is not the norm.  Wintertime depths, temperature is usually about 5 celsius (41 F).  I live close to a range of mountains, it is therefore a little more cold where I live than in the Vancouver area.  Hope this clarifies where I live for you.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
nepenthes
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2007, 02:23:05 PM »

It really sounds like its allot of work but its not allot of work once you actually find a queen and since you are out in the garden im sure you always have a chance of finding a queen in the spring, with out having to go out of the way to find a queen. And I think you are able to find Lasius niger, a bomb proof species of ant for beginners! They would fly more Mid summer. Just think about it! Hear is a prototype of what you would be getting. if I sent you a set up, you would actually get like 3 Things A Test tube for in the beginning, this CD case and a larger one similar to the CD case.


This was just after I put them in their, so they were a little confused they are settled in now.

Good day!
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"I have never wished to cater to the crowd, for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know." - Epicurus.
bhoeschcod
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2009, 11:46:00 PM »

Lol hi nepenthes im bhkid from yuku keeping ants nice to see a familier face!
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