New colony failing?

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:54 pm
Location: Vermont

New colony failing?

Post: # 49967Post walkerTheHorton
Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:59 am

Hi all! In May last spring I found what I believe to be a carpenter ant queen, I started my first colony with her, and for the next 3 months thing went really well (the colony grew steadily to 10 workers), but when I returned from a week long trip away I found several workers drowned in the slightly larger than usual drop of honey I had left them with, other workers were acting strange flailing their legs around in the middle of the test tube, the rest were clustered around the queen and brood at the wet cotton ball end of the tube.

This was a couple weeks ago, the flailing workers have all since died and I am now down to 3 workers and the queen (who still seems perfectly healthy) I have also tried to encourage a move to a new test tube (before and after the colony took a downturn) but it hasn't happened yet.

Please let me know if there is anything I could be missing, or if there is any advice you could give, thanks!

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Location: Idaho, USA

Re: New colony failing?

Post: # 49969Post idahoantgirl
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:12 pm

Camponotus is very suseptible to stress. Never feed your colonies in a tube for this very reason. Supply them with an outworld and use the drinking straw method. Then cover their tube so its dark and do not check on them for a week, just supply them with food in the outworld without disturbing the colony.
Proverbs 6:6-8

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeping Tetramorium immigrans, Tapinoma Sessile

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Location: USA

Re: New colony failing?

Post: # 49973Post Scallop
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:04 pm

Like Idahoantgirl said Camponotus are very stressy ants. Make sure not to give them too much honey next time and don’t check on them for a bit. Mine died of stress. The flailing workers were probably covered in sticky stuff and couldn’t get it off.

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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:54 pm
Location: Vermont

Re: New colony failing?

Post: # 50038Post walkerTheHorton
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:10 pm

That is good to know! Thanks! I have fashioned a makeshift outworld for this most recent feeding, will try to get a proper one together before the next.

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