Need some advice please

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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BandINorth
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:25 am
Location: Ontario

Need some advice please

Post: # 52801Post BandINorth
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:12 am

Hi I have about 6 queens of diffrent species. Im just starting yet I have collected queens since the spring of this summer to the fall.

They are all relatively healthy and laying eggs. I feed them honey and dead insect parts when i can. Keep them in the dark. All in test tubes.

I have 2 things that I am concerned about. One thing is; all my queens seem to have 5 to 6 workers and have not gone much more than that. Yes they have eggs. I feed them as much as i think they will eat. ( I have read the queen provides these first workers with food from her) so as i feed them I watch to see how much they eat. In dont put to much or too little. Yet they havnt gotten past 5 to 6 workers. With some workers dieing along the way. Am i doing something wrong?

Next question; fall is here, winter is coming. I have them in my sunroom which i do heat during the winter. In dont know what to do to set them up for winter. Do they have enough workers to survive? Where do i keep them to make sure they hybernate properly?

I would love to put them in something bigger such as the products sold on AntsCanada. But i read that without about 30 plus workers this can shorten there life span. So i have been waiting patiently for them to go past 30 plus workers but they havnt. So im worried im doing somthing wrong and they wont survive hybernation.

Thank you for any help given.

Justin from Ontario

ClashOwenBash
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:58 am
Location: Oxfordshire, England

Re: Need some advice please

Post: # 52822Post ClashOwenBash
Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:13 am

As ants are entering hibernation soon queens stop laying and all egg/lavea stop growing which might be the cause of your problems. Make sure your feeding them a sugar source and a protien source along with access to water 24/7. During hibernation try to keep your ants at a temperature around 8°C (your sunroom might be too hot). They only need water during this time. When hibernation is over your colonies will hopefully have a growth spurt as queens normally lay a load of eggs after hibernation along with the colony accepting more food.
Hope this helps.
Hibernating Lasius Niger, Lasius Flavus, and Myrmica Rubra. Zzz..

BandINorth
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:25 am
Location: Ontario

Re: Need some advice please

Post: # 52830Post BandINorth
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:57 am

Thank you for the advice. I still dont understand why throughout the summer they havnt gotten more than 6 workers. I wish i could put them in something bigger. Gonna have a hard time finding a place around 8 degrees Celsius to put them. Ill do my best.

AntsDakota
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Need some advice please

Post: # 52878Post AntsDakota
Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:03 pm

BandINorth wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:57 am
Thank you for the advice. I still dont understand why throughout the summer they havnt gotten more than 6 workers. I wish i could put them in something bigger. Gonna have a hard time finding a place around 8 degrees Celsius to put them. Ill do my best.

It really depends on species. Some species (such as those from the genus Camponotus) are very slow growing at the beginning. Their growth spurt happens later. The less common species tend to not grow very big, and are slow growing all their life. So if you could tell us the species, and if you don't know post pics, that would help a lot.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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