Trying to get my son started

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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kadinsdel
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:29 pm
Location: Winnipeg, MB

Trying to get my son started

Post: # 54077Post kadinsdel
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:48 pm

My 11 year old discovered AntsCanada on youtube about four months ago. He talks about it all the time, so clearly, we need to get started ourselves. Because HE'S so into it, I've been watching the videos too, and now I am into it. Hehehe.

I have ordered him a small formicarium, as well as a couple books and some test tubes, droppers, magnifying glass, so once the queens start flying we can attempt to catch our own.

However, we are in Winnipeg, Mb, and so any ants are now under an inch of snow! Haha. There is one GAN Farmer in our province that shows having ants for sale, but seeing as it's winter, is it best to just wait till spring? Will the ants we buy be hibernating anyways?

I am sure he will be itching to start once he gets all his gear at Christmas, and I have been hinting that we could consider the idea if he spends lots of time learning as much as he can for now but that it might have to wait till spring.

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: Trying to get my son started

Post: # 54105Post UnrealSparks
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:41 am

Hi kadinsdel! Welcome to the forum! :)

Considering you mentioned snow I guess it's getting pretty cold in your area and ants are surely hibernating now. So, even if you'd buy a colony, it should be in hibernation (as a GAN Farmer myself I put all of my colonies in hibernation during the cold months).

Unfortunately, for this reason, I'd recommend waiting until Spring. I know 4 more months of waiting are painful, but going outside in search of queens, I can assure you it's one of the best experiences about ant keeping! :D

Do you already know what species are you looking for? And which are present in your region?
Keeping the following species:

- Messor Barbarus
- Pheidole Pallidula
- Camponotus Barbaricus
- Lasius Niger
- Lasius Flavus
- Lasius Emarginatus

kadinsdel
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:29 pm
Location: Winnipeg, MB

Re: Trying to get my son started

Post: # 54354Post kadinsdel
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:35 pm

I am not even sure yet. I know there are some ants that are in our own front yard each spring, so we'll probably be starting with those. :)
I think they are likely a type of Formica ant? But i don't know for sure. I am just going from memory right now.

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: Trying to get my son started

Post: # 54362Post UnrealSparks
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:41 am

When you'll have the chance you could try to take some pictures of them and post them on the forum to get an identification if you want. :)
Keeping the following species:

- Messor Barbarus
- Pheidole Pallidula
- Camponotus Barbaricus
- Lasius Niger
- Lasius Flavus
- Lasius Emarginatus

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antnest8
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Re: Trying to get my son started

Post: # 54370Post antnest8
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:59 am

Welcome kadinsdel! I do agree with the idea of waiting until spring. It could be hard because I had to wait also. But when the ants start flying it will all make up for it. Here is a list of ants that you can look out for in spring.

1. prenolepis imparis: these orangeish brown queens are hard to find but are the first to fly. also known as the winter ant these ants like the cold over warmth these colonies are also polygenous. look out for them in February-May when the temperatures reach 70 F (they flew in late April last year)
2. Any Camponotus: these large queens are easy to see are are my personal favorite currently, they fly during may-july and are easy to find plus they are kept a lot so there is lots of info on them.
3. Lasius umbratus: these social parasites can be found during winter even! found under rocks and such. the only problem with them is that they are extremely hard to keep and have only been able to be kept for the last 5+ years. also they have a tendency to die randomly before they find a host colony.
4. Myrmica: these queens can be found walking outside after winter looking for food for there brood because of their semi-claustral nature. fun to keep and polygenous these queens are OK for beginners (They Were Mikey Bustos fist ants!) the only downside it that these ants can sting

Hope you found this helpful
keeper of
3 tetremorium queens
2 C. pennsylvanicus
1 C novaeboracensis
1 tapinoma sessile colony
!!And A CREMATOGASTER QUEEN!!

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