I think my queen is dying. help

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!

Moderator: ooper01

Post Reply
SillySil
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:04 am
Location: Poland

I think my queen is dying. help

Post: # 55698Post SillySil
Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:53 am

I have a small Formica Cinerea colony. I bought it before winter and I was a bit scared of hibernating so I did not to hibernate them. Now during winter few ants died but the queen laid couple of eggs to replace the loses. Out of a sudden my queen wandered into the arena and she really struggles to walk, she looks super weak. When she flipped she coudln't get back up on herself for a while. Eventually workers found her and literally dragged her into the test tube that's their home at the moment.

I don't know what's going on. I haven't changed anything in the last 2 weeks. They have access to water and honey and I sometimes drop them a dead fly or a spider into the arena. The test tube attached to the arena is covered with a black cloth. All other ants are energetic and strong and the queen didn't act any different than she did in the last 2 months until very last days, or at least I didn't notice.

What could cause this?

DontSquishTheAnt
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:00 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: I think my queen is dying. help

Post: # 55706Post DontSquishTheAnt
Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:57 pm

Is there mold in the test tube, do the ants have any mites on them, and how often have you been checking on them? Those are the most probable causes for death.
First year and already enjoying it!

Founding:
1 Solenopsis molesta colony with ~10 nanitic workers and lots of brood

Genesis 1:24

SillySil
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:04 am
Location: Poland

Re: I think my queen is dying. help

Post: # 55707Post SillySil
Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:24 pm

DontSquishTheAnt wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:57 pm
Is there mold in the test tube, do the ants have any mites on them, and how often have you been checking on them? Those are the most probable causes for death.
Thanks for the response.
The tube is super clean as I've made them move into a new one about 3 weeks ago. And no mites at all. The queen is shiny clean.

DontSquishTheAnt
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:00 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: I think my queen is dying. help

Post: # 55710Post DontSquishTheAnt
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:42 pm

Hmm. Have you been checking on them once a week or more? And have you seen any of the ants eat? It seems like a combination of the ants not eating, stress, and exhaustion because of those two. I had a similar situation with a Formica pallidefulva colony I once had. They all died due to the three things I described above (I also found a couple mites on some of the dead bodies afterward, but I don't think they were of much consequence).
First year and already enjoying it!

Founding:
1 Solenopsis molesta colony with ~10 nanitic workers and lots of brood

Genesis 1:24

SillySil
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:04 am
Location: Poland

Re: I think my queen is dying. help

Post: # 55716Post SillySil
Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:22 pm

DontSquishTheAnt wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:42 pm
Hmm. Have you been checking on them once a week or more? And have you seen any of the ants eat? It seems like a combination of the ants not eating, stress, and exhaustion because of those two. I had a similar situation with a Formica pallidefulva colony I once had. They all died due to the three things I described above (I also found a couple mites on some of the dead bodies afterward, but I don't think they were of much consequence).
Yeah I am checking on them. Workers are fine and they have honey in their gasters. I haven't seen them feeding the queen lately but I wasn't looking for it either. So maybe she isn't eating in winter? And because I didn't hibernate them she's starved?

JoeHostile1
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: I think my queen is dying. help

Post: # 55752Post JoeHostile1
Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 am

What do you mean “sometimes I drop a spider or fly in there”? Sounds like if you’re not feeding them regularly maybe that’s the problem? Their main source of food is protein from bugs. They can’t survive on honey alone with an occasional bug or two.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfFtn6RegZ3F1NdS1g08NA

SillySil
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:04 am
Location: Poland

Re: I think my queen is dying. help

Post: # 55776Post SillySil
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:50 am

JoeHostile1 wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:25 am
What do you mean “sometimes I drop a spider or fly in there”? Sounds like if you’re not feeding them regularly maybe that’s the problem? Their main source of food is protein from bugs. They can’t survive on honey alone with an occasional bug or two.
There's like 10 ants in there. They aren't going to eat a cockroach a day. They always have some insect in the tube. I usually put new one in the arena before they throw away the old one. I said sometimes because if I give them a bigger one it takes them days.

JoeHostile1
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: I think my queen is dying. help

Post: # 55778Post JoeHostile1
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:20 pm

Are you seeing the ants drink the honey? A lot of my ants don’t touch honey, but they all enjoy sugar water.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfFtn6RegZ3F1NdS1g08NA

SillySil
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:04 am
Location: Poland

Re: I think my queen is dying. help

Post: # 55793Post SillySil
Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:31 am

JoeHostile1 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:20 pm
Are you seeing the ants drink the honey? A lot of my ants don’t touch honey, but they all enjoy sugar water.
Oh yeah, they chug on that. I can see that some of the worker's gasters are full.

Can the queen be freaking out due to noise? There's renovation of staircase in the apartment building I live in, and they are drilling and stuff all day.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests