Moving the Queen

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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TMcG98
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Moving the Queen

Post: # 35672Post TMcG98
Sun May 06, 2018 7:06 pm

So I managed to catch a queen ant last September. After keeping her in a test tube for a long while, I checked on her periodically, and am now at the point where the test tube I put her in is out of water. I should add that she has about 10 workers now, as well as more eggs. I figured if I just filled up a second tube and taped the old to the new, the queen and her workers would make the move easily. To add some incentive, I also put the tubes under my lamp, covering the new tube with a sock and some paper so that it was much darker. I left it for a few hours and came back to find the workers still on the egg pile, while the queen and a couple of workers had moved into the new test tube. I couldn't leave my light on since I planned on sleeping, so I turned off the light and hoped the workers would soon move the rest of the eggs to their queens new area. To my surprise, when I woke up I found the queen back in the old, waterless tube on her egg pile with her workers. I decided to try it again today, this time using my phone flashlight since the light is stronger, and I was able to keep it closer to the tube. I watched again, and it looks like the same thing is happening. The queen retreated to the new tube in the darkness with a couple of workers to tend to her, while the rest simply leisure about on the egg pile, not seeming in any rush to move the eggs. I fear if I leave them for too long they will run out of water. Not to mention, it's a bit dirty in there now as well.
So my question is,
1) How long would they last without water?
2) Is keeping a bright light too close to the tube potentially harmful to the ants?
3) Is this typical behavior? It seems like the queen is aware of the light, but either she, the workers, or both don't care if the eggs are in the light.
4) And obviously, if this continues and I can't get them to move this way, what are some other alternatives I can take?

PS: Since I have the flashlight and tube set up still going, I didn't want to move my phone or the tubes to hopefully let the ants figure it out. But I'll be headed to bed in about 2 hours and will once again have to take the light off of them. If this doesn't work, I'll get some pictures for further explanation and identification. Thanks in advance, guys <3

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MadVampy
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Re: Moving the Queen

Post: # 35673Post MadVampy
Sun May 06, 2018 7:19 pm

Most of the time when I move my ants between fresh tubes I'll use a regular light bulb that gives of some heat and also light. I'll place that near the old tube, not too close as to over heat the ants but enough that they will want to move away from it. The fresh tube I will cover with something that will make it completely dark and beings it will be the cooler of the two test tubes the ants will move it it. Now come the part that sucks, they will move when they feel like it! Yes you have to wait on them to decide to move! I've had them move between tubes in less then an hour to one time taking 2 days.

They will not get hurt by the bright light and will in fact want to move away from it (to the dark tube) and due to the heat generated by the light bulb that will give them another reason to move. A simple flash light shining on them probably won't be enough to get them to move between tubes. As far as how close to get the light bulb to the test tube? Start with like 6 inches from the dry test tube, give it a little bit and see if they get agitated by the heat and light and start looking around towards the fresh dark test tube. If they don't want to move then move the light a little bit closer, and wait a bit. Keep an eye on this because of course you don't want to cook your ants.

Hope this helps!
MadVampy

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TMcG98
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:11 pm
Location: NY

Re: Moving the Queen

Post: # 35676Post TMcG98
Sun May 06, 2018 7:41 pm

Thanks a bunch! I'll be sure to try this tomorrow once I'm home from work. I don't want to start it now since like I said I'll be in bed soon, and don't want to leave my light on in my room all night, but also don't want to just agitate them for an hour if there's no guarantee they will move. I'll keep you posted on how it goes, and thanks again for the super speedy reply!

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MadVampy
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Re: Moving the Queen

Post: # 35681Post MadVampy
Sun May 06, 2018 8:51 pm

No problem! I help when I can. :D
MadVampy

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Name is also Mike but please don't confuse me with Mikey Bustos, two different people. :lol:
Keeper of Solenopsis Ants. :twisted:

TMcG98
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:11 pm
Location: NY

Re: Moving the Queen

Post: # 35711Post TMcG98
Mon May 07, 2018 2:59 pm

Image
(Water Bottle for scale :oops: )

So this is how the ants have been since this morning. Been about 5 hours and they really don't seem to be moving much. Would you recommend getting them a bit closer? Or should I just let them figure it out at this point? I'm just concerned at their lack of wanting to move since they're dangerously low on water.

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antnest8
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Re: Moving the Queen

Post: # 35718Post antnest8
Mon May 07, 2018 5:09 pm

you could just leave them like that with the two test tubes taped together. I found that that did not stress the ants much plus have you considered that the humidity in the old tube is good enough for the eggs. Don't remove the new tube because of a drinking source but the ants will move when they want to.
MadVampy wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 7:19 pm
Now come the part that sucks, they will move when they feel like it! Yes you have to wait on them to decide to move! I've had them move between tubes in less then an hour to one time taking 2 days.
Two days! :!: 8-) That is a good record for an ant keeper who has been keeping for many more years than me. i had a crematogaster queen that took 3 weeks just to move :lol: :D ..
keeper of
3 tetremorium queens
2 C. pennsylvanicus
1 C novaeboracensis
1 tapinoma sessile colony

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MadVampy
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Re: Moving the Queen

Post: # 35735Post MadVampy
Mon May 07, 2018 10:36 pm

Basically they will move when they want too. I usually place my hand on the tube to feel the temp of it to determine the distance of the light. It should not be hot but just a little warm, the temperature change will be enough to make them want to get away from it. You should notice that if it's warm enough the workers will start getting a little over active and attempt to find a alternate place to go and in turn move the brood to they new place they find. Not sure how your connecting the two tubes together (hopefully your not just taping them end to end together) but the ants will need to have air while they are waiting to move between tubes. I made this small video of what I do to move them between tubes. Now if you don't have any test tube adapters you can use a combo of 3/8" and 1/2" tubing, place the 1/2" tubing over the end of each test tube with a small section of 3/8" poly tubing between them. You can also use a AntsCanada Test Tube Portal and the connection between the tubes. I'll link both my video and the AC Test Tube portal and also the AntsCanada Test Tube Adapters below.

AntsCanada Test Tube Portal -----> http://www.AntsCanada.com/shop/ac-test-tube-portal/

AntsCanada Test Tube Adapters ----> http://www.AntsCanada.com/shop/ac-test-tube-accessory-pack/
My Video

MadVampy

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Name is also Mike but please don't confuse me with Mikey Bustos, two different people. :lol:
Keeper of Solenopsis Ants. :twisted:

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