Hibernation questions

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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Hibernation questions

Post: # 13660Post Blackwing24
Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:34 am

Hey there everyone. This year I decided to get into the ant-keeping game and, as luck would have it, I caught a Crematogaster sp (possibly cerasi or lineolata) queen a few weeks ago. Up until now, she hasn't laid any eggs, which hopefully means she's waiting until hibernation, which leads me to my questions.

First off, I'm considering hibernating her in a refrigerator, as that is likely my best option of keeping her at a stable temperature in a relatively undisturbed location. I've heard, however, that there are some concerns with using this method. What are those concerns, and what can I do to maximize the queen's safety using this method?

That aside, around when would be the best time to get her into hibernation? I've read that the best time to get the queens into hibernation is "when you stop seeing insects outside," but would anyone, particularly in the northeast US, be able to provide a more concrete timeframe? For context, the weather at the moment is still reaching high 60s to low 70s during the day, with temperatures dropping off into the 40s and 50s in the evenings.

Following up on that, about how often should I check on the queen during hibernation, and assuming all goes well, when would be the best time to awaken her from hibernation?

Apologies for any repeat questions, or if my questions seem a bit scattered, I'm just kind of excited to see this through, and want to make sure I do everything I can. Thanks for any advice anyone can provide!


Re: Hibernation questions

Post: # 13662Post JohnyDL
Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:17 am

According to Mikey ants don't do too well less than 10C/50F so your fridge needs to be at its warmest and you place the ants far from the bits that get cold enough to ice up, I would recommend the door.

In the wild the temperature would drop slowly over a month or two to this level without that they might not make the glycerol that keeps them alive, and Mikey's basement is a little warmer a constant 15C/59F you want to provide the most stable temperature and cool them slowly and reduce feeding to the bare minimum of sugar syrup or honey until they look mostly dead and keep them that way until the weather rises to that temperature again outside :)

At least that's what I've understood I'm a newbie and don't have ants of my own yet.

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Re: Hibernation questions

Post: # 14535Post notmyidea
Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:33 am

In the wild, their chamber would be underground which would, I think, have a moderating affect on temperature. Currently, I have my Queens in a fridge at 10C (that's 50F in Americanese), which is about the mid-range of the daily hi/low outdoor temp. I check on my Queens about once a week mostly to ensure no one's out of water.

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