Help Keeping Queen Alive

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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warhawk373
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:10 pm

Help Keeping Queen Alive

Post: # 35625Post warhawk373
Fri May 04, 2018 1:01 am

I just caught a Camponotus pennsylvanicus queen and am really hoping she works out and I start a colony. I have her in the same conditions as the ant I caught last year. I'll explain last years queen.

Last year I found a Camponotus castaneus queen. She lived for months, but never chewed her wings off, never laid eggs, and eventually died. I had her in a dark, quiet, undisturbed location in the typical test tube setup. Since my whole house is very cold (about 68 F or 20 C) I created an insulated area and laid the test tube partially on a heat mat. I monitored the temp very carefully and she had room to move from a warmer side to a colder side, but the temp was never lower than 75 F and never higher than 85 F.

So I'm worried about the same fate befalling this queen. Since it is my second year colonyless I am hoping it all works out. I know most people just keep them in a room that has no air conditioning but I don't have a room like that. If there is a costly setup with heat lamps and stuff that other people have tested, I'm willing to pay for it. I just really want a surviving colony.

Obviously I'm not giving up on the search for other queens because I know tragedy can strike and nothing can be done. Some queens just don't make it. But I really want to make sure my setup is not the reason if anything goes wrong.

averagebilly
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:10 am
Location: Canada

Re: Help Keeping Queen Alive

Post: # 35755Post averagebilly
Tue May 08, 2018 12:27 pm

If you haven't started a colony yet, never settle for just one queen, as there is probably only a 50 - 70% chance that they will spawn a colony. At least, that's what I've found with my 40 - 70 queens caught. I currently have about 14 - 17 small colonies, and 18 - 25 queens with eggs/larvae/pupae. I really hope that this queen gives you a colony, as it took me a long time to get going, as well. ;)
"Ant Love Forever" - Mikey Bustos

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antnest8
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Re: Help Keeping Queen Alive

Post: # 35778Post antnest8
Tue May 08, 2018 3:12 pm

if you find queens keep them even if you want one colony. i did that with 4 queen all made colony's and i released the others. just for extra insurance plus the queen you found last year was probably infertile and there is nothing you can do about that. Great setup though any fertile queen would love it.
keeper of
3 tetremorium queens
2 C. pennsylvanicus
1 C novaeboracensis
1 tapinoma sessile colony
!!And A CREMATOGASTER QUEEN!!

warhawk373
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:10 pm

Re: Help Keeping Queen Alive

Post: # 35805Post warhawk373
Tue May 08, 2018 8:31 pm

antnest8 wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 3:12 pm
if you find queens keep them even if you want one colony. i did that with 4 queen all made colony's and i released the others. just for extra insurance plus the queen you found last year was probably infertile and there is nothing you can do about that. Great setup though any fertile queen would love it.
Awesome. I went ahead and ordered a reptile heating pad (because I'm just using a back pain pad right now xD) with a temperature controller though. Mainly for 2 reasons.
1. It was relatively cheap anyway, only about $40
2. My mind is making me have a perfect set-up so if they don't survive I at least know I did all I could

Of course since it was fairly cheap I'm going to have to test it for a couple days before putting my queens lives in its hands.

Varanid
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 11:50 am
Location: Alabama

Re: Help Keeping Queen Alive

Post: # 36110Post Varanid
Sat May 19, 2018 3:18 pm

Be careful with that back pain heating pad, if you cover it completely with something it could catch on fire. We had one partially under a critter keeper and it overheated to the point that the container melted.

Wolfsong
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:54 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: Help Keeping Queen Alive

Post: # 36199Post Wolfsong
Mon May 21, 2018 4:52 pm

I currently have a queen of the same species that I caught in my bathroom. I assume she came from the wild colony that lives in the mulch around the house. I think your set up should be great for the starter colony from everything I've researched, seen on the AntsCanada channel, and heard other enthusiasts explain of their own experiences and set ups. :) Good luck with your new queen!

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antnest8
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Re: Help Keeping Queen Alive

Post: # 36300Post antnest8
Thu May 24, 2018 2:58 pm

watch out for heating pads. i had my ants on one and they all died. The safest way to use a heating pad it to put your ants in a setup where only part (i mean small) of the setup gets heat.
keeper of
3 tetremorium queens
2 C. pennsylvanicus
1 C novaeboracensis
1 tapinoma sessile colony
!!And A CREMATOGASTER QUEEN!!

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