Protein for Red Harvester Ants without Queen

Posts and questions relating to ant diet & nutrition. Let us know what you’re feeding your ants.

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Kat246
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:21 am

Protein for Red Harvester Ants without Queen

Post: # 71583Post Kat246
Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:34 am

Hi! I don't have ants yet, but I'm currently doing a lot of research so I know what I'm doing when I get my ants. I live in an apartment (I don't want my ants to escape, cause an infestation, and get us kicked out lol) and don't want to commit to having a colony for like 15 years or something, so I've chosen to start with just a few workers (well, 30). I know ants need water, sugar and protein, but apparently worker ants can't chew things like meat or seeds by their own? My question is, is there a way to give my future worker ants protein without larvae to metabolise it for them, and do they even need it? I'm so confused because I see many people have ants without a queen, but I can't find anything online as to how to feed them except the repetitive "give them sugar water."
Thanks,
Kat.
P.S. If it helps, I'm planning on getting red harvester ants.

Hawkeye
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Protein for Red Harvester Ants without Queen

Post: # 71584Post Hawkeye
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:50 am

Harvester ants prefer seeds, so grass or sesame seeds are probably your best option. They should be able to eat those.

If you get a local species you can always release them back into the wild though, if you think the colony has grown too large. While the worker ants will be doing some digging and foraging, they won't really have a purpose or a queen to feed. So I don't know if they'll be very active.

Kat246
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:21 am

Re: Protein for Red Harvester Ants without Queen

Post: # 71585Post Kat246
Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:06 pm

I checked for GAN farmers in my state and there are no active ones. Also, all the ants native to my state are already pests (Acrobat ants, crazy ants, carpenter ants; I live in New Jersey if you find out any native ants that aren’t pests). But good idea! Also, thank you for the suggestion with seeds. I was worried that I would give them seeds and they’d be like “... what do I do with this I can’t chew.” Lol. Thanks for your time,
Kat.

Hawkeye
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Protein for Red Harvester Ants without Queen

Post: # 71587Post Hawkeye
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:40 pm

Surely there are some local harvester ant species?

Kat246
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:21 am

Re: Protein for Red Harvester Ants without Queen

Post: # 71589Post Kat246
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:26 pm

I’ll do some more research on it over the next few days. Apparently ant keeping isn’t very popular in my state because all the websites I see about ants in my state complain about them.

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