Feed your queens!!

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

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CherrieEvolved
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:39 am
Location: Seattle

Feed your queens!!

Post: # 34517Post CherrieEvolved
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:49 am

Hi Everyone,
PSA here, feed your queens! Yes they can generally survive without food if fully-claustral. Of course they don't need as much as semi-claustral, and I generally don't feed the fully-claustral protein (as they should have it in their wing reserves).
Feeding a queen honey SIGNIFICANTLY reduces the chance they will eat their eggs. I generally just feed them honey, once every 2-4 weeks. This makes sure they are full so they have no need to eat their eggs to conserve the energy. Why eat them to conserve the energy (in case they need to run) when they are already completely full with food!!
I bug my queens all the time, like multiple times a day (I'm obsessed! :D ). All but 1 (so 6 out of 7) has laid eggs, and no eggs have been eaten from what I have seen. They love to eat. After hibernation they would eat the honey right off the toothpick before I could put it on the side of the test tube. I cant say all ants will behave this way, but give it a shot. Just a drop of honey, it could increase the chance of a successful colony!!
Here is a picture of Queen feeding day (honey) yesterday! They devoured it! Good luck with your queen feeding! :D
Image

FYI. The one that hasn't laid an egg, refuses to eat and she looks skinny (not in this picture). Behaves differently than the camponotus ants I have had before, not sure what is wrong with her. Plan to try the tried and true method of locking her in a drawer for a month and see what happens. Could be that the ant is not fertile, seems strange that she would be have so differently than the others of the same species.
Keeper of:
Formica Sp
Myrmica Sp

Founding:
4x Formica Sp
1x Camponotus Sp

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AntNoobster
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:17 am
Location: Perth, AUS

Re: Feed your queens!!

Post: # 36735Post AntNoobster
Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:12 am

CherrieEvolved wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:49 am
Hi Everyone,
PSA here, feed your queens! Yes they can generally survive without food if fully-claustral. Of course they don't need as much as semi-claustral, and I generally don't feed the fully-claustral protein (as they should have it in their wing reserves).
Feeding a queen honey SIGNIFICANTLY reduces the chance they will eat their eggs. I generally just feed them honey, once every 2-4 weeks. This makes sure they are full so they have no need to eat their eggs to conserve the energy. Why eat them to conserve the energy (in case they need to run) when they are already completely full with food!!
I bug my queens all the time, like multiple times a day (I'm obsessed! :D )
All but 1 (so 6 out of 7) has laid eggs, and no eggs have been eaten from what I have seen. They love to eat. After hibernation they would eat the honey right off the toothpick before I could put it on the side of the test tube. I cant say all ants will behave this way, but give it a shot. Just a drop of honey, it could increase the chance of a successful colony!!
Here is a picture of Queen feeding day (honey) yesterday! They devoured it! Good luck with your queen feeding! :D
Image

FYI. The one that hasn't laid an egg, refuses to eat and she looks skinny (not in this picture). Behaves differently than the camponotus ants I have had before, not sure what is wrong with her. Plan to try the tried and true method of locking her in a drawer for a month and see what happens. Could be that the ant is not fertile, seems strange that she would be have so differently than the others of the same species.
thats surprising that you bug them multiple times a day and they still lay eggs!! i used to be obsessed too and checked them once a day and they died from stress and never layed eggs! Good luck btw
"Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest." Proverbs 6:6-8


Founding:
8x Iridomyrmex sp.
1x Pheidole sp.

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Batspiderfish
Posts: 3345
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Feed your queens!!

Post: # 36737Post Batspiderfish
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:11 am

If you are going to feed your queens, I would do it on a tray of some sort. The residue left behind can be unsanitary.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

PwnerPie
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:59 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Feed your queens!!

Post: # 41210Post PwnerPie
Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:10 pm

Batspiderfish wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:11 am
If you are going to feed your queens, I would do it on a tray of some sort. The residue left behind can be unsanitary.
Definitely a thought, however with the small drops I put it the queen clean it up great. Any residue doesn't seem to mold as it is honey.

Update, all of the queens have tons of workers now. So far feeding fertile queens has 100% success rate! Caught 2 more, fed them, and they are laying tons of eggs. Again, this is with me bugging them almost daily (with light, not moving them). The one that wouldn't eat originally was infertle and I let her go.
Keeper of:
2x Formica Sp
2x Camponotus Sp

Founding:
3x Lasius Sp
2x Formica Sp
1x Myrmica Sp
1x Tetramorium Sp

GAN Farmer: 3 Colonies sold
Goal: Supply school science classes with colonies for learning.

Cjc109
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:03 pm
Location: Central Florida

Re: Feed your queens!!

Post: # 54080Post Cjc109
Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:04 pm

Thank you!!! This make me feel much better as my Queen loves honey and I was worried that I was harming her by giving it to her!

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idahoantgirl
Posts: 1515
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Feed your queens!!

Post: # 54081Post idahoantgirl
Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:42 pm

Newbies: Please Note

Most ant keepers (including myself) disagree with this method. Ant queens are designed to survive, and thrive without food during the founding stages. It's how their bodies naturally work. No stress is crucial to proper development. They simply aren't designed to not mind having their homes shaken constantly, the "roof" of their house lifted up, and giant globs of unnecessary food getting shoved into their living quarters. In most cases, development will slow, and chances of eating their eggs goes up. Food at this stage also presents multiple hazards. The most immediate negative effect is getting stuck or even drowning in globs of honey (note that is hard to drown an ant, but removing your queen from a sticky drop of honey is extremely dangerous, not to mention stressful for the queen. Also, feeding in the tube, no matter how big or small the colony, can cause mold outbreaks, causing you to have to move your queen to a new tube (if she wasn't killed by the mold, some molds are worse than others) Moving = more stress.

Try to remember, these ants are not like any other pet. Just because human and many animal babies and mothers need food to survive, doesn't mean that it is "better" for the ants to be fed during a time where they don't need food.

There are times that call for feeding a queen in the tube, mainly if a queen has had significant setbacks such as losing all her workers and left on her own again after becoming dependent on workers.

If there are nutritional benefits to feeding your queen, they are quickly outweighed by the reality of stress being a very common killer for our queens.
Proverbs 6:6-8

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeping Tetramorium immigrans, Tapinoma Sessile

JoeHostile1
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Feed your queens!!

Post: # 54104Post JoeHostile1
Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:27 am

I feed all my queens when I catch them. Both sugar water and insects. Then after a couple days I remove the food and then leave them alone until they have a worker born. I will feed the queens in the tube if I have to. Such as if the queen had larvae and then all the larvae disappeared. Or if she didn’t lay eggs for weeks then I will top her up with a sugar water cotton ball.

For instance I started a bunch of parasitic Lasius colonies. It took over a year for them to have workers born. I think it’s safe to say if I didn’t feed them regularly they would have starved.

Also it’s pretty obvious to tell if you’re stressing out your queen. Some queen and species get way more stressed and some don’t seem to care about anything.
First the test tubes should be covered so it’s dark. If you remove the covering and the queen starts freaking out then you are not helping her by giving her food. Next test is removing the cotton plug, usually this causes panic in the test tube. The third test is actually placing food in there. If your queen is ever put in a position where she is panicking inside the test tube and wants to escape than that is not good. And may seriously delay her egg laying because she doesn’t even want to start a nest in there because she thinks it’s not safe.

However if you have one of those queens that isn’t bothered by anything than there is little harm from feeding her except for mold growth that could occur.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

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

Hunter36o
Posts: 286
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:57 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Feed your queens!!

Post: # 54833Post Hunter36o
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:31 am

The only species I can think off that would let you get away with this is Lasius Nigers, only due to the fact these are hardy little folk.
However I also did not feed my queen's until their first worker arrives as previously suggested by a number of more experienced keepers including Mikey himself. All has worked out fine. I did not loose a queen until after her workers arrive. I'm lost as to what happened tho as they had little interaction with myself outside of feeding, yet it seemed something went wrong and they all literally gave up. Again tho that was after the workers arrived.

Now in terms of my other species. Even tho Myrmica are semi-clautral even normal feeding times can still be way to much on a single queen. For example one lived. The other Myrmica I believe was of a different species died. I put down to stress on my part as everything else seemed fine. That or nature's kill switch came I to play.

I have to agree with Idahogirl however. I took her advice from day one and I have not regretted it since (thank you btw for a massive input to my starting days btw Idaho) I honestly get where you are coming from but why mess with nature's design that has worked long before the human race existed?
Officially caring for 5 Lasius colonies :D :D :D

Founding stage:
1x Myrmica Rubra with one worker

3 Lasius Niger colonies will be on sale AFTER hibernation.

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