Thank you for the reply Idaho. I definitely realize that it is not the accepted method, but i have just had amazing success with it so I wanted to share. I am sure there may be other factors here, but going off the thought that if the queen has less resources, she will be more stressed..this may be the right thing to do (for some species).idahoantgirl wrote: ↑Wed Nov 28, 2018 7:42 pmNewbies: 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.
The ants that get the most stressed from this are actually mymica, shockingly as they are semi claustrual. Normally i can get food into the other test tubes without the queens reacting until they smell the honey. I try to keep the test tube dark with a cover and am fairly good at not shaking it when feeding. Like i said in my original post, one of the queens started eating off the toothpick before i could even get the honey down!!! She was starving! She didnt give a crap that something was there - formica species did this.
This is obviously a very delicate process, and more research is needed. Again, this just goes off the thought that a fat and well fed queen will be less stressed than a queen with limited resources. Causing quicker laying and bigger nantics. I will do the same thing again this year and let you know how it goes.