First eggs!

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Brillo690
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:48 pm

First eggs!

Post: # 59169Post Brillo690
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:54 pm

Hello!
My son found a queen carpenter ant in my home, and I decided to catch her. I randomly decided to keep her because she was so huge and interesting and started my research. I have been watching loads of AntsCanada videos to learn everything I need to know. I was concerned I would not be able to achieve a colony or even new workers, but I just checked my queen, and there appear to be two eggs in the test tube now! I feel like that's an incredibly low number simply based on what I've seen in videos and other research.

I'm worried that the extremely low number of eggs may be cause for concern. Also, I am unsure how often I should be feeding this queen if at all. I gave two times a drop of honey, and she sucked it all down. I later found out about keeping her in the dark and leaving her be. I did so, and now she has the eggs. Should I feed her now? Or leave her alone still?

Sorry for the crazy long email and all the questions, but I figured you guys would be the ones to come to for learning how to care for this fascinating creature successfully!

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AGENTSCEPTILE
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 2:25 pm
Location: MAINE
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Re: First eggs!

Post: # 59174Post AGENTSCEPTILE
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:22 pm

Well, to start off- I caught my first queen on the 27th of may this year and has just layed about 7 eggs, and she is doing fine. Her conditions are in a regular test tube, fresh non-tap water, under a dark cloth and on top of a heat mat, and on the 3rd of this month I checked on her and gave her a very small amount of crystalized honey, and she loves it. That's all she needs, and you don't want to check on her every day, that will stress her out and she will eat her own eggs if stressed too much. About once a week or once a fortnight i will check on her to make sure she is okay.

As of 5:12 6/5/2019, I just checked on her, she has gobbled all of her honey and she is protective of her eggs! I would only give her honey every now and then, so dont over feed her, as stated by Idahoantgirl---
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.
I hope this helps :D Happy Anting to you and your son! :mrgreen:

(P.S. Good luck with your queen, as you should know by now that only the fittest survive!)
Keeper of
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus
Camponotus Novaeboracensus
5 Annoying anklebiter chickens :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2IzQmOdK5n09xcAzyaIJWA
Happy Anting! :mrgreen:

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