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Do my ants need more space?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:27 pm
by Pandinus
Hello everyone,

I caught 6 ant queens this summer, 5 of them laid eggs and started their colony. It is amazing to watch the colony grow bigger and become more active.

I 3D printed some small, 60mm*60mm*30mm, chambers to connect the test tubes to and feed them. The curious thing is they drop the waste from their insect meals mostly straight way into the honey drop. I wonder why they do this? Are they aware honey has an antibacterial impact so they dump the waste in there to avoid contamination or do they need more room?

Another thing is, I am from Germany and the ants will take their time out to take their winter dormancy. The cotton in almsot all my test tubes has been started to mould. Should I change the cotton and test tube before winter dormancy.

Re: Do my ants need more space?

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:05 am
by AntsArizona
I believe what the ants are doing by putting waste on the honey is due to natural instincts to hide their findings. When Ants find food, they either try to bring it back to their nest or cover it up to hide it with debris. My ants do this with grains of sand from their setup.

As far as space, they will look for additional chambers/space when it gets crowded. I have my ants in a test tube with a divider pushed inside to make a small room. When it fills up, I add another test tube with another chamber and they eventually start using both locations for their brood when they grow. I don't know how your setup looks, but you can always just attach another test tube setup and keep it dark. You'll eventually see them either move, or use both spaces. Hope this helps.