First Workers and Feeding?

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

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PAants
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First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62391Post PAants
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:17 pm

So, I have two Camponatus novaeboracensis queens and they're doing well so far. Their first generation of workers are mostly in the pupa stage right now. But, I noticed this past Sunday (today being Monday here) that at least one worker had emerged in each tube. Thus far, no others have emerged from the pupae, and I don't know how long ago the current workers appeared, since I only check on them once a week or so. I have two questions, really. One, is it common for ants to emerge from their cocoons really spread apart, even when they're laid as eggs at the same time, and two, should I provide food for them soon, even if the rest of the brood remain as pupae for the time being?

CANant
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Re: First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62429Post CANant
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:23 pm

I have read to offer food once you have Nanitics (first workers).
I’m not sure if the queen or workers move the ready to enclose cocoons away from the brood cluster. I have been leaving them alone and every now and then I see another worker. Sorry. I not much help with that.
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PAants
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Re: First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62435Post PAants
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:50 am

Well, I went ahead and fed them. I attached two AC test tube portals, one to each of the tubes, with the other entrances plugged, and put a little drop of honey near the exit of their tubes. I was hoping to see them venture out to check out the honey, but they didn't emerge while I was watching. I assume they were waiting for it to get dark again, so I left them alone. Hopefully all goes well.

CANant
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Re: First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62593Post CANant
Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:32 am

I have 5 nanitics now. I have noticed they don’t seem interested in the sugar water/liquids but they are loving the protein and drinking water. I have heard of people feeding a little drop to give their queen an energy boost but at the beginning stage the larvae need protein not sugar. The queen definitely needs water and protein will help her develop more brood. Sugar gives them energy. She’s not moving much so I don’t imagine she would need much energy unless she’s semi-claustral however novaeboracensis are fully claustral. I offered my queen a fruit fly before she had nanitics and she just ignored it. Still use your own judgment. I’m just offering my opinion and personal experience with Camponotus.
Keeper of: Camponotus Pennsylvanicus x 3
2 at founding stage, the 3rd has 60+ workers

Check out their progress: https://imgur.com/user/CANant

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CabboAntsGuy
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Re: First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62596Post CabboAntsGuy
Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:30 pm

Yeah, sugar is energy for the workers and queen. What they need now is a cricket leg or some source of protein. More honey will only help the workers and queen, and right now they are worrying about the other brood, larvi, and eggs. If you give them a protein source, then they might eat the honey.

Here is a video that might help. :D
[youtube]https://youtu.be/UUCoajYwo8s[/youtube]

Good luck!
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PAants
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Re: First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62781Post PAants
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:59 pm

Update:
So, both colonies have four or five workers now. As far as I can tell, they ate the honey I provided, so I waited several days, then offered them both a cricket leg (canned crickets from a pet store), dipped in a small amount of honey again. I'm not entirely sure what to do now, though. I'll explain:
Colony 1 checked out the leg right away, though they didn't seem as intrigued as Colony 2. I checked back a few hours later and it looked like the leg had been moved slightly, but that's it. I left them alone again overnight and through the day today, then checked again after work. The leg was still where it was last night and they seemed to be ignoring it. I decided to remove it, and it looked like it hadn't been touched. I think they ate the honey, but that's it. I'm not sure if they just filled up on that, or if they didn't like the taste of cricket at all. Should I offer them something else instead? I have various fruits, fish food, and I've noticed ants outside go nuts for the dry food I give my dog. I'm hesitant to bother them again so soon, though.

Colony 2 took to their leg right away. When I checked back that night, I found they had dragged it back into the tube, out of sight (I left the test tubes covered by some tissue to make the queens more comfortable). Tonight, I lifted the tissue and saw that they had dragged the leg all the way up to the cotton holding back their water supply, but there wasn't enough light for me to see if they'd eaten any of it yet. I'm mildly concerned if they don't eat it soon, it will mold, but I can't think why they'd take it back to the nest if they didn't plan to eat it. I did start to wonder if they couldn't cut into the "meaty" part and if I should have sliced the legs open with a knife first. Does this behavior seem like normal feeding?

Hawkeye
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Re: First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62790Post Hawkeye
Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:43 am

First of all, I recommend you check up on your ants a lot less. Sounds like you checked at least 3 times in one day? You can easily leave the food in there for 3 days without it growing any dangerous molds.
Dragging the leg into the nest is not uncommon, they might actually want the queen to help them with her far more powerful jaws.

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CabboAntsGuy
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Re: First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62794Post CabboAntsGuy
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:17 am

Yeah. They might not be able to chew through the hard exoskeleton of the leg. if you gave them the rest of the cricket(the body) they might go for that a little better. As for checking up on them, you probably should do it less.
Keep:
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CANant
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Re: First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62798Post CANant
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:32 am

I agree with Cabbo and Hawkeye.
Mine seem to be eating the guts (abdomen) and discarding the rest.
Keeper of: Camponotus Pennsylvanicus x 3
2 at founding stage, the 3rd has 60+ workers

Check out their progress: https://imgur.com/user/CANant

Follow my journal:
https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?t=15741

🐜❤️

PAants
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:46 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: First Workers and Feeding?

Post: # 62801Post PAants
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:09 pm

Hawkeye wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:43 am
First of all, I recommend you check up on your ants a lot less. Sounds like you checked at least 3 times in one day? You can easily leave the food in there for 3 days without it growing any dangerous molds.
Dragging the leg into the nest is not uncommon, they might actually want the queen to help them with her far more powerful jaws.
Twice in one day (which I had never done before, and the first of those was just to provide the food), and once the following day.
So, do you guys think I should give the first colony something else to eat, or leave them alone for a few days?

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