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  • Hi, my name is Jordan and this video I will be sharing with you some of my tips on how to successfully raise up a queen ant.

  • With the end goal of establishing an ant colony by bringing rise to the queen’s first generation of worker ants.

  • So the first, obvious thing you'll need is a queen ant.

  • The queen is vital for the growth of the colony. Without her,

  • no eggs will be laid and therefore, no new generations of ants will emerge.

  • If you haven’t yet obtained a queen ant. In my previous tutorial, I covered how to

  • catch one, so go back and watch that video if you need some tips on finding queens.

  • Once you've got hold of a queen, you'll need to create a home for her.

  • In the wild, most queens will construct a small chamber for themselves underground

  • or within a fallen tree.

  • The chamber they form will be the space in which they will lay their eggs

  • and spend the next few weeks and months tending to them. Until, eventually, they

  • eclose into worker ants.

  • This period is known as the founding stage of an ant colonies development.

  • When creating an artificial home for a queen

  • it's best to try and emulate these natural conditions.

  • I find great success raising queens within a small test tube.

  • In this setup, the queen is confined to this small space here, towards the top of the tube,

  • with the remainder of the tube being used as a water reservoir.

  • She’s able to drink from there and it also creates some humidity within the setup.

  • From above, you can see the resemblance to the wild queen’s chamber.

  • So in order to set this up, first fill up a test tube with fresh water, so it’s about ¾ of the way full.

  • Then you want to block of the water with a cotton ball. Here I'm using a

  • cotton bud to push the cotton ball through the tube, that way if you push the cotton in a bit too far,

  • you can absorb up any excess water that leaks through.

  • Now the tube is ready for the queen. So gently get her into the tube.

  • Once she’s in there just seal the end of the tube off with another cotton ball.

  • You want the seal to be tight enough to prevent the queen from being able to squeeze through,

  • but not so tight as to prevent a little air flow.

  • If youre really having to force it into the tube,

  • it’s probably too tight a fit. Perhaps tear the cotton in two and use one of the halves as the seal instead.

  • And that’s essentially the setup. Very simple and effective.

  • You can even put a bit of sand or soil in there too, then the queen can dig

  • and rearrange the space more to her liking,

  • as she would in the wild. Just make sure you sterilize the sand or soil first.

  • You can do this by either baking or boiling it. Now if you don’t have any test tubes or the equivalent of one,

  • I really recommend buying some. Theyre usually pretty cheap,

  • I went on Amazon a few years ago and bought 100 tubes for fifteen dollars or so.

  • Otherwise you can just use a small container with a couple of moistened cotton balls placed inside for hydration and humidity.

  • Just make sure the container isn’t air tight. What you can do is bore a small

  • hole or two in it and then stuff the holes with a cotton

  • ball to allow for a bit of air flow, while containing the Queen as well.

  • This is a perfectly suitable setup. The downside is youll have to continually

  • make sure the cotton remains moist, as the queen must have constant access to

  • water. So it requires more work on your part and the regular checking up on

  • the queen could potentially stress her out, so a test tube setup is preferable.

  • Regardless of what setup you choose to go with, remember that this is going to

  • be the queens home for some time.

  • So when preparing it, make sure all your equipment is sterile and your hands have

  • been thoroughly cleaned beforehand with hot soapy water.

  • This will help reduce the chance of harmful mold and bacteria taking over

  • your setup, and threatening the health of your queen.

  • Something youll need to determine is whether the queen you have is semi or

  • fully claustral.

  • Typically, you can differentiate the two by the size of their bodies. Fully

  • claustral queens tend to have a larger thorax and gaster section, but smaller

  • head when compared to semi claustral queens.

  • If you have identified the species of queen you have, a quick bit of research on

  • that species will usually reveal whether theyre semi of fully claustral or not.

  • Fully claustral species are able to sustain themselves on water alone until their

  • workers emerge. Achieving this long period of fasting by utilizing fat

  • reserves and metabolizing their now useless wing muscles. So feeding these

  • queens is unnecessary.

  • However, I find providing them with a source of sugary food early on to

  • be quite beneficial for their development.

  • After I’ve housed my queens, I'll offer them a tiny drop of honey. I only put the

  • slightest amount into the setup. Any food left lying around will

  • promote mold growth.

  • So if you do happen to place in more food than the queen is able to consume, make

  • sure you clean it out as soon as possible.

  • Semi-claustral species, Queens of the Genus Myrmecia, Rhytidoponera and Odontomachus

  • for example, lack the ability to fast during the founding process and must

  • leave their egg laying chambers to hunt for food, in order to nourish both

  • themselves and their growing larvae. So, unlike fully claustral species,

  • you will need to feed them and provide a space in which they can forage for this food.

  • What you can do is place the test tube or container you've set them up

  • in and put it inside a container like so. This space will be used as their foraging area.

  • This outer container can be any size you wish

  • and some protein and sugary rich foods should be provided for the queen within.

  • Just make sure the container is escape proof and isn't air tight.

  • Some species of ants are polygynous, meaning they often found their colonies with

  • multiple queens present. These include some species within the genera Pheidole,

  • Solonopsis and Monomorium.

  • I would advise against attempting to house two or more queens together,

  • however, even species known to be polygamous can often turn against one another.

  • Resulting in one or even all the queens dying.

  • It may be tempting to put a bunch of queens together and create a super colony,

  • but it's safest to just keep the queens on their own.

  • Once you've got your queen appropriately housed, you'll want to cover the setup from

  • any light and place it somewhere

  • free from any vibrations you'll also free from any vibrations. You'll also want to pick a place in which stays at a

  • consistent temperature. So avoid placing the setup within an air conditioned

  • room, as rapid changes in temperature can be harmful to the queen. Pick a place

  • where the temperature doesn't fluctuate too much and where it will stay

  • relatively warm, ideally at 20 degrees Celsius or above.

  • It's important to keep the queen relaxed and comfortable within her environment.

  • A queen that’s disturbed too often, may become stressed and discontinue laying

  • eggs and even consume eggs that she’s laid.

  • So avoid troubling her as much as possible.

  • I like to put my queens in a box somewhere quiet and only check up on

  • them once every few weeks or so.

  • Once the queen has settled into her home, she should begin to lay her first batch of eggs.

  • Sometimes theyll begin laying almost immediately, but usually it takes about a week or two.

  • If it’s been over a month and the queen still hasn’t laid any eggs,

  • it could mean a few things. Your queen could potentially be infertile, be

  • stressed and uncomfortable with their living space, or, if you live in a

  • temperate region, might be waiting for warmer weather before getting her colony underway.

  • Sometimes, mold can inevitability start to form within your setup and you may need

  • to move the queen elsewhere in order to keep her healthy.

  • Here's a test tube setup which isn't looking too great.

  • What I do in this situation is prepare a fresh test tube and just tape it to the end of

  • the old one. Notice I don't tape it all the way around, so as to leave a little gap for air to get in.

  • Next what you want to do is expose the old tube to light, while covering up the fresh tube.

  • The queen will be distressed by the light and will look to relocate to darkened tube.

  • I like to use natural, indirect light to influence the move, but you can

  • use artificial lighting too, just make sure the tube isn't positioned too

  • close to the light source, as the radiating heat could potentially cause the tube to flood.

  • The moving process may start straight away or can take several days and even

  • weeks if the queen is really stubborn.

  • It's important to remain patient though and let the queen move in her own time.

  • Once she has relocated, just make sure she has transported all of her brood over

  • before detaching the old tube.

  • Occasionally, despite all your efforts in accommodating for your queen, she can

  • uneunexpectedly die, without any real explanation as to why.

  • Try not to be discouraged by this and just focus on others you may have

  • caught or catching another queen. Ant keeping often requires patience.

  • It can sometimes take a long time for the first generation of workers to arrive.

  • If youre not the patient type, however, you can speed up this process by heating your colonies.

  • Here I’ve got heating mat setup.

  • I’ve positioned the test tube so the entrance is just touching the edge of the heat source.

  • This establishes a temperature gradient within the tube and allows the queen to

  • position herself and her brood at their most preferable level of heat.

  • You can judge if the queen is either accepting of the heat or not,

  • by where she has positioned herself within the tube.

  • If she is right up against the entrance of the tube, then she is quite happy with the heat

  • and you can then shift the tube further towards the heat source.

  • If she has positioned herself well away from the heat source, then youll want

  • to shift the tube further away from the heat.

  • It’s better if the queen is below her ideal temperature than over.

  • So start with the setup fairly far away from the heat source and only gradually move

  • it closer, carefully observing the queens positioning as you go.

  • If your heating a container style setup, just be wary the moisture within

  • the cotton balls will evaporate even faster in the presence of the heat, and so,

  • youll need to add in water more frequently.

  • If everything goes well, between 1-3 months later, depending on

  • temperature conditions, the first generation of workers will finally emerge.

  • For me, this is the most exciting time as an ant keeper.

  • After watching the queen’s progress, from laying and tending to her eggs,

  • feeding the larvae and then waiting patiently for them to eclose,

  • it’s just so satisfying seeing all the queen’s hard work finally pay off. And then

  • seeing the queen get a much needed break, as the newly emerged workers begin

  • taking over her previous duties. Leaving her to just relax and lay more eggs for the next generation.

  • So that’s it for this video, I hope you found it somewhat helpful.

  • My next video will be on what to do after the first generation of workers have arrived.

  • Covering what to feed the colony and effective ways in which to house them.

  • So look forward to that and thanks for watching.

Hi, my name is Jordan and this video I will be sharing with you some of my tips on how to successfully raise up a queen ant.

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女王アリを育てる方法 (How To Raise A Queen Ant)

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    April Lu に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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