By joebrindle1
Ant Report
Myrmica Rubra

Day 1 - 4/4/17
The Ants arrived and were in good shape, we got back from school and were excited to see 2 small parcels. The first containing a small water feeder from (it only cost £1.50, what a deal!). The second delivery contained *Drumroll please * the ANTS. We had a quick look and the label said 50-60 ants, this was a (pleasant) surprise as the ants we ordered said 20+!!!!!!
We placed the ants inside the outworld (which is connected to the formicarium and stuff via tubing) in their test tube and gave them some chicken and some sugar water.

As soon as we put them in they were instantly very active and we had 5-6 run about the outworld, one even had a little peek at the formicarium.

Day 2 - 5/4/17
Joe wakes up in the middle of the night and is pleased to see the ants already making their way towards the formicarium and nesting in the first section of the tube!
By the end of the day, they had already made their way into the antkit cross road! How snazzy! Then we realised it wasn't so snazzy and shiz was going down, it turns out they had started to nest in the unused ends of the road de la cross, the question was, will they move!?!
Here you can see them nesting in the cross road, after that, I replaced those pieces of blue tack with cotton wool so there was less space to make it less appealing!

Day 3 - 6/4/17
The ants started moving out of the cross road and into only the tube connected to the nest, this seemed hopeful but I did notice that there were no ants venturing into the formicarium, where there had been a few the day before. Fed them some dried mealworms which were not a success, and some apple which wasn't either.

Day 4 - 7/4/17
I was cleaning out the chicken from earlier on and giving the whole set up a bit of a look over when I noticed something, something bad… I had flooded the nest! Clearly in my attempts to hydrate the nest I had over-hydrated it, no wonder the ants would not enter it!
In an attempt to get this to dry out I separated the nest (cross road and downwards) making sure all the ants were in this area and then placed it in the airing cupboard for about half an hour.

Day 5 - 8/4/17
The nest has dried out and I’ve placed a boiled fly in the outworld a well as a slice of apple, some workers were in the nest and some have brought a small amount of brood into the nest’s first chamber.
I went out and by the time I had got back the fly had disappeared, this makes sense as I’m sure there are at least 150 brood but I was shocked by the super speed.

Day 6 - 9/4/17
I hydrated the nest a bit again and gave them two more boiled flies along with some set honey, and some golden syrup and some apple (They really aren’t eating very much sweet stuff so I’m giving them more options). Unfortunately, they still haven’t moved into the formicarium, but all in due time eh?

Day 7 - 10/4/17
I checked today and the flies have gone, one of them is in the tube with the ants and the other one seems to have vanished, it seems they love protein! Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for sugary foods, which they have not touched… Still no luck with the move! Decided to do a head count and there are at least 90 ants in there!
What a great first week! I’ve made a video all about this week, check it out here:

Day 8 - 11/4/17
Fed them some more sugary foods and one more fly. Fly went down well, not the apple though.

Day 9 - 12/4/17
Fed these guys a mealworm with a crushed head, it was dying but not dead when the evening came and some workers finally ventured out of the tube, the mealworm put up a fight but it wasn’t good enough for these little guys with nasty stingers! They couldn't get into the skin in the mealworm though so I cut it in half for them. Lesson learnt.

Day 11 - 14/4/17
In an attempt to hydrate the nest again it seems I’ve flooded it (Yes.. Again), after some thought and help from some AntKeepers on facebook I’ve worked out the foam in my self built nest isn’t holding the water well at all!

Day 12 - 14/4/17
More mealworms, this time cut up so that the ants can eat it. I've given them some honey again and some sugar.

Day 13 - 15/4/17
I have ordered a new nest from which should last a while, but at the current growth rate of this colony, I will not be surprised if it is outgrown fast. The colony are doing extremely well with new eggs daily, the queen looks healthy and the workers are very busy tending the brood. The workers are mostly active in the evenings and morning. Interesting.. More mealworms again!

Day 14 - 16/4/17
Happy Easter! Although I’m loving the water feeder my colony is so big that they are finishing it too often, rather than buying some more I’ve filled a bit of tubing with water and bunged it up with cotton wool at either end, I’ve also done the same with some sugar water. And finally! A sugar they will eat!! Seen a lot more activity recently so I’m happy.

Thanks for reading our journal so far, please check back every few days for updates, and also check my YouTube channel for videos. ... lcXT8hSUWg

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