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By Dan
#9160
The name Nigella was chosen by Mum for a small Lasius niger colony received from AntKit in perfect condition on the 5th of January.

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You can see the difference to Messor barbarus here:
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They were given a small drop of sugar water and placed in the Cold Cupboard with the Ladies in Lemon and Barbara.
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By Dan
#9692
Nigella and her workers were taken out of the Cold Cupboard and given a drop of sugar water on the 8th of February. Temperatures in the Cold Cupboard ranged from 4.4 and 15.6, and the humidity was 60-80%, according to my thermohygrometer.

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17th of February
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User avatar
By Dan
#10150
22nd of February
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I've been getting worried recently about the temperatures in my room, as they've been ranging from 14 to 18C (pretty hot for NI February, but not for ants). These temperatures would account for the limited movement, brood development and food consumption. Basically, they're still in a state of hibernation. Just as clicked to order a heat mat from AntKit, however, it went out of stock. I moved the thermometer about the house about to find the warmest spot, and ended up wrapping the three test tubes (Lasius niger, Lasius flavus, Messor barbarus) in a cloth, placing them in a tub and setting them at the base of the condensing clothes dryer in the kitchen. The temperature quickly rose to a more appropriate level.

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I shall be keeping them in the warmest spots possible from now on until a heat mat comes back in stock.
User avatar
By Dan
#10277
(posted on my Lasius flavus, Lasius niger and Messor barbarus journals)

So...I've just had my first death...or should I say ten deaths - including my only four queens. I'm afraid I can't say it was some unusual mould or a careless young relative, it was entirely my own fault. I'll try and go through it quite quickly so I can better understand myself what I did wrong, I don't get too guilty, and hopefully other newbies can learn from my stupidity.

They had been sitting wrapped up in a cloth, in a tub, beside the radiator, in the living room, and the thermometer sitting on top of the cloth was usually about 22C. I received a heat mat today and frankly didn't have a clue what to do with it except to move ants onto it out of the living room before Mum finally realised what was in the tub. I took the cloth out of the tub, set it on the heat mat (unsure if this was safe, even unsure if it was the right way up or if that mattered), and set the thermometer on top of the folded cloth again. The heat mat was on half power or so, I think. After a while, the temperature was 25, so I went off to watch Game of Thrones. Returned several minutes ago to check on them and...they were mainly upside down with their legs in the air. I have taken the tubes off the mat and unplugged it, and they're sitting in the tub with the cotton unplugged in hopes that one queen may not be completely dead, but it's a vain hope. The four niger workers had attached themselves to the cotton plug, so one or two workers seem to be okay, but they'll live pretty bad lives if the queen doesn't recuperate.

I feel an incredible fool, it just didn't occur to me that the test tubes would be any hotter than the thermometer. I will not be trying any new colonies for a while, until the guilt seeps out - maybe, hopefully, Easter.

So - when introducing anything new to your ants, do it gradually, observe their reactions, and check what those might mean (for example, sticking themselves to the cotton plug).

:cry:
User avatar
By Dan
#10303
(posted on my Lasius flavus, Lasius niger and Messor barbarus journals)

I have come to a conclusion on their deaths. When I moved them from beside the radiator to directly on the heat mat, although the temperature was the same, it was now affecting the test tube itself - the glass got too hot. That is also why 2 of Nigella's workers survived on the cotton.
User avatar
By Dan
#10307
Just realised that I don't know what to do with the queen, her two dead workers, and the brood. There are larvae and eggs, which the two surviving workers have gathered up and are caring for, so should I remove the dead ants and allow the workers to raise the brood, then let them all die? Or should I humanely kill the workers and brood?
User avatar
By formica123
#10328
Dan wrote:Just realised that I don't know what to do with the queen, her two dead workers, and the brood. There are larvae and eggs, which the two surviving workers have gathered up and are caring for, so should I remove the dead ants and allow the workers to raise the brood, then let them all die? Or should I humanely kill the workers and brood?

Just leave them until they've all died - treat them as normal
User avatar
By Dan
#10329
formica123 wrote:
Dan wrote:Just realised that I don't know what to do with the queen, her two dead workers, and the brood. There are larvae and eggs, which the two surviving workers have gathered up and are caring for, so should I remove the dead ants and allow the workers to raise the brood, then let them all die? Or should I humanely kill the workers and brood?

Just leave them until they've all died - treat them as normal

Okay. Do you think the brood would even have survived?
User avatar
By formica123
#10330
Dan wrote:
formica123 wrote:
Dan wrote:Just realised that I don't know what to do with the queen, her two dead workers, and the brood. There are larvae and eggs, which the two surviving workers have gathered up and are caring for, so should I remove the dead ants and allow the workers to raise the brood, then let them all die? Or should I humanely kill the workers and brood?

Just leave them until they've all died - treat them as normal

Okay. Do you think the brood would even have survived?

Maybe, but unlikely
User avatar
By Dan
#10615
One last photo (28/2):

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Also, a neat way to feed in the test tube: a small strip of wax paper with sugar water or similar wiped on. It spreads out the liquid to make it easier to feed on.

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End of Topic

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