Active Ants Foraging- Colonies Update – 23 April 2020

The past few weeks have presented us here with glorious weather – typical that it occurs during the current lockdown.  However, it has not stopped me from relaxing in my garden, and neither has it stopped my active ants foraging as they emerge from their winter hibernation.  In fact, the beautiful weather has encouraged my ants to increase their activities.  They truly are awake from their winter long slumbers. The ants in my neighbours garden are also active – and visiting my garden.

Lasius niger

These ants have, hitherto, been rather inactive.  When they have foraged it’s been with a slow, laborious attitude.  But now, they are running about just like ants are supposed to be.  Still foraging in small numbers (but then again, their colony population is about 21 ants, including the queen), they are more active in their foraging and eating. 

The queen’s abdomen just starting to expand, showing the pale elastic-like membrane between the abdominal plates.  Food? Eggs? Both?  Whichever it is, it’s great to see her looking so healthy. 

They still have not found their new nesting box yet, yet with the increased activity, and, hopefully, soon to be increased population size, they will forage more and find it.  

Several ants are feeding from some protein jelly.

Myrmica rubra

Much more activity over the past week.  There are about half a dozen ants actively foraging all over the foraging tank, and about 20 are feeding on some protein jelly.  I haven’t seen the queen today, but I did see her the other day, and she looked well.  I hope to see piles of brood in this nest soon.

I had to reapply the repellant barrier on all ant tanks last week, as I discovered a very beaten up Myrmica rubra worker in the Lasius niger foraging tank.

Lasius umbratus

Very active, though they have been the more active of my three colonies over the winter.  I can’t see the queen, but I can see freshly laid eggs in the nest.  Will they finally move into their new home?  Let’s hope so.

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