Last night I saw a worker from the new Lasius niger colony, emerge from the test tube and investigate the protein jelly I had placed in a small feeding dish, located right outside the test tube entrance. When I checked again about half hour later, there were two ants eating the jelly. This is great news as it means the ants have found their food source, and it is the first time I have seen members of this new colony leave the test tube. Of course, it may not have actually been the first time they had left; I don’t sit there and watch them 24/7, but it was still a significant event for this new colony, in my eyes.
This morning I replaced the jelly with a small piece of freshly killed cockroach, obtained from my cockroach breeding box, and moved the feeding dish about one half of an inch further away from the opening of the test tube, placing it towards the nail file that leads up to the nesting box. Each day I plan on moving this food dish nearer to the nail file, by about one half of an inch at a time. I am hoping this will get them comfortable enough to fully explore the foraging box, and that they will find the nesting box, and eventually move in.
The Lasius umbratus and Myrmica rubra colonies are doing well. I have fed them with some freshly killed cockroach too. On peeking into the three colonies’ foraging boxes just now, I see the rubra and umbratus are swarming over their cockroach. I can also see rubra workers taking chunks of cockroach meat into their nest, no doubt to feed the larvae with. There is a Lasius niger worker tentatively leaving the test tube. I also see 5 or 6 Lasius umbratus workers using their new drinking trough, which is quite exciting as it’s a slightly different method of water provision that I am using with them.
In a slightly different note, I would like to thank every single person who visits this website, and for the positive comments I have been receiving about the new look to the site on Twitter, via email or via the comments on this page. It really is encouraging for me, and I vary much appreciate that people take the time out of their day to send me these wonderful comments. Thank you.