2020 Hibernation – Colonies Update 24 Dec 20

Hello – yes I am still alive! My apologies for the lack of colony updates over the past few months. Life as been pretty hectic lately, as I am sure it has been for you too. I do hope that you and your families are bearing up, and that you all have a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Let’s hope that 2021 will be a happier year for the country as a whole.

There is not a great deal to say about my ants if I am honest, though again being honest, I have not had much time to devote to them, other than feeding them and cleaning their water supply. However, despite that here is a few little notes about each colony.

Lasius niger

Being a fairly new and young colony, the numbers in their population is not large enough to have provided me with much to say. A few foragers have been out, and not much in the way of nest expansion has been taking place. Now, with the colder weather here, their activity is zero. I have not seen any individual ants for a number of weeks now. I probably won’t see much until the Spring now.

Lasius umbratus

As with the Lasius niger, there is not much activity taking place in this colony now that winter is here. I can see the ants huddled around their queen in a large chamber in the centre of their nest. Population numbers continue to dwindle, and I would say there is probably no more than 100 workers now. I can see no brood being wintered.

Myrmica rubra

My most active colony as of now. Despite the niger and umbratus going into hibernation, these ants remain fairly active, with some brood still present in the nest. In all the years I have kept ants, I have often found Myrmica to be the most active in the winter months. I did see some males and at least one winged queen this summer, but as is usual they were eventually killed off by the workers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.