Happy New Year 2020 to all my readers/visitors/supporters. Thank you so much for your continued support on my website.
My ants have celebrated the New Year – by staying in their hibernation beds, except, that is, for the Lasius umbratus. They have remained fairly active so far this winter, though in greatly decreased numbers. The Lasius niger and Myrmica rubra have rarely been out of their nests over the past month or so, though I did see one L. niger worker put foraging yesterday, and 4 Myrmica rubra workers eating some protein jelly.
Ant Room temperature: 8*C / Outside temperature: 6*C
The queen and her 18 workers look healthy enough, and they still have their wintered brood, consisting of larvae that have paused their development during these colder months. They remain in their glass test tube. Though I do wish they would discover and move into the nesting box I have given them, there is an advantage to them staying in their test tube: I can clearly see in and monitor the progress of the young colony. Being able to see easily into a colony when keeping ants in winter is a bonus.
Slow progress still continues with the new nest, though no sign of them moving in yet. Their old (current) nesting box is looking really tatty inside but they appear content to remain there at this present time. There are probably only about 100 workers present in this nest now. However, there is still a fair number of larvae within the brood chambers. I cannot see the queen. Perhaps she is hidden away. Very little movement occurring within the nest when I peeked in a moment ago.
Very little in the way of activity in the rubra nest today, even when I removed the covering to look inside. Most of the ants are in the lower chamber where they are huddled together. Keeping ants in winter can be … quiet!
My plans for 2020 are to NOT get any new ant colonies (yeah, let’s see how long that idea lasts!). I will probably buy another ant farm set up or two from AntsUK. I intend to conduct an over-feeding challenge on my young Lasius niger and Myrmica rubra colonies, to see if I can get their numbers boosted a lot by the end of the year. I want to see how prolific at egg laying the respective queens can be.
Again, thank you to everybody who supports my website, whether you’re an occasional visitor, or a regular one, and whether you contribute to these blog entries or prefer just to read and remain in the background. I really do appreciate every one of you.
Finally, just in case you do happen to be reading this, Dermy: Happy New Year 2020. I hope 2020 will be the best year of your life so far.