Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ants and flies...

In July 2012 we caught some queen ants. After a long cold winter spent in the refrigerator (winter 2012-2013) we placed them in a new nest and they started to increase in number. Currently there are approximately 200 individuals and a huge brood pile.
Colony within test tube

Being in Sweden there is a problem with finding nice ant food throughout the year. A solution is, however, to grow your own food. I chose to try my hand at Drosophila. They are very very easy to get, feed and breed. I keep them in a plastic cup with a bit of potato and vinegar, yeast  and sugar (my special recipe is available on request). Here their population climbs to more than 500 in a few weeks (way more prolific than the ants). I make a new medium once every 2 months and transplant a few flies (I create a population bottleneck without shame). The rest of the flies are frozen served to the colonies. The Lasius ants love these frozen treats.  
Meat for my ants
The most active colony is still in the original test tube within their nest (here are pictures of all the nest I have) but they are building structures within the main nesting area. I expect they will move soon...


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