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Founding Incubator

incubator founding queen test tube heat

Founding Incubator

This is a founding chamber I set up about 1 week after I caught my first two queens, and the same day I caught my third queen. The brown cable is a 15 W heating cable that is attached to the floor of this cardboard box with twist ties. A layer of packing tape partially protects the cardboard from the heat of the cable. The two black sensors at the top of the image are temperature probes, also tied down with twist ties. There are small rocks placed between each test tube setup to prevent rolling when nearby tubes are removed. My entire house is air conditioned, but I have closed the air vents in this room. The box does not have a top, however, the lights stay off in this room and the blinds are closed on the two windows. Some sunlight does get through, and a bit of that indirect light makes its way over the top of the box and in to the queens. I actually like this small amount of light, because it allows me to view them (in dim light) without adding more light and disturbing the queens.

Pictured are the first three queens I ever caught. Two Solenopsis invicta queens, and a yet unidentified dealate, possibly Formica genus.