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First Hibernation: info/feedback much appreciated


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Offline PaxxMantid - Posted November 7 2018 - 1:16 PM

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Hi all -

 

I am getting ready to hibernate my colonies, which consist of:

 

Lasius Niger with brood, in a test tube

Lasius Niger, with brood and about 10 workers in a test tube

Tetramoriam Caspicus, with brood and about 20 workers in a THA Mini Hearth

Camponotus pennsylvanicus. with brood and 4 workers in a THA Mini Hearth

 

The tetramorium colony started to slow down to the point where I thought they were ready for diapause, so I currently have them on the cold concrete floor in my garage at about 60 degrees. Everyone else is still at room temps.

 

I purchased a wine cooler which keeps a steady temp of 46 degrees F. I am using it for mantis feeders but have plenty of room to hibernate the colonies in there.

 

My questions are about how to care for them during diapause.

 

(1) Is it correct that they just need sugars during diapause, no proteins?

 

(2) With the mini hearth, I can fill the nestmate with water and a liquid feeder with sugar water up top. With this setup, would it be enough to check on them every 2 weeks and refill the nest mate and the liquid feeder?

 

(3) What about the test tubes? Whenever I put liquid food in the tubes, it's dried it within 72 hours, usually 48. How often do you pull the test tubes out and feed them? 

 

(4) Am I correct in assuming that the test tubes (20mm, newly filled with distilled water) will last until the spring?

 

(5) I am also going overseas for 3 weeks in December, and I have my whole insect room automated for phasmids and mantises - no issues with them. But I need to make a plan for the ants!

 

Ok, I know that's a lot of questions but any help much appreciated.

 

thanks!!


Edited by PaxxMantid, November 12 2018 - 2:53 PM.


#2 Offline PaxxMantid - Posted March 13 2019 - 10:02 AM

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And now I'm starting to think about taking them out of diapause. 

 

I have, in the wine cooler at 46 F:

 

Lasius Niger with brood, in a test tube

Lasius Niger, with brood and about 10 workers in a test tube

Tetramoriam Caspicus, with brood and about 20 workers in a THA Mini Hearth

Camponotus pennsylvanicus. with brood and 4 workers in a THA Mini Hearth

 

I've checked on them monthly and they have plenty of water and a tiny amount of food if they get hungry. Everything seems clean and healthy. 

 

They have been in the wine cooler since around Dec. 17th, so almost 3 months. i am seeing a lot of different info about how long to keep them in there. I am happy to leave them in to try and simulate the actual/local conditions (it's super cold here in colorado, still), but I can't wait to get them out and I've read that newer queens and young colonies don't need as much time.

 

Any guidelines here? Any advice?

 

thanks!



#3 Offline rbarreto - Posted March 13 2019 - 1:02 PM

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You can probably just take them out. Lasius, Tetramorium, and Camponotus pennsylvanicus are all pretty hardy species they will be fine.

My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

Lasius sp. (black workers)

Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

Prenolepis imparis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#4 Offline PaxxMantid - Posted March 14 2019 - 8:23 AM

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Do I just take them out? I had planned to slowly raise the temperature over a period of 3 or 4 days, just to ease the transition. Is it worthwhile?



#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 14 2019 - 10:53 AM

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I would let them ease into things at room temperature before adding any additional heat. It is kind of a pain in the a** trying to heat them when it's still cold out, so maybe that's a factor to weigh in terms of when you take them out. That'll depend on how warm your house is indoors. I, for one, wish I had waited longer to let my house warm up before pulling out my ants because I ran into issues with using heat cables. In the future, I'll be keeping my ants in the mini-fridge all winter long.


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#6 Offline Carpenter - Posted March 16 2019 - 6:37 PM

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Camponotus can come right out, they will still take a few days to a week to fully wake up. Once they are fully active you can start applying heat up to 27C 






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