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Hello from Western Michigan


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#1 Offline Rick54 - Posted May 19 2017 - 7:38 AM

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Hello, I'm a 63 yr. old grandpa living in Rockford MI, who has a 3 yr. old grandson that is very taken with the sidewalk crack ants. So I thought I'd look into an ant farm like the ones I seen as a kid. For $16 on Amazon. I thought starting something would gives us hours of watching together.

 

I ran across the Tar Heel Ants site and must say, I didn't realize that raising an ant colony could be so expensive!

 

So what do I know about ants, basically there are the little sweet ants that seem to invade the counter tops in the kitchen every summer during canning season. Then there are the sidewalk crack ants, the big black ants in the wood pile, and the large red ant hills found in the meadows (those mean biting buggers!). That's it. I've raised honey bees for many years and see that the life cycle of these two insects have much in common.

 

So, what is it I'm looking to do. Well I'd like to start two colonies, one of black ants, and one of red for the grandson and I to watch. I'm overwhelmed at the moment on what equipment is needed. It seems it's all based on the type of ant one wants to raise. Then there is the inception chambers, founding chambers, and their different sizes.

 

And of course the ants themselves! I'd like to get a couple different ants that have different observable traits that distinguish them from one another and from just being ants of different color. I see many of you folks have different strains of ants, but I always see this warning that one can only have ants native to where they live, on pain of imprisonment and/or death! LOL So how does one go about getting their ants? I don't want to drive no 500 miles just to get a test tube with a dozen ants in it! I'm still searching for the Ants for Dummies video on YouTube that shows how one should start out. You have this type of ant, you need this size equipment to start and as the colony grows, you move up to this equipment. What about the inception and founding chambers I mentioned above, when do those come into play and what size? Pretty much overwhelmed at the moment!

 

Thank you in advance for listening and any advice you can offer.


Edited by Rick54, May 19 2017 - 7:41 AM.

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#2 Offline Alabama Anter - Posted May 19 2017 - 7:48 AM

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Welcome from the deep South!


Keeper of...

(2) Parakeets
(2) Peppered Corydoras
(4) Neon Tetras
(1) Hermit Crab
(100-300) Mealworms
(1) Tetramorium sp. E
(1) Dormymyrmex bicolor
(1) Dormymyrmex insanus
(1) Solenopsis invicta
(1) Formica fusca
(1) Lasius neoniger
(1) Crematogaster cerasi
(1) Myrmecosystus testacus

#3 Offline T.C. - Posted May 19 2017 - 7:53 AM

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Welcome to the forum. You can either look for a queen. Or Michigan has alot of GAN farmers. You could get a colony from one of them on there. :)
List Of Handy Links / By Crystal's ( http://www.formicult...of-handy-links/ )

Ant Keeping Guide for Beginners ( http://www.formicult...-for-beginners/ )

#4 Online Martialis - Posted May 19 2017 - 8:30 AM

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Welcome! There are two ant companies actually based in Michigan that you can get a formicarium (ant farm) from for cheaper. The owners of both are actually members of this forum. I'll attach the links to their websites on this post.

 

http://anttopia.com

 

http://117colonies.com

 

Pheidole (big headed ants) and Camponotus (carpenter ants) sound like a good choice for you. Both are easily distinguishable and have workers of multiple different sizes.


Edited by Martialis, May 19 2017 - 8:33 AM.

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#5 Offline Loops117 - Posted May 19 2017 - 8:53 AM

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Hello rick. i believe you emailed me about some ants i had on my site.

 

Welcome to the forums! Here we share all kinds of great information to keep you on track.

Also, great way to get your grandkids into nature. I'd be happy to help you out with anything you need.

 

We also have a facebook group for michigan ant keeping. You can find the URL/Link in my signature.


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117 Colonies & Ant Farms
an Artisan Ant keeping company aimed to provide Formicaria and Insect Habitats
Now selling byformica products!
Michigan Ant Keeping - A Home for Michigan Ant Keepers.
 
......nobody likes a statist.


#6 Offline Loops117 - Posted May 19 2017 - 8:54 AM

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Pheidole (big headed ants) and Camponotus (carpenter ants) sound like a good choice for you. Both are easily distinguishable and have workers of multiple different sizes.

 

I do have Camponotus pennsylvanicus available. Idk how many Crematogaster colonies i have available after this weekend though. I know we talked about that over emails.


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icon3.png

117 Colonies & Ant Farms
an Artisan Ant keeping company aimed to provide Formicaria and Insect Habitats
Now selling byformica products!
Michigan Ant Keeping - A Home for Michigan Ant Keepers.
 
......nobody likes a statist.


#7 Offline Rick54 - Posted May 20 2017 - 1:59 PM

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Thank you everyone for the warm welcome! And yes, Loops 117 we did talk via email. I'll be in touch with you when I think I have enough gear ready to accept some ants. 



#8 Offline Kevin - Posted May 20 2017 - 2:21 PM

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Ant-keeping is free. Every formicarium site or supply site you see is considered ant-keeping luxuries, as ant keeping can be as simple as catching a queen in the pool and putting it in a cup of dirt. Of course, this is not always the ideal solution for some people.

 

I recommend you check out dspdrew's formicaria threads, the links are in his signature on the forum. Some great tutorials are on this site for formicaria building. If you are looking to buy a formicaria, my top two choices would be 117colonies and byFormica (whenever they release a formicaria), and of course myself once I launch my site.


Still developing formicaria, we shall see what I create.





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