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Ready for early hibernation?

camponotus modoc

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#1 Offline miked - Posted August 11 2017 - 12:23 PM

miked

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Hi everyone – Hoping to ask for some advice.  I have a colony of Camponotus modoc (very similar to C. pennsylvanicus).  In short, I am trying to understand if they are showing signs that they are ready for hibernation, even though it is only early August.
 
I bought them last fall as a founding colony, and did fridge hibernation from ~Dec 1 to April 1, i.e. 4 months total.  Since then, they have been quite active, and quickly grew from 5 workers to ~35, with even a couple of what appear to be majors (nice surprise).
 
However, in late July, they became noticeably less active.  They mainly sit still, in a close group.  Their gasters are quite full (see the photo), but show little interest in eating/drinking more.  There are many small eggs and 2 larvae, but they are growing far slower (if at all) than before.
 
These all seem like signs they are ready to hibernate.  I have no problem doing so, but:  Is it unusual for this to happen after only 4 months?
This seems shorter than what I have read about either C. modoc or C. pennsylvanicus.  But maybe this is completely normal - appreciate any thoughts or experience!
 
One note - I bought them from a GAN farmer who collected them at a higher elevation than I live.  That area likely has somewhat shorter summers than mine (but likely still longer than 4 months).
 
Many thanks!
 
Camponotus modoc 2017-08-10

 


Edited by miked, August 11 2017 - 12:25 PM.


#2 Online AntsMaryland - Posted August 11 2017 - 2:42 PM

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In that case, I believe that is 100% normal. If they are acting like they are ready to hibernate, by ALL means let them. Put them in an airconditioned room. Let them be. Maybe check on them to make sure they are hibernating the first couple weeks. Thank RELAX! Wohoo, vacation :D just kidding. But yeah let them hiibernate. I think that is normal. Good Luck. Best Regards!

 

-AntsMaryland



#3 Offline miked - Posted August 13 2017 - 10:17 PM

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Thanks very much, I think I'll go ahead and give it a shot.  Appreciate the advice!

 

I know a few folks here have noted that having at least some colonies on a different hibernation schedule has some great benefits too.  These guys will probably be coming out of hibernation ~mid-winter, which would be a nice way to add some interest during the "normal" hibernation period.







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