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Splitting colonies during hibernation.

hibernation

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Lazarus - Posted September 9 2018 - 5:25 AM

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Will it be OK if I split a colony up during hibernation?

 

I have a setup where more than half a colony has moved into a formicarium but the queen and a fair number of workers don't want to move out of the test tube setup that is sitting in a small case.

 

Will it be OK if when the time comes to hibernate I just separate the two and then hook them back up together in the spring?

 


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Dario

(5) Camponotus Novaeboracencis {4 Year 2, 1 foundling}

(5) Formica spp {Foundling}

My online ant spreadsheet


#2 Offline CampoKing - Posted September 9 2018 - 2:39 PM

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I'm one to treat hibernation as a sacred delicate process where the goal is not rock the boat.
I'm hoping your queen will join your other workers before hibernation, because it's my understanding that the workers form a mass around the queen and brood to keep her warm-ish during the hibernation. I'd hate to see her separated on her own with limited support.
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#3 Offline Lazarus - Posted September 10 2018 - 9:00 AM

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I'm hoping your queen will join your other workers before hibernation, because it's my understanding that the workers form a mass around the queen and brood to keep her warm-ish during the hibernation. I'd hate to see her separated on her own with limited support.

 

If they do regroup I'll be OK but I'm not sure they will. I've got two Camponotus colonies in this situation and they are 130-150 workers each and I'm wondering if when that big they know that the queen has enough 'protection' so that there is no need for all to get back together. So what are my options if they stay apart? Will physically separating the colony hurt? Will they even realize they were separated if I reconnect the tubes when I take them out of hibernation?


Dario

(5) Camponotus Novaeboracencis {4 Year 2, 1 foundling}

(5) Formica spp {Foundling}

My online ant spreadsheet


#4 Offline CampoKing - Posted September 10 2018 - 12:11 PM

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Well, technically, the colony doesn't understand that they're supposed to move out of the old tube.  To them, it's all one perfectly good nest.

There are posts on here somewhere describing techniques to encourage a queen to move out, such as shining a light on the test tube, letting it dry out, making it a little too warm (but not dangerously hot), etc.

The answers you seek are definitely already on here, I just wish I knew where.

 

and as far as separating them, you could try it once they're not moving. Not sure what temp you plan to hibernate them at. I understand 5C or 8C (about 46F) is the lowest safe temp for Camponotus.


Edited by CampoKing, September 10 2018 - 12:13 PM.

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Camponotus (10x C. pennsylvanicus & 2x C. nearcticus)

#5 Offline Lazarus - Posted September 11 2018 - 3:12 PM

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..., letting it dry out,...

 

One of the tubes has been completely dried out for weeks and even though another fresh tube is sitting in the outworld, the queen and some workers refuse to leave the dry tube.


Dario

(5) Camponotus Novaeboracencis {4 Year 2, 1 foundling}

(5) Formica spp {Foundling}

My online ant spreadsheet


#6 Offline CampoKing - Posted September 11 2018 - 3:20 PM

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..., letting it dry out,...


One of the tubes has been completely dried out for weeks and even though another fresh tube is sitting in the outworld, the queen and some workers refuse to leave the dry tube.

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Edited by CampoKing, September 11 2018 - 3:22 PM.

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Camponotus (10x C. pennsylvanicus & 2x C. nearcticus)

#7 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted September 13 2018 - 5:21 PM

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I would chill them in a fridge for 2-3 minutes then dump both groups into the desired location to be safe. Since they are chilled, they won't care too much.





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