Thanks for all the info. It's very helpful. And now, I just have a couple more questions, and I'll be done:
1. How fast do colonies themselves grow?
2. How long does the life cycle take
a. from egg to worker
b. from egg to soldier
c. from egg to reproductive?
3. Do termites require hibernation?
1. Takes ages from a founding pair, but a colony splinter should grow decently fast. Growth really depends on how much wood and space you give them.
2. a. about a month or two in my experience with a founding pair. Likely faster with a colony segment, but I haven't been able to consistently observe development in a colony fragment.
b. a soldier is only 2 or 3 molts farther along from a worker, but only about 1% of the colony will be soldiers. A worker can likely molt into a soldier pretty fast, but this will only happen once the number of soldiers passes below a critical threshold and the colony determines that more soldiers are needed.
c. depends on the reproductive, I'd say 2 or 3 months is a fair estimate. You can follow the progress of some colony fragments in my journal, especially in the earlier part.
3. No hibernation needed, although they may take a break from laying eggs during the winter. This likely depends on where the termites are from, however.
Hope that helps.