I'll start with the colony in the 10-gallon Dirt Box. This colony is still doing great. It has grown to probably hundreds of workers, and has dug chambers on all four sides now. They have also made four entrances to their nest now. The original one looks like it's plugged up for good, and they're still currently using the other three. I can clearly see now why the fungus chambers always have such clean glass and are so easy to see--the ants are constantly licking it off. I guess it makes sense, because I assume that is what they always do in their fungus chambers to keep things as clean as possible.
We had a heatwave hit last week, and a few days into it, I noticed all of the colonies fungus was starting to die, and one of the new colonies lost theirs completely. I think theirs might have even died off before the heatwave though, because I found the queen dead too. This leaves me with only two new colonies from last season. It was over 90 degrees inside the ant cabinets where they were all kept, so I quickly moved them into the kitchen where it was cooler. After a few days of being kept in 75-80 degree temperatures, the fungus started looking healthy again, and one colony even started growing it in the second chamber I gave them months ago. I had been wondering why in the world they wouldn't expand to that other chamber, and now they finally did.
This is the side of the 10-gallon where the original fungus chamber was made. That one died off a while back after they started growing fungus in some of the other chambers.
Here you can see the end with the most healthy fungus now.
I've noticed how the bottoms of all of the chambers just end up being a bed of gravel too large for them to carry. It actually make sense that it would end up that way.
Here's all of the nest entrances they made. You can see how large some of the gravel they carry out of the nest is. It's interesting how they seem to leave it all closer to the entrance.
This is the other colony I still had from the year before, that I was originally taking fungus from. Their nice healthy fungus chamber started to die off, but they quickly replaced the dead fungus with new, and you can see the new chamber they just started growing fungus in.
It's pretty cool how they hang it from the ceiling like little strings.
This is the largest of the remaining two new colonies from last season.
And here's the other remaining colony. It has really healthy looking fungus and is starting to grow pretty quickly now.