I have a Camponotus modoc queen who seemed to be doing ok, but on Sunday seems to have taken a turn for the worst. I recently moved her into a THA Devolve Chamber after her test tube dried up and she lost both of her workers to drowning in honey water (my bad, I've since been putting the honey water in a cotton ball). I moved her into the Devolve Chamber as her test tube was becoming incredibly moldy after hibernating since November and the water was about dried up. I was worried about being able to provide her food in a test tube setup as she no longer had any workers to forage for her and I'm assuming she had used all of her wing muscle juice in raising those first workers. I figured it would be easier to provide her food in a Devolve Chamber than in a test tube and it would remove all the problems that come with feeding ants in a test tube setup. I was heating the side of the Devolve Chamber with part of a heating cable and she had her eggs and herself nestled up against the heated side.
I found her Sunday morning in the out world section lying on her side, and it appears she has eaten her eggs as I see none. Since then she seems to be unable to move any but her front two legs (occasionally I'll see one of the others move but most the time they don't move at all). If I put her on her stomach she is able to drag herself around with her front two legs but she quickly and often falls over and spends a lot time just sitting on her back frantically moving her front two legs trying to get back up but to no avail.
Upon inspection of the Devolve Chamber I realized the water had run a bit low quicker than I had expected, and I suspect it may have been too dry for her. I quickly filled it up and gave her some water directly in front of her to drink out of a wet cotton ball. I've continued to try and nourish her and provide food and water directly in her vicinity but she doesn't seem to be improving or getting worse.
I'm not really sure what to do at this point. I'm assuming I screwed up and she probably got dried up and the water evaporated quicker than I was thinking it would due to the heating cable and me trying to speed up her egg production to get her some workers again (I was worried about her being in a vulnerable state with no workers after losing them). But I'm starting to wonder if maybe something else is wrong? It seems weird to me that her drying up would cause her back four legs to stop working? Could this be some kind of mite or parasite? I've been feeding her the same things as another Camponotus colony I have with three workers and a queen but they seem to be thriving and are having no problems. They are in a Mini Hearth though since they have workers.
I don't suspect she's going to lay eggs in this state anymore. Do I just put her down and end her misery, or is there something more I can try? I don't feel like she's going to make it if her current condition continues. I thought it was curious she was in the out world and that even when I put her in she continues to drag herself there. It almost seems as if she is dragging herself out of the nest to die somewhere else but I have no idea.
Any help or advice would be appreciated. I'm hoping to learn something from this and improve as an ant keeper. She was my first queen so I'm a bit bummed but I think the writing is on the wall.