The large Lasius aphidicola colony is doing amazing. The queen has laid more eggs, the larvae are growing, and pupae are hatching. I figured out that they do still take crickets, they just don't do it when I'm looking. I've been putting in crickets and finding them in the nest the next day. Last night I shined a flashlight on the colony and saw a mix of both species' workers dragging the entire cricket into the nest. They waste no time; the cricket is usually eaten in less than a day. I'm pretty satisfied with the amount of aphidicola workers I see foraging, it tells me they will still be an interesting colony without the hosts. It definitely gets to a point where the 8-12 week egg-worker wait doesn't matter, since there's a steady flow of workers most of the time. I'd estimate 70 (?) aphidicola workers, and I am going to ramp up the amount of crickets I give in hopes that more larvae get fed.
The smaller colonies are doing great. One of the claviger queens who had finally laid eggs has just died, but one of the aphidicola queens has also started laying eggs. One queen has larvae/eggs, and two queens have only eggs. I found a smaller, lighter queen in a sandy part of my county and decided to catch her. I happened to have a 7 worker host force with ~30 pupae on hand. I have seen nurbs talk about how feeding ants the same foods can help give them similar CHC profiles. I had already been feeding the Lasius americanus workers sunburst for a few weeks, so I fed the queen and then waited some time. I connected the queen's tube to the workers, and she was fully accepted in around 30 minutes. I am unsure if the food is the reason for the fast introduction, but I will definitely do more testing for it in the future.
Speaking of the future, I am hoping to catch Lasius interjectus queens this year. I don't think I've ever founded them successfully and I want to have a go at it.
Pictures and videos:
Notice the egg batch
The queen that was accepted rapidly
The small colony that is doing the best, will probably have pupae soon. Only 10 host workers.