6/25/07: I have caught alot of tetramorium this year and I am going to try and experiment a little. I have 2 tubes of 1 queen each, one boosted, I have 2 tubes of 2 queens each, one boosted, and I have 2 tubes with 3 queens each, one boosted. I am going to keep there progress on here to see which will be the heathest colony of the six.
6/27/07: I wook out to see 2 workers in both the doubled boosted and the triple boosted. The single bosted only has pupea and none of them had laid eggs. All of the other non-boosted queens had eggs. I will not be able to update until July 5 as I will be in Florida.
7:14pm: I check agian and the single boosted and she had a worker, and the other boosted one had 3.
7/6/07: All queens survived. Ther triple and double non-boosted queens look like they have some small larvea and alot of eggs. The single a small pile of eggs. The boosted queens all have about ten or so workers caring for the remaining of boosted brood and a large pile of eggs.
7/13/07: All the boosted have a steady number of workers and the bossted with 2 queens has the most larvea and 3 queens is in second. The non-booste queens all have larvea and the 3 queens have the most brood, the 2 queens anr in second, and the single queens in last. All colonies/queens have last instar larvea.
7/21/07: I belive all tubes have pupea now laid by the queens but in is hard to tell if they are big larvea or not. It seems the amount of brood is determined by the groups amount of queens.
Anyone can compare there queens and colony progress with mine and the more of each one the more acurate the test!
9/20/07: This journal will now only fucuss on the most successful colony, the boosted 2 queens. The colony only has one queen left and I have boosted them a total of 3 times so far and they are adjusted to light. I have moved them to a dirt set up, one of those plastic bevarge holders. sence they are now fine in shade they have placed the pupea on the side of the container so I can see them! the queen is hiiden now but, she is laying eggs as a worker walk be with a bundle. I guess the puplation at 1 queen, 100 workers of many sizes and twice as many brood. I am seeing alot of callows below ground to. I gave one colony to my life science teacher as well. Any advice on keeping them happy?
The back brood chamber.
Front of the nest.
Front brood chamber, they don't care about light any more after their life in an uncovered tube in a shady room.
The whole set up.
9/23/07: The pupea number has steadly dropped and the larva are growing to descent sizes. There is always 5-6 workers coming in and out on warm days.
9/27/07: The colony is growing and now there is always 9 or so workers out and about, about 4 digging out the nest and the rest are looking for food. Any one know how often I should add water? I am going to add water today. I have a lamp that seems to keep the entire setup warmer then the rest of my room so I am going to keep that on as long as I can each day so they don't freeze this winter.
10/4/07: The colony has finally made a chamber visible at the bottom of the tank. They will take any kind of protien except spiders. The mealworms are working great and there are always about 19-25 ants on only half of one. The colony is now about 150 ants or more, I am extremely happy with them!
10/14/07:I believe the population has grown to about 180 after the last of the boosted pupae eclosed. They are still foraging great and stopped digging. They dug all over the tank with the inner chambers holding the queen. They have five entrances across the setup. This has been the most successful colony I have ever had. Also I have noticed only 5 workers died this year, is that common or just only a first year thing because there were no old workers in the nest.
10/20/07: I felt bad when I looked down to see what looked like a thorax from the queen. I picked it up and wiped the dirt away, I was relieved to find it was the head of a super worm the colony ate. I feed them an entire super worm today and there was about 80 workers on it. It is looking like they won't have a problem making it thourgh the winter with all the workers they have.
11/2/07: The colony has slowed down and are not so active anymore. I only see them eating a bit of food or in the tunnels. I think they are going to hibernate anyway this year. My other colonies are still foraging for food so at least I have something to look at.