This colony has grown very well the last month or so and a great joy to watch. Since my last post the population jumped closer to 200 and many more on the way. Brood is hard to count but are over 100 and growing. I'm happy to see a few new majors and a few more on the way. Overall everything is going great except when the workers decide to bury the queen under the brood for a few hours at a time. Subscribe and watch in HD.
I made another video with a bit more action better lighting and clearer then before. Watch it in HD!
I will write about the daily routine and the interaction of the queen with the colony. I watch this colony 2-4 times a day about 10-20 minutes total. Her interaction with the colony and vise versa. She is rarely groomed and smothered by the workers. If someone didn't know anything about ants they would think she was a less active worker. She doesn't seem to get the royal treatment like other species of ants, bees, and termites are accustomed to. She tends to stay on or under the large brood piles or occasionally tending to the eggs. Her daily routine during the day seems to be sleeping 75%-80% of the time. One would think she was dead if they never kept a large colony. I notice smaller colony queens tend to be more active due to the lack of workers. When she wakes up she might groom herself and walk around a bit to get a meal from the workers then settle down and sleep again or lay a egg. Her night life is more of a mystery but it might not be much more different. After recalling everything I see its no wonder some Camponotus queens can live 20-30 years!
It was time to move them into a larger set up. The process was hard and stressful them and me. The first thing I tried was the light trick over night but they didn't move. Then I took the colony out of the set up and placed them into a large bin filled with tubes to force them into the tubing. Then I connected the tube to the new set up and forced them into in. I noticed they didn't want to move into because I didn't clean the inside well and the colony was turning white from the dust so I had to take them out and clean the set up. The 3rd attempt worked and they settled in great but at a loss of 15-20 workers throughout this ordeal.
New workers are born every day since last week( around 30-40 or so). The 3rd batch of larvae is grow rapidly now and so is their appetite. I've been wondering for a while why the workers stick small larvae on the pupae? Enjoy.
After the great boom in population things still haven't died down much due to the huge larvae numbers and foraging. I estimate well over 100 larvae but it seems the queen is done laying eggs. I wouldn't be surprised if I have alates in spring.