There's a male in with her as she landed directly in front of me and I wasn't sure if she was mated, still had wings and all. I left her an hour or two while looking for others but no change. On my walk I saw an umbratus male and thought, eh, why not, put him in a tube. Got home and put him in with her (I know the convention is that Lasius mate on the wing but y'know), checked again shortly after and she's dropped her wings. Saw him investigate her several times and try and mount her at least once so, y'know, it's at least possible these could be mated in tubes if you catch them leaving the nest.
I need to catch some of these this year I didn't see no flights yesterday and I am just down the road from you. I thought it might of been a bit too windy.
Yeah I thought it might be and they weren't big flights but there was clearly a few going on. You're in MK aren't you? I live in Liverpool but I'm originally from MK and my parents live just down the road in Buckingham.
Rather annoyed though, had two in a tub together (done that before, not an issue, usually keep several together while trying to obtain hosts) and apparently one is a nutjob and has killed and dismembered the other?! I only found four, one of which was not doing great and died, and then this one kills another?
Yes I am in Bletchley. Conditions seem favourable today so I will go and have a look this evening. Do you have a host colony then? I have introduced them to colonies with the L niger queen still present, it's interesting to watch.
I've only done it with workers and brood, not full colonies with queens. Has a couple take the year before last but they died over winter (drying out, my fault).
I have got decent success in getting workers of L. niger and L. flavus to accept them by giving them a worker as sacrifice then, after letting them wash with the smell, adding more and more workers, allowing each set to decide if they like her or not before adding more. I've seen one though also just barge into a tube of flavus and just kinda wrestle them all for an hour without injury and somehow convince them to love her...