I am really excited about getting an ant queen but am not sure if my ant farm would work. I live in New York and am waiting for ant swarms and hope to get a black ant queen. They build dirt mounds and my kit is plaster and has no dirt would they mind? My ant farm is 10 inches wide and 7 inches tall and is part of a brand called ecosystem its called ant mines and is attached to another colony called Mayan ant invasion. Would my hive work? Sincerely, Worried Mike
I checked what your ant farm sets look like (see below to make sure I got the right ones.) They seem fine to get you started. The plaster is a system that ant scientists developed for studying ant colonies. Many ant species get along just fine without soil. In fact, adding soil makes it more likely that your ant farm will develop a mold or parasites that could make the ants sick, so they will do better without it.
At first the queen will not move around much, so you don't need a big space. In fact, you will probably just need one of those kits at first. Once you have ants in the kits, be sure to check them often. Workers ants may chew at any weak spot in the plastic and try to escape. Where tubes join are favorite places to attack. Also, be sure to read all the instructions that come with your kits.
In New York you probably have a few weeks before you need to worry too much about catching a queen. Ants usually swarm once the weather gets warm enough to produce spring or summer thundershowers.
Hope this helps you worry less 🙂
(Note: As I mentioned previously, I have been the “Consult-Ant” on the Leaping from the Box website. I answer questions about ants and ant farms. From now on I will post the answers here, and when Karen has time she will also post the answers on her site.)