Watching thousands of ants form a community will not appeal to everyone. But for some curious boys and girls, taking on ants as pets can not only be rewarding but be a valuable learning experience too.
Hobby Name: Ant Keeping
Why It’s Cool: Colonies can be fascinating and educational
Alternate Names: Ant Farming; Myrmecologist
Years to Master: 6 months
From creating a nest to giving ants space to search for food to locating a Queen to lead the colony, there are many parts to this hobby which make it challenging and rewarding.
Two questions many people have before starting an ant hobby:
What do ants eat? The answer is, A LOT! From eggs to honey, apples to meat, ants have a far-ranging diet. They key is not to feed them anything that spoils quickly. If you do, you might end up with a stinky ant farm!
The second question, and it’s one asked by children and parents, how do I make sure the ants do not escape. Surprisingly, a blend of talcum powder and alcohol, creating a loose paste, will keep your ants from escaping. And if your colony grows big, you will want to make sure these little buggers do not find their way into your house!
Ant keeping generally never bores, as the community is always active and working towards something. Ants are some of the hardest working animals on the planet.
How to Get Started: First and foremost, your ant colony needs a QUEEN! She must be captured during mating season (look for ants with wings!) and placed in a test tube by herself where she will hopefully begin to lay eggs. Queen eggs can also be purchased from a GAN farmer. Google it!