Due to increasing demand we are in the process of expanding the ant side of the business and are now converting another one of our orchid houses into a dedicated 'ant farm'. This additional ant house will give us much more space - allowing us to keep and raise a larger number of colonies.
The ants are housed in artificial observation nests which allow us to ensure that the colonies are strong and healthy with fertile queens and plenty of brood, prior to being offered for sale.
These observation nests are kept in semi natural set ups with plenty of foraging space which helps to reduce stress on the colonies.
Previously we took a selection of colonies back to the UK when we returned with consignments of orchids and then posted them out to customers who had ordered them. However we found that the time taken to reach the customer after two separate journeys often resulted in the more fragile species suffering stress and loss. This along with the fact that most customers wanted their colonies sending as soon as they placed an order has resulted in most colonies being posted direct from Thailand - leaving us with very little stock to take back to the UK.
So taking into consideration customers preferences we have now decided to post all colonies out direct from Thailand. This has the benefit that there is only a single journey required.
We have been posting colonies from Thailand for over seven years. With the knowledge gained from sending out these previous orders and our tried and tested packing method - they easily survive the transit time and arrive in good condition with the minimum of loss.
We aim to supply a range of different ant species which are suitable for keeping in captivity.
Colonies are offered in various sizes. We also supply fertilized newly mated queen ants along with naturally formed pairs of termite alates.
Our colonies are high quality and kept under natural stress free conditions. They are only placed in test tubes for posting.
We have found that keeping colonies for any length of time in a test tube results in ‘colony apathy’ often resulting in the colonies eating their brood and if species such as Carebara diversa eat their brood then you will have very little chance of getting the colony to establish. Colonies kept in test tubes are also unable to dispose of their waste and frequently end up succumbing to various diseases.
Left: Mature colonies are kept in large glass tanks stood on a water bench. The water is continually circulated by small pumps which stops the ants from escaping.
Tanks for species that can easily climb are also covered with a netting lid.
Above: Colonies are kept in artificial observation nests that allow us to easily check on their size and health.
Right: Mature colonies are given a good sized foraging area that is landscaped to mimic the ants natural habitat.
This seems to reduce stress on the colonies and helps stimulate them to remain active and carry on breeding.