Live Ants for Ant Farm

images (13)Ants travel around in army style colonies and, especially for kids an exciting project is to watch them build their kingdoms. An ant farm is the best way to do this as they can watch the ants from the comfort of their own home, the ants cannot get out, and the kids do not end up having them all over them!Ant farms also act as a useful school aid. They can be used in science classes, and act as excellent visual aids for teachers trying to explain anything do with ants or other creepy crawlies. Ants are fascinating creatures, and this can all be captured by getting an ant farm. Ants will often build their empires filled with tunnels and path ways for them to use all over the farm. They will delegate roles amongest themselves and kids will love watching and guessing which ant has been sent to do what job.for more information about  it visit http://www.jbhobbies.net

Build a Fantastic Ant Farm

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So your thinking of building your own ant farm? Maybe for the kids? How about trying that prank off the Mighty Ducks’ movie with the ants in the bed? Ok, Hopefully not that. Anyways, Making an “ant farm” is not as hard as people may think. For children, It is somewhat of an adventure to see how the ants live in their communities and thrive upon each other to live. The kids absolutely are amazed at this and it can keep their attention held for hours and hours at a time. Ant farms are inexpensive and can be built using everyday supplies.

In order for us to make an ant farm, We need a few supplies:
1. The Ants, Of course.
2. Their bedding (Dirt)
3. A tank of some sort, maybe even a fish bowl type thing.
4. Shovel, (For ant moving)
(I have used one of these when I was younger)
4. A smaller jar of some sort to gather ants.

Step 1: Place the little or tiny jar inside of the big tank or fish bowl type container. When using a small jar, It allows the ants to create tunnels on the outside of the jar in which you can see them instead of them tunneling in the middle of everything.

Step 2: Now, We need to find an ant hill or pile of some kind. Use a shovel and dig out enough ants to fill your jar within a few inches or so from the top. Try to get a majority of the worker ants, some flying ants or bigger ants, and if you can find her, The queen. Scooping up white eggs or larvae is a plus!After you get your ants, You need their bedding. To get the bedding (dirt), Just scoop up some with the shovel and gently pour it inside the jar. Pack all of the bedding firmly. Note, If your children are around, It might be wise to keep them away when transporting any of the ants to and or from the jar, Especially if the ants are “red ants” or some other kind of biting ant.host bug is the famous type of home insects we try to remove them from home and also from the garden we use many spry to kill them

Step 3: Water your ants by using some sort of gentle sprayer or sponge that will drop water. Essentially, You can also use a simple dropper, Such as those used in chemistry projects.

Step 4: Feeding your ants can be done by using tiny bits of fruit or vegetables, sugar dipped bread, or even small cracker pieces broken off.

Helpful Things To Remember:
#1: If you live in an area that might not supply ants, such as a colder environment with snow, Search for a craft or hobby store or even online and try to find a mail order for ants.

#2: The ants should not be able to climb up the walls, But if for some reason they may have intentions on doing so, You can add a slippery substance material to the inner depending on the type of container. Example: A Q-Tip with liquid on the insides to help keep the ants down.

#3: In order to assure proper ventilation, It would be wise to punch a few holes in the top so that all of the ants have plenty of air to breathe.

#4: As your ants’ start moving into and acquiring a nesting ground in their new home, You should discourage anyone from shaking or moving around the jar. This is a potential problem that could destroy their tunnels.

#5: If you would like to enhance your experience, Try adding hobby related items, Such as little miniature palm trees or other objects inside the ant farm. This will ensure an everlasting and enjoyable experience for you and children to watch and view the ant kingdom.

Remember, Be safe with your ants and take care of them.

A Brief History of Ant Farms

images (9)A brief history of Ant Farms: Invented by California entrepreneur Milton Levine (also known as Uncle Milton) in 1956. The transparent, sand-filled Ant Farm allowed you to observe the inscrutable doings of a colony of harvester ants. Originally it could be yours for only $1.98 and during the next two decades, Levine would sell over twelve million of them.Today, more than 20 million Ant Farms and Ant Habitats have been sold around the world. The product has become a treasured part of American culture, having been recognized as one of the Top 100 Toys of the Century by the Toy Industry Association as well as garnering considerable media attention throughout the years. If you have a gel based Formicarium you will not need food or water as the gel supplies that. Ants will appreciate a drop of honey, sugar, or bread dipped in sugar water, and tiny bits of fruit or vegetables. Very, very small amounts will do; you don’t want the food going moldy in the bottle. Ants get water mainly from their food; however, every couple of days you can add a cotton ball soaked in water to supplement the supply Be careful not to knock the bottle over or shake it up; this will destroy the ants tunnels.

How to make your own Formicarium or Ant Farm:

1. Place the smaller glass container that you have chosen inside the larger container. The purpose of the smaller container is purely to take up space and to encourage the ants to build their tunnels against the outside glass for easy viewing.

2. Locate an ant colony in your yard and dig carefully in the area where you see the most ants. Transfer some soft soil, with the ants, into a bucket. Try to find some larger ants or a queen ant with wings, along with eggs and larvae.

3. Using a paper cone or funnel, gently add soil and the smaller worker ants to the space between the two containers. Add the queen, eggs and larvae last, sliding them gently down the funnel to rest on the soil. The worker ants will quickly begin to relocate their queen and her offspring in their new home.

4. CAUTION: Some ants bite, so keep your child away from exposure to the ants while you work. Ants will climb even glass walls, so you’ll need to securely cap your container. Punch air holes in the lid of the larger container, but make the hole openings too small to allow ants to escape.

5. Once you have the ants in place, put the lid on the container. Make a paper sleeve, covering the container from the bottom to the top of the soil. This darkens the habitat and recreates an underground environment. Your ants will begin working immediately.

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Feeding Behavior in Ant Farm Ants

images (10)Ant food
The ants that you’ll receive when you send off the voucher that comes with your ant farm will almost certainly be harvester ants. The name suggests that they might be vegetarians but that’s not necessarily the case. They will consume pretty much anything that contains protein and carbohydrate. They will eat plant seeds in abundance however, most of these are likely to come from grasses. Some grass species will actually grow on the soil that has been excavated from the tunnels by the ants, so the ants don’t have to go exploring to find their food. Harvester ants will also eat the seeds, pollen and nectar from many other plant species.

Carnivores
A large number of carnivorous behaviors is has been seen in harvester ants. These include the queen feeding unhatched eggs to her first brood of offspring and, in the case of the Florida harvester, she feeds special sterile eggs, which have been laid by the workers, to juvenile ants. These sterile eggs are called trophic eggs and this behavior has only been seen in the Florida harvester.

Foraging for food
By far the most common foraging strategy is called individual foraging. Using this strategy, individual workers will leave the nest to hunt on their own. This is believed to be the most basic of the hunting strategies and, because it is the least sophisticated, it is the strategy that is likely to result in the highest rate of failure and loss. An individual ant is much more likely to be eaten by another animal than is an organized group.

Ants foraging as a group is undoubtedly one of the most interesting phenomena in the insect world. Many ant species, such as the Florida, western and red harvester ants all display this behavior and this is one of the reasons for their success. Occasionally, columns of ants over a hundred feet in length and two inches wide can be seen and any small animals that stand in their way are almost certainly doomed if they do not escape in time. When a group attack takes place the insect (it’s usually an insect) is cut up and taken back to the nest. Often different ants will assume different roles when dealing with prey, from attacking, to dismembering and even digging underneath large prey to make it easier to move. Although the armies of harvester ants on the move are a fearsome sight to many animals, it should be remembered that not all foraging trips are successful. They only come back with food about sixty percent of the time. So the ants in your ant farm ought to be eternally grateful that you are providing them with food without their having to move from their doorstep.

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