Friday, April 11, 2008


The ants arrived in the mail on 4/4. I didn't know what to expect in the mail but I thought they would at least be in a box. But no they were in an envelope. How crazy is that? Sending ants in the mail in an envelope.

This is what we found when we opened the envelope. The ants were in a small tube taped inside a piece of foam.Rehm inspecting the ants. Rehm checking out the ant farm while waiting for the ants to cool off. We also had to make a few holes in the gel to help the ants figure out where and how to dig.

The ants in the refrigerator. Yes, they are in with the eggs and insulin (for the cat). Apparently harvester ants can sting and are very active. To get them in the ant farm you put them in the fridge for ten minutes to get them nice and cool. This slows them down significantly and gives you time to dump them in the ant farm and get the lid on before you get stung.
The ants as soon as they were dumped in the ant farm. We were successful in getting them in without any escapees or stings.

The ants just six hours after getting dumped in their new home. The instructions said it could take up to 48 hours for them to figure out how to tunnel in the gel. Apparently they sent us very smart ants. It didn't take them anywhere near that long. Michael and I had a hard time deciding where the ants should live. We wanted them somewhere easy for the kids to see but not easily accessible. We really didn't want 25 stinging ants loose in the house. We decided the best spot was on the kitchen island. We needed something sturdy to put them on so the kids could see them easily. The only thing we could find was a container of almonds. It seems kind of cruel to have them sitting on top of a container of food but it was the best solution we could find.

Tunneling after 24 hours.

Tunneling after 48 hours

Tunneling after 6 days. They are not nearly as busy now. We seem to get a new small tunnel about ever 48 hours now.

We have had the ants 10 days. They are still very neat to watch. They do not dig as furiously now and seem to have definite rest times and work times. They even have a sleeping area the created at the base of the ant farm. It is directly above the third light from the left. Everyone is enjoying learning more about the ants and watching them work. According to the directions the ants should live from 1 to 3 months. So we should have live entertainment for several weeks to come.



Shelly said...

I can't quite tell - how many ants are in there?

Brenna and Molly said...

You are one brave mama! I will enjoy watching those ants from WAY over here - through your photos! Glad you are all enjoying them though.

Jenn said...

Shelly, there are 20 to 25 ants. They move pretty fast but I would say closer to 25.

Cici said...

They look pretty cool. Hope they work enough to make an interesting sculpture. Did you find a resin source?

Karen said...

We've been talking about doing this as well. I appreciated the details - especially how they arrived.