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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the easiest ant species for a beginner ant keeper?

Beginner-friendly species are Lasius Niger, Lasius Flavus and Messor Barbarus. Lasius species are native to the UK. We'll recommend getting the Messor Barbarus ant colony. Their queen ant is way bigger and more interesting, also, they have major and super-major workers along with the normal-sized ones and their main food is seeds. Happy "anting"!

2. What should I do upon the ants’ arrival?

Please note that we'll feed the ants before dispatch. Also once received, leave the parcel unopened for 4-5 hours at room temperature at least so your ants can get used to their new environment. Then check if your queen ant is safe and sound and then leave your ants for 4-5 days to relax after their journey to you. Please keep them in a dark and no-vibrations place at a room temperature of 20-26 C (away from daily household activities). Now, it's time to read carefully the Care sheet for your new pet ants so please click on the button below. An article you must read before you go any further: https://www.bestantsuk.com/post/how-to-set-up-your-live-queen-ant-farm

3. How to set up my new ant farm?

Before you connect the ant's test tube you should water the nest with mineral (bottled) water only (the watering hole is where the yellow Greek sponge is). Pour 1-3ml mineral water (depending on the size of your ant setup) once a week. Keep an eye on the humidity and reduce the water amount if needed. Tap water may cause fungus to appear. Fungus is deadly to most ant species. Fill the water test tube with mineral water, then put the cotton on so it’s well sucked with water and connect to the outworld. Do the same with the second watering test tube and connect it to the nest. Connect the nest to the outworld. Leave the whole setup like so for a day at least (2-3 days is recommended). Then remove the cotton ball out of the queen's test tube and connect it to the nest carefully using the queen connection kit provided. Wrap the ant’s test tube with tinfoil and leave it there for the first 10-14 days and after that start to slide it out just 1mm every day. Please be patient, your ants won’t move into the nest if they are not ready and it might take from just a couple of days to up to 4-5 months during the hibernation period. Your ant setup must be kept in a no-vibrations place (away from daily household activity) at room temperature. Any temperature between 20 and 26 degrees is suitable for most ant species. The red acrylic filter must stay on top of the nest all the time, you can remove it once a week for 2-3 minutes to have a better look at your colony. The same rule applies to wooden covers. Placed on top all the time. You can remove it for up to 5 minutes daily and enjoy your queen ant with the red filter on. Colonies failed due to a lack of fresh water supply, lack of food and mostly due to a stressed-out queen. Do not water the substrate inside the outworld at all. Feed your ants into the outworld ONLY. Don’t expose your ants to direct sunlight or any heat/light source (lamps/bulbs) trying to move them inside the nest quicker or you may harm your queen ant. Articles you must read before you go any further: https://www.bestantsuk.com/post/how-to-set-up-your-new-ant-farm

4. I'm a beginner ant keeper. How do I choose the best ant species and beginner-friendly ant farm?

Great beginner species are Lasius Niger (black garden ants), Lasius Flavus (yellow meadow ants), Myrmica Rubra (fire ants) and Messor Barbarus (harvester ants). Link to all available ants below: https://www.bestantsuk.com/live-ants-and-ant-food Beginner-friendly complete setups available listed below: Option 1: A7 PLUS Hybrid Nest with Sand Bed and Small Arena Complete Beginner Ant Setup (the best beginner-friendly ant setup) https://www.bestantsuk.com/product-page/a7-plus-hybrid-nest-with-sand-bed-and-small-arena-complete-beginner-ant-setup Option 2: Complete A6 PLA Ant Setup Hybrid Nest with Meter and Outworld https://www.bestantsuk.com/product-page/complete-a6-pla-ant-setup-hybrid-nest-and-outworld-formicarium-farm-housing Option 3: Ant A5 PLA Sand Bed Formicarium Farm Housing Outworld Complete Set (lots of beginner ant colonies available) https://www.bestantsuk.com/product-page/ant-farm-a5-sand All the products listed on our website are available for immediate dispatch. We do post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday ONLY. Please note that we will feed the ants before dispatch so follow the instructions on the label attached to the ants' test tube. Please keep your ant setup at room temperature and no-vibration place, away from daily household activities. The temperature suitable for your ant species may vary so please refer to the care sheets available on our website. You will find the instructions video and downloadable PDF care sheet file on our website's product listing description. Any other questions please let us know.

5. I'd like to place an order for arrival on Xmas & Birthday

You can place an order at any time and let us know when exactly you would like to deliver your order. Just add a message to the "Add a note" box in your basket while placing the order. All the products listed on our website are available for either immediate or postponed dispatch. We do post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday ONLY. Please note that we will feed the ants before dispatch so you can keep them inside the parcel for not more than two weeks before the big day. Please keep your order at room temperature and no-vibrations place away from daily household activities. You'll find instructions videos and downloadable care sheets on our website's listing's description. Any other questions please let us know.

6. Ants do not want to move inside the nest, what should I do?

Please be patient, your ants won’t move into the nest if they are not ready and it might take from just a couple of days to up to 4-5 months. Please, wrap the ant’s test tube with tinfoil and leave it there for the first 10-14 days and after that start to slide it out just 1mm every day. Your ant setup must be kept in a no-vibration place (away from daily household activity) at room temperature. Any temperature between 20 and 26 degrees is suitable for most ant species. The red acrylic filter must stay on top of the nest all the time, you can remove it once a week for 2-3 minutes to have a better look at your colony. The same rule applies to the black acrylic cover. Placed on top all the time. You can remove it for up to 5 minutes daily to enjoy your queen ant with the red filter on. Colonies failed due to lack of fresh water supply, lack of food and mostly due to a stressed-out queen. Do not water the substrate inside the outworld at all. Feed your ants into the outworld ONLY. Don’t expose your ants to direct sunlight or any heat/light source (lamps/bulbs) trying to move them inside the nest quicker or you may harm your queen ant. Find out more in the article explaining all the reasons:

7. What Do Ants Eat?

From Sugar to Insects: What Do Ants Eat. Read this article.

8. How to look after a Lasius Niger (Black Garden Ant Farm at home)?

Oh, that's a million-dollar question for any beginner ant keeper. Well, not anymore. Read this article.

9. How to look after a Lasius Flavus (Yellow Meadow Ant Farm at home)?

This is one of the best ant species for beginners and is easy to keep.

Start your ant-keeping journey with genuine knowledge about Lasius Flavus to experience the wonders of these fascinating creatures who lived on our planet millions of years before us. Read this article.

10. How to look after a Messor Barbarus (Harvester Ants Care)?

The Messor Barbarus also known as the harvester ants, is a common and easy-to-keep species for ant enthusiasts. The Messor Barbarus ants do not sting, but the major workers are so big they can bite you, it's more like tickling and not so painful though depending on your skin type. Read this article.

11. How do I choose an Ant Farm Kit? Everything You Need to Know Before Making a Purchase

Ant farms have long been a source of fascination for both children and adults. These miniature ecosystems offer a unique glimpse into the intricate world of ants, their complex tunnels, and their industrious society. But are ant farms truly worth the time and investment? Read this article.

12. What is the Queen Ant Lifespan?

The Life Cycle of an Ant: from egg to adult. Let's have a closer look at the ant stages in the most common ant species in the UK - Lasius Niger (Black ants) ants: The eggs hatch in about 21 to 28 days into larvae. Within a further 30-35 days these larvae turn into adult ants. So from a just-laid egg to an adult worker. 6 - 8 weeks and more precisely - egg to larvae: approx. 10 -12 days, larvae to pupae: approx. 10 -14 days, pupae to worker: approx. 10 - 24 days (depending on temperature 20-26 degrees C, the warmer the faster). Lasus Niger queen ant lifespan is up to 28 years and 9 months even in lab conditions. If you want to learn more, please Read this article.

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