I mentioned in passing that my friend, Anne, gave me the Antworks ant farm that I wanted for my birthday way early in December so that I could have the ants delivered in time. It’s a super cool ant farm since it’s filled with blue gel that gives the ants the moisture and food that they need. It also plugs in andlights up a cool neon blue. It looks amazing and I was looking forward to watching ants tunnel around.
Buying the Ants
You can’t have a cool ant farm without some cool ants. I wanted Harvester ants since I read in several places online that they are the easiest to really see. You just have to be careful not to get bit since they can do some major damage.
Well, my first ant order was a flop. I used the site suggested in the info booklet and in some of the Amazon reviews, antsalive.com. They immediately charged me the $4.95, but they never sent the ants. Then they didn’t respond to my calls or emails. I disputed the charge with Discover and received a refund.
My second order from a different company, http://www.mykidsadventure.com/, but also seemed to amount to nothing. Once again, they charged me (this time $7.99). They even sent an email the next day saying that they were shipped. But a week passed, and I still had no ants. I called and emailed. That was about a week before Christmas. Well, on December 26 (after deciding not to try again until the Spring), I ended up with two vials of live Harvester ants! Yay! Happy birthday to me!
My Cool Ant Farm
My ants went right to work! I was worried that the two different sets would fight, but they all seem to work well together.
Their first order of business was to behead the handful of dead ants, and then they started using the bodies and heads in the construction of their ant hill. Morbidly interesting to watch. They also started on one main tunnel the first day. They bite off a piece of the gel, walk it up, and pile it up very specifically (interspersing dead body parts within the gel piles).
By the second day, they branched out to two tunnels, and they used the 3rd and 4th day to join those together and start tunneling on the bottom. Altogether, it’s exciting to watch!
My one and only concern at this point is that there are always at least one or two ants trying to eat the seal at the top. I definitely do not want any of these large mandible ants to escape. But they don’t seem to be making super fast progress. I think I will just duct tape down the top while we are out of town…just in case. They can eat through duct tape too, but it would take even more time.
If you have any geeky friends like me or maybe a kid’s birthday coming up, you should check out this Antworks ant farm - they have a basic one and the one that lights up. To actually get the ants, I would suggest the site that ended up working for me – http://www.mykidsadventure.com/.