I cought my Camponotus chromaiodes in July. The colony had 4-5 workers and some brood. later on i boosted my colony with brood from a large wild colony, about 25+ brood.
now the colony has 30+ workers but no majors, and 35 + brood of all sort. I moved the colony into a small plaster setup.
I cought my Camponotus pennsylvanicus colony in June. The colony had 10-12 workers and a small batch of brood.
Now the colony has 30-35 workers 2 majors 1 male and 40-50 brood.
I cought my Formica subsericea colony in august. The colony had 50-60 workers and 20-30 brood. I later boosted them 60-70 brood. Now the colony has about 150-175 workers and 20-30 brood.
I cought my Formica slave maker queen in july. boosted her 30-35 brood and most of them are born now. She should be laying eggs soon or next year. Unlike Polyergus this specie can live without slaves, but need a host colony to jump start their own colony.
I captured a single queen of Tetramorium (caespitum( one of the unID'ed species) in july. Now the colony has 350+ workers and 200 brood, the colony is mostly boosted.
Ok. I understand boosting a young queen with a few cocoons to increase chance of succes. Also i've boosted a ~30 workers formica fusca colony to maybe 300 workers. But the colony died during hibernation.
But if there's something to kill off a young colony, there's a risk it could kill a mature one too.
Very nice ants and pictures. Only i don't understand the boosting. I only do this when it is really necessary. I know the first year is not very fun but that is no reason. Increase your changes could be a reason but if the queen is not strong enough to start there own colony she will also die when you boost that colony and than you have a lot of workers without a queen.
I have started with a single Messor barbarus queen in mid-February and they are now at about 300 workers now (counted them on a photo). The first year CAN be fun, if you have the right species.
Anyway, I really like those photos and I'm awestrucked by the diversity over there. I myself am beginning to specialize on American ants. To be more precise: on Myrmecocystus cf. mimicus. I had four queens of which one died because of a test tube flooding... Anyway, the rest is doing pretty well for now with the biggest colony counting 14 workers.