FIRE ANTS REACT TO THEIR NEW HUNTING GROUNDS


These fire ants have no idea what’s up ahead
for them! This is the City of Ashes, the fortified territories
of the Phoenix Empire, our 13 week old burgeoning army of fire ants. The colony quietly amasses more and more workers
with every passing day, from eggs produced by their Queen, the Ember Empress. But as the colony grows, so too does their
appetite, and today these unsuspecting, hungry fire ants will be receiving the biggest, baddest
plot of free real estate they’ve ever received: some new lush, critter-filled hunting grounds,
where we’ll be able to watch our fearsome fire ants seek out and destroy prey in a way
we’ve never seen before. Welcome to the AntsCanada Ant Channel. Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
BELL icon. Welcome to the AC Family. Enjoy! Guys, right off the bat, I gotta say these
new hunting grounds we’re adding to Phoenix Empire’s territories today, are hands down
my favourite thing we’ve ever introduced to the fire ants, whom we’ll be seeing in
a totally new light after today! Do keep on watching until the very end for
the epic feeding scenes, and discover why these new sacred hunting grounds were exactly
what our fire ants needed! Now before we watch our fire ants react to
their new hunting grounds and hunt for prey, let’s take a look at their current hunting
grounds slash grocery store! Behold, the Fire Forest! This arena made from a kitchenware container
is where I’ve been placing the colony’s food, and where the ants have come to expect
and collect my food offerings. The ants don’t nest here. They just come here to eat. The ants are actually nesting cozily in their
new Ant Tower, which we gave them last week, and by the way guys, this Ant Tower needs
a name, so please take a moment to VOTE here from name suggestions you guys gave in last
week’s episode. Thank you, AC Council for your input! Now when the ants are hungry, they send workers
out through this tube, which takes them to the AC test tube portal, then into the Fire
Forest where I drop their food. But here’s the thing, there are a few problems
with the Fire Forest. First, it doesn’t have good ventilation:
no breathing holes, which is ok because I open it every day to feed the colony, but
what is not ok, is how much it smells! The ammonia produced from their leftover garbage
needs to be fanned away every day. It’s actually poisonous for the ants. Plus, I need to constantly go in and clean
up the leftovers to reduce ammonia levels. Also, the colony is starting to grow large
enough that soon opening the Fire Forest every day like this would lead to escapes. So guys, as much as I love the Fire Forest
and how well it has served us so far, it was definitely time to give the Phoenix Empire
some new, bigger, and better stomping grounds. So check out the awesome new lands, I’ve
created for them! AC Family, behold! I’m pleased to present to you the Phoenix
Empire’s new sacred hunting grounds. Isn’t it cool? I think the fire ants will love these territories! We’ll see, but before we officially connect
it to the fire ants’ setup, take a close look, guys: there’s actually more to these
hunting grounds than meets the eye! Let me show you around. This rich and multi-faceted world was created
within an AC Outworld from AntsCanada.com. It’s platinum sands and boulders border
living herbaceous seedlings, bushes of moss, towering bark, and driftwood. But guys the real magic of these lands is
not what’s above ground, but what’s below! This is what the hunting grounds look like
from beneath! Now check this out. To make these lands, the first thing I needed
were these guys. Soil creatures! In this soil sample, you’ll see beneficial
mites, worms, and my ultimate favourite: these pink gummy bear-like springtails belonging
to the family Podumorpha. Aren’t they cute? These soil creatures were taken from our soil
creature breeding facility known as the Nucleus, from a past video. Also in another container, I had more friends:
a colony of the white springtail variety, as well as some cute isopods! This soil was taken from another ant kingdom
of our Golden Empire, our supercolony of yellow crazy ants. Now both these teams of soil creatures will
be vital to the hunting grounds and the entire City of Ashes, because they will form the
new housekeeping staff of our Phoenix Empire! That’s right! With these Phoenix Empire allies around, I
won’t need to go in every day and clean up the ants’ garbage and bathroom areas
anymore. They’ll literally be eating up all the garbage
and poop the Phoenix Empire produces, and even make their way into the Ant Tower, to
keep the nest clean! I dumped these soil samples with the soil
creatures into the AC Outworld and organized them in neat piles. Fear not little ones, I’m making you a fantastic
wonderland! I then took more soil and connected all the
piles with a lifeline soil bridge. This soil bridge would be concealed underground,
but would allow the soil creatures to travel to the different piles without having to come
up to the exposed surface. The bridges also contained bits of activated
carbon to help keep the soils purified of any harmful chemicals. I then added large gravel around the soil. This large gravel will make it hard for the
ants to dig into here to nest, and I placed more over the soil bridges leaving the piles
of soil exposed. In those exposed piles I planted small seedlings. Basil to be exact! Now what’s super cool is the poop from the
soil creatures we added, will be great fertilizer for these plants! I then placed a thin layer of fine sand over
the gravel, and a slightly larger grain of sand for texture. I added rocks and leaf litter, and after some
landscaping, the result was this bio-rich garden and soil community. This outworld is undeniably alive, and it’s
time for our Phoenix Empire to discover it! Now guys, this is where things get super cool! Time to release the ants! The Phoenix Empire will be able to enter the
hunting grounds through these two ports, which I’ll be connecting with tubing here to here,
and here to here. As for their water test tube, I’ll be moving
it to here where the Fire Forest is currently connected. Here we go! Removing the plugs and carefully connecting
the tube. Done! Now to remove the water test tube, place the
tube in its place and connect it to the hunting grounds, disconnecting the Fire Forest. Goodbye Fire Forest, and replacing it with
the water test tube. And now all was set! Let’s watch the Phoenix Empire explore their
new real estate! Here comes the first ant now! Upon discovery, “Umm… Weird! This doesn’t smell like the AC Test Tube
Portal. Time to inform the colony!” She brought back a pal to check out the weird
new space. Soon, an exploration party began to scope
the new grounds. At the other entrance, an ant which was expecting
to have a drink from the water test tube got weirded out by the sudden un-water test tube-like
space and went back to also inform the others. Imagine how brave these scouts were venturing
onto unfamiliar territory, filled with new smells and creatures they’ve never before
encountered. It was practically a new planet for them! News made its way back to the colony in the
Ant Tower, which brought more and more curious ants to come check out the rumours of new
lands. But after some cautious exploration, it finally
kicked in! “OMG! These new lands are ours!” the fire ants
realized as they switched into excited mode. They ran along the sandy path and checked
out the big boulders! They climbed the bark, explored the mosses,
and reported everything back to the colony at home. It was only a matter of time before a wave
of ants would be coming, but now to make these hunting grounds official, I added this: A cut up mealworm to devour! Soon a couple ants discovered it, and released
the pheromone which summoned a whole bunch of ants to come gathering, and as expected
an ant trail began to form! I loved how in these new hunting grounds,
we could actually appreciate the ants’ trailing behaviours better since the space was bigger,
and speaking of bigger! Check out who’s coming to deal with the
mealworm now! Supermajor on the way! This supermajor follows the pheromonal trail
heading to the site of the mealworm, and here its job is to help cut up the mealworm’s
tough exoskeleton and also help defend this site from any large predators or scavengers,
who might want to steal this mealworm from them, or try to attack the colony. Watching the ants swarm this mealworm was
both intense and completely awe-inspiring. For the first time, it was like we were watching
the ants completely in their element. We weren’t just watching ants in a setup
anymore, but ants acting exactly as they would in nature, as part of a system. It was just a different context now, and I
couldn’t believe how beautiful the sight of it all was, as I stared and marveled with
pride and appreciation for the ants doing their thing. Over the next few hours, I watched the Phoenix
Empire work on the mealworm. Even larger supermajors came, which surprised
me. As the ants were busy dissecting the mealworm,
some ants began to dig below it, to try to make it easier to work around the carcass. When the ants were finished with the mealworm,
this was what was left: Exoskeleton parts in a pit. Again, I loved that I no longer needed to
go in and clean up this ant garbage, as it could now be dealt with by the soil creatures,
whose poop would then go on to feed our basil, and hey, maybe when the basil is much larger,
I can cut them and feed them to my prey insects to complete the cycle! I also loved that with garbage no longer an
issue, I could now feed extra large prey items that typically generate a lot of ant garbage,
like this gigantic superworm! I could drop it in different locations for
the ants to find, and marvel again and again every day, at the awesome trails they formed
to and from the food. By the way, a layer of baby powder mixed with
rubbing alcohol painted along the upper lip of the AC Outworld, kept all the ants inside,
so I could leave the top of this unit open for ultimate ventilation, which meant no stinky
ammonia build up. Now guys, I think you know what’s next. What should we name these new hunting grounds? Leave your best name suggestions in the comments,
and I’ll choose my favourites for us to vote on in a future video. It warmed my heart to know that today our
Phoenix Empire finally found their purpose in this biodynamic world we created for them,
where life gets reduced to ashes, and from those ashes, rises new life, exactly like
a Phoenix. Thank you guys for watching, and for supporting
the ants. It’s ant love forever! AC Family, did you enjoy today’s episode? There’s so much more up ahead for the ants,
so if you haven’t yet, do SMASH that SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON now and hit ALL so you
get notified at every upload, because I believe notifications seem to be broken but the Youtube
support team is on it. Also don’t forget to hit the LIKE button
every single time including now. It would really mean a lot to me, guys. Thank you! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you would like to watch extended play footage of the Phoenix Empire devouring
their superworm and first mealworm in the hunting grounds. The whole process is pretty amazing to watch! And speaking of ant watching, how about owning
your own colony! It’s anting season, and nuptial flights
start in the Northern Hemisphere this month! Be sure to visit AntsCanada.com for all your
ant keeping and collecting gear shipped to you in a special package from our ant-loving
facility in the USA, so you can get the most out of your ant keeping experience. We also offer full email support if you need
our help! Visit AntsCanada.com today. And now it’s time for the AC Question of
the Week. Last week, we asked: Name one sign that indicates the emigration
to the Phoenix Empire’s new nest was official. Congratulations to Dakarai Jacobs who answered: When the lighter-coloured ants start to move Congratulations Dakarai, you just won a free
Ultimate Ant Keeping handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week we
ask: Which of the soil creatures do you love the
most? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you could Subscribe to the channel as
we upload every Saturday at 8AM EST. Please remember to LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE, and
SUBSCRIBE if you enjoyed this video, to help us keep making more. It’s ant love forever!

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