So, I found a small picture frame for next to nothing. This is the result:
The formicarium is about right for a first founding chamber, I think. One lesson is that I found out that cooking oil is a much better mould release than soap water. This formicarium won’t open up for cleaning but the entrance is quite large and I think I’ll be able to clean it when I have to.
Since this is an old frame the glass is slightly domed. I wonder if this will help viewing the tiny ants.
So we need a formicarium. It’simportant to get the right look and feel för the budding commune. What’s the ultimate commune architecture?
Concrete. Lots of concrete!
I got a cheap photo frame and some clay. The idea is that the Lasius Flavius especially is a small and shy species I thought I would make her a small cave for her first home but also use the entire glas plate. So I have a small room and a corridor at the bottom of the formicarium. There is a an exit to the out world at one end and another that will be blocked to start with but that can easily be connected to the rest of the rooms with a short tube. There is also a water reservoir at the bottom left side. I dusted the area with crushed expanded clay to try to increase the moisture in that corner.
This is he negative, that is the clay mould on glass. It was surprisingly easy to separate the mould after the concrete hardened.You can see how I tried to shape the tunnels into a triangle cross section so that there is a flatish floor and a sloping roof.
I’m thinking, this is a nice first try. I’m not sure if I’ll use it or if I’ll redo it from scratch. After all, she wont have a cadre large enough for some months.