Buy A Termite Queen _BEST_
Termites, Soldiers, Living, Pack of 25. Allow your students to experience the highly social and organized interaction of your own termite colony. These termites live and work together, and are low maintenance, great for behavioral studies, and excellent for modeling symbiosis. Includes complete care instructions. Note: Due to termites' natural life cycle, they are often fragile in early fall and may not ship well.
buy a termite queen
Termites, Workers, Living, Pack of 25. Allow your students to experience the highly social and organized interaction of your own termite colony. These termites live and work together, and are low maintenance, great for behavioral studies, and excellent for modeling symbiosis. Includes complete care instructions. Note: Due to termites' natural life cycle, they are often fragile in early fall and may not ship well.
Termites, Workers, Living, Pack of 100. Allow your students to experience the highly social and organized interaction of your own termite colony. These termites live and work together, and are low maintenance, great for behavioral studies, and excellent for modeling symbiosis. Includes complete care instructions. Pack of 100. Note: Due to termites' natural life cycle, they are often fragile in early fall and may not ship well.
"The concept of the queen was basically named by early colonial naturalists," says writer Lisa Margonelli, who has been studying the mysteries of the termites. "When they dug through the termite mound and found this large female figure pumping out eggs they said, 'Well, that's the queen and she must be in charge.' "
The termite queen may be the mother who makes the ultimate sacrifice for her swarms of children. On the eve of Mother's Day, NPR honors this species' story of struggle, rebirth and death below ground.
Inside the termite mound is a world filled with nonstop activity and purpose. Each termite has a highly specified job. There are worker termites, soldier termites, and a special group of males and females called "alates" that are able to reproduce.
"This little male king sits next to this enormous female that can be several inches long, a ghastly thing," Moffett says. "Even an entomologist like myself, who loves all creatures equally, is pretty startled when he sees a termite queen."
Her skin is stretched and translucent, revealing a bubbling juice underneath the surface. The babies begin to tend the queen. They feed her and they clean her. She sweats an exudate that they lick off continuously. These workers carry away the eggs, stack them in little piles and tend to them until the little termites hatch. Gradually, the queen gives birth to the entire mound.
As the queen dies the workers keep tending her, cleaning her, and waiting for eggs. "The queen is their mother," Moffett says. "She is their god. They have formed their whole identity around her health and safety. Once she's gone, life does not make much sense."
The entire mound gradually dies out. "What they leave behind them is this immense shell, this city, this huge mound. It's possible that it's repopulated by her offspring, the young virgin queens she sent out earlier. That starts the cycle anew."
The project described here uses eastern subtropical termites. Their scientific name is Reticulitermes flavipes. I only have experience with these termites because these are the kind we can trap in our area and these are the kind sold for teaching purposes. If you live outside the eastern US, you may have other kinds of termites and you may have to adjust the size of your farm or the manner in which you catch them. You can find information online or check with your local agricultural extension service.
If you cannot trap your own termites, you can buy them. I know that you can purchase them from Carolina Biological Supply Company, but there may be other sources. I believe they sell Reticulitermes virginicus, a close relative of the eastern subterranean termite that we have here in Connecticut. At the Carolina Biological Supply website you can also download a termite care sheet that gives useful information about keeping termites. They also have a video that gives some tips on termite care. You should buy only the worker termites, not the soldiers. The soldiers do not eat wood so they will not survive very long in your farm and they will not eat the balsa wood or kraft paper.
When you find a good log, place your trap under the log and roll the log back on top of it. A trap is easily made with a few pieces of corrugated cardboard stacked and held together with rubber bands. Cardboard is like candy to termites and after a week or so, if you have found an active termite-infested log, they will have crawled inside to begin eating it. Thoroughly wet the cardboard before placing it under the log. You can put several moist traps in a bag to carry with you. Check your trap starting about 2-3 weeks after you set it an every week afterward. It is best to set several traps since finding an active log is tricky. If you find one log with termites, you may find others nearby. Termite nests are underground and they tunnel from there to nearby logs.
You need to heat the sand in an oven to kill molds that will otherwise sprout in the farm and harm the termites. Put about two cups of sand in a glass or metal container with a loose-fitting lid. Do not seal the lid tightly. Spread the sand out as much as possible. Place in an oven preheated to 350F for one hour. Take it out and let it cool to room temperature before using. You could also spread the sand on a baking sheet or piece of foil and put a glass jar in the oven with it. After baking, when the sand has cooled, you can pour it into the jar and close the lid for storage. Obviously foil has more potential for making a mess in the oven if it gets bumped or tears.
Soak the squares of balsa wood or Kraft paper in water until they are moistened. Blot off excess water and place them in the farm on top of the sand. They need to be in contact with the surface of the sand so that the termites can easily go from the sand to their food. There needs to be space between the wood or paper and the inner wall so the termires ca crwl over at least one face of the material. Very thin, 1/32 inch, balsa wood is necessary. Other woods, eaqually thin, may work, too.
Mold can grow in the farm since it is so moist. That is why you need to bake your sand to kill off most molds. If you start to see molds growing, it is best to make a new farm and transfer the termites, but not the wood or paper, to a new farm. I have also seen very small mites or insects appear. At first I thought they were termites nymphs (babies), but they never got larger. They did not seem to do any harm.
In many colonies, queens that lay hundreds of eggs every day can stay alive for years or even decades, while workers that never lay a single egg in their life will die after a few months. Apparently, these species have found a route that allows at least some of their kind to escape the constraints that force other animals to choose between longevity and lots of offspring.
And since the queen is the only one in a colony laying eggs, colonies with long-lived queens are likely to grow larger and send forth more young queens to start new nests, as well as males to fertilize them.
Studying aging in queens is difficult, because there is usually only one queen in every colony, and it takes many years, often decades, for them to age. To get around that, researchers can remove the queen, which often triggers some of the workers to start producing eggs of their own.
Clues about the antiaging tricks of social insects may also be gleaned from various termite species, creatures that are essentially social cockroaches, says evolutionary biologist Judith Korb of the University of Freiburg in Germany.
In this species, workers can live for several years, while kings and queens may last for a decade or more. But in most other termite species, the social structure is more complicated, and in some species, workers are completely sterile and will never have a chance to lay eggs of their own. This is where really large lifespan differences between worker and queen are seen.
Unsurprisingly, the team found that genes that are known to play crucial roles in reproduction showed different activity patterns in queens than they did in sterile workers. Some of these genes, which carry instructions for making proteins called vitellogenins, were active in queens of all species.
The main role of vitellogenins is to support the production of yolk for the eggs. But some scientists suspect that vitellogenins may be doing more than that: In honeybees, at least, research has found that vitellogenins also function as antioxidants. If vitellogenins do the same thing in other social insects, they might contribute to the resistance of queens to oxidation.
The team also found differences in the activity of genes involved in the prevention of oxidative damage or the repair of such damage, between queens and egg-laying workers compared with sterile workers. But the precise genes involved differed strongly from one species to another. Apparently, each species has evolved its own way of keeping its queens alive longer, says Korb, who led the study.
Once they start, they multiply exponentially fast. A termite queen can lay 6 to 12 eggs within just a few days or weeks after mating. Eventually, queen termites can lay up to thousands of eggs per day! The big issue with termites is that they live in massive colonies of up to tens of millions. The speed at which they chew through a structure depends on how large the colony is and how many colonies (yes, there can be several at once) live in the home.
In addition to discarded wings, mud tubes, and dust, damaged wood is one of the clearest ways to identify a termite problem. If termites are present in the home, you may find wood that appears rotten or discolored. This is the after effect of their chewing through the wood. If you look carefully, you may find tiny holes in drywall, spots that look like water damage, or maze-like designs carved into wooden structures. 041b061a72