Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ant Mine

Cool toy, is the Ant Mine. I promised the boy to buy him one for Christmas and his grandma provided the money for it. It's only taken two months for the National Geographic shop to get it back in stock so I bought it on Sunday.

The boy was quite excited by it and wanted to put it together by himself. I was busy washing the dishes. Imagine my surprise when he walked into the kitchen with a surgical mask and gloves on! They were provided to protect him from some harmful substance used to build the ant mine. Turns out that it was for the plaster of paris which had to be mixed and set into a mould. We did that together. Forty five minutes later and it was ready for painting. Then it had to set overnight.

Next evening we had to finish building it and catch about 20 ants to install. The boy wasn't having much luck as he'd only managed to collect about three ants with his fingers. I went outside with a spoon and we had something like 22 ants before too long. Put them in the fridge for 20 minutes before they were subdued enough to let loose in the ant mine.

They don't take long to awaken though. Before long many of them were scurrying around the mine, shifting the dirt and sugar we'd dropped in their also, and generally making themselves at home. There is one entry point for water and another for food. This afternoon I caught a live shield bug and inserted it into the ant mine. I'm a sadistic bastard. It's fun to watch nature at work.

Ant Mine Terrarium

9 comments:

David (Staypuff) said...

Now that is very cool. A long time ago my brother had a cheap plastic one that worked quite well, until he left it outside and the ants cooked to death...

Try putting a redback spider in and see how many ants die trying to kill it. :D

Anonymous said...

I had an Ant Farm when I was little. I loved it. My crazy friends would do experminents on ants with dish soap and ect.. Take care!! That is cool!! Annette

Hammy said...

I've found a couple of redbacks lately but I'm not about to grab one and try and place it in the ant mine, thank you very much.

Nick Souter said...

looks like unreal fun! screw the kids, i want one for myself! how much are they?

Hammy said...

They are 24.95 Australian pesos.

Anonymous said...

we're onto our 4th set of ants and nothing much has happened! I'm starting to think we've been ripped off? How do I get it going, we've done everyhting by the book...

Hammy said...

We had ours running for about four to six months but nobody became the queen. They didn't even use the tube as a passage. Let them go in the end. They'd done their job.

ethaaaaaaaaaaan said...

the other day i was putting together my ant mine but the plaster broke when i took the plaster out of the mould, i brought more plaster and want to know how much to use?

Hammy said...

ethaaaaaaaaaan - I'd look for how much was in the package to start with and/or read the instructions. Perhaps they tell you the weight of the plaster initially. Bummer.