Which brings me, AC Family, to this. Although we say goodbye to one colony in the
Antiverse, there’s something on the opposite side of the Ant Room that has been erected,
something I know for a fact, you guys will be ultimately thrilled about! AC Family behold, the framework to what will
be the future home to one of the greatest species of social insects I know, and our
next kingdom construct set to be our greatest of all time! Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, and hit the
BELL icon. Welcome to the AC Family! Enjoy! AC Family, this is what it’s all about! It all boils down to this epic moment. Some would argue, keeping ants doesn’t get
any cooler than what is about to happen tonight in our Ant Room. Today we build an epic climate-controlled,
tropical ant kingdom, unlike any you’ve seen before on this channel, for one of the most
incredible and highly coveted ant species in the entire world! In celebration of 3 Million subs this week,
I’ve finally decided to fulfill the overwhelming requests from you guys, to keep this species
of ant, and boy, am I glad I did, for what you’re about to see in this Weaver Ant Trilogy
series, will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before! Congrats to us for reaching 3M, AC Family,
and let’s get started, to welcome what I think are the coolest ants in the entire world! Asian weaver ants, known scientifically as
Oecophylla smaragdina, are perhaps one of the most unique ants on the planet. They’re known for their arboreal life in fruit
trees and shrubs, where they construct some of the most impressive hanging basket nests,
by gluing leaves together using silk produced by their larvae. You may or may not recall a past video from
5 years ago, when I was able to keep a large colony of Asian weaver ants for a little while,
but back in those days, I wasn’t uploading regularly, and turns out I released the colony
back into the wild, shortly after making a couple videos on them, when I felt they reached
numbers that made keeping them impractical at the time. But now, 5 years later, I’m much more prepared
and knowledgeable to handle a big colony of these arboreal Southeast Asian ant natives,
and with much more sophisticated equipment and 4K video, I am super thrilled to show
you just how awesome they are. Just to clarify, guys, this channel started
while I was living in Canada, hence the name, but I now live in the Philippines, where Asian
Weaver ants are common and native, so obtaining a colony of these ants was the easy part. Building them a set up to suit their needs
and lifestyle was the hard part! So here was my plan! Behold this massive glass and mesh enclosure
which will be the new ant kingdom to our weaver ants. It’s actually built to house reptiles, and
is so large that I’ve had to buy new furniture, and do some rearranging of some of the ant
colonies. You may be asking what this contraption is
there. Well AC Family, I’ll be getting to what that
awesome thing is later in the video. The tank has a lower glass basin area that
will prevent water from leaking, quite useful as I have some really interesting plans involving
water for this setup. I love this enclosure because it’s got some
impressive height, which will be useful for setting up the perfect habitat for the weaver
ants. That right there stuck onto the glass is a
digital thermometer and hygrometer, so we can closely monitor the temperature and humidity
within this enclosure, and beside it, a hole for accommodating electrical cables and such,
but we’ll be using that later as the entrance point for our weaver ants. And where are the weaver ants you ask? Well, they’ve been sitting here quietly inside
this plastic container waiting for their new home. Inside it is a big weaver ant leaf nest, freshly
clipped from a tree, with about 500 workers and lots of brood, or so I’m told. Ooohhh anyone else’s heart beating faster? OK just me? Fine! I it to move the ants in! But first we needed to setup the lands, and
build an epic kingdom fit for a huge colony of weaver ants! The LED and heat lamps were already installed
and working. The glass panels at the front open up and
are locked in place with a key. It’s important it remains locked as these
ants are very aggressive and their bites plus formic acid sprays can really pack a punch! Alright guys, let’s do this! I started by adding my plants. I’ll go into more detail as to what these
plants are and why I chose them in a little bit, but I really hoped the ants would like
them and find them suitable for nest building. I added some bioactive soils that I had stored
from previous vivariums. By bioactive, I mean the soils, already had
its community of microorganisms and creatures like springtails which would help eat up any
mold or garbage caused by the ants. This was important because with primary access
only through the front of the tank, I couldn’t do much spot cleaning and have the front glass
panels open for too long, unless I intend to have lots of escaped weaver ants roaming
the Ant Room! I would would have to rely on the cleaning
team of soil organisms to eat up all that ant garbage for us. To add to the microorganisms and also provide
the plants with some great fertilizer, I added earthworm cast to the medium. It was important that the plants remain healthy
because weaver ants really depend on the well-being and health of the plants they live in! I then added some driftwood to help be the
connector between the two plants, and offer a lot of great routes and bridges for navigation
around the living space. I want the ants to feel like they’re in the
trees with a good array of branchwork, and so after 3 more hours of building, this is
what the new terrarium looked like! AC Family, behold! I’m pleased to present the Canopy of Vortexia. Vortexia is a tropical branchwork of sticks
and plants, containing multitudinous layers of leaves, vines, and twigs for the weaver
ants to travel on. I’ve designed it so it also looks great when
viewing from the side. Let’s open it up for a closer look! Ohhh! What do you guys think? I personally love the lush, beautiful chaos
of it all! This plant used here is a Schefflera plant,
a type of umbrella tree. I’ve chosen it because its leaves resemble
a citrus tree, which weaver ants are known to nest in. I’ve decided to opt for Schefflera over citrus
because it was a less demanding plant compared to citrus, and more practical for growing
indoors. The other plant used is a money tree, aka
Guiana Chestnut. I’ve chosen this plant because its leaves
resemble that of mango which is the number 1 favourite tree weaver ants love to nest
in! I truly hope the weaver ants will find one
of these two plants worthy of their basket nests! In the corner there, for additional living
furnishings, I’ve placed a clump of hanging spanish moss, and down here, I’ve planted
some ivy to creep and vine its way around the territories as it pleases to give it that
jungle look! I’ve also added more vines around the lands
to help make the place more weaver ant-friendly. These vines will act like roads and highways
connecting key areas of the territories together. Weaver ants love to travel along linear landmarks
like vines and sticks, so I’m certain the ants will love these. By this design, they will be able to get to
where they want to go quickly, and can form efficient trails wherever the please. Now moving up towards the upper left corner,
you’ll see where I’ve placed their primary food bowl. I’ve situated it at this location for convenience,
because it’s through this plugged hole here, where I’ll be adding the ants’ food. All I gotta do is unscrew it like so, and
remove the cap. This is a better option for access into the
nest because it’s a smaller hole, which means less ants escaping, and with my long tweezers
I can add and remove food as needed, but umm hopefully I’ll be better practiced at putting
the cap back on! Now are you ready for the best part about
this new ant kingdom? Well, as mentioned, we have our digital thermometer
and hygrometer here. It’s currently 30 degrees C and 78% humidity,
exactly what the conditions are outside. And that’s exactly what I want! This entire setup is designed to be climate
controlled to perfectly match the conditions outside where I live. Now are you ready to see why these lands are
called Vortexia? Answer coming in 1 – 2 – 3! Wait for it… wait for it… any moment now! Yes! Rains! As you may know a vortex is a swirling current
of water or air, and at exactly 8PM every night, the Canopy of Vortexia becomes the
site of a 1 minute rain storm, perfectly matching the rainy season here in the Philippines. I’ve outfitted the terrarium with an automated
irrigation system to simulate nightly rains every 8PM, fed from purified water in this
canister below. All of this moisture and humidity will be
valuable to our weaver ants, as these ants like the variety of dry and wet throughout
the day, as well as water the plants nicely. When the rains are done, Vortexia becomes
a beautifully wet haven with leaves cradling life-giving beads of water to provide the
lands humidity over the next 24 hrs. And look, just like outside, after it rains,
humidity rises and temperature drops slightly. But we also don’t want the lands to get too
humid and stuffy, so thankfully there is lots of great ventilation through this side mesh
panel, as well as the entire mesh ceiling. Talk about an epic climate-controlled setup,
wouldn’t you say? And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting
for. It was time to move our new weaver ant colony
in! Sitting above Vortexia, lies our container
of weaver ants. The container has a lid, but I won’t be opening
that. Instead I’ll be attaching a tube from the
container to the enclosure through that hole there to allow the ants to enter the new territories. Alright, and now for the hard part. Boring a hole into the container for the tube
which will lead the ants in. First, I needed to attach the tube into this
hole, stuffing the spaces around it with filter foam. Thankfully, these ants are large and aren’t
very destructive, so this will be enough to keep them from escaping. I then laid the tube close to the feeding
dish and placed onto it our bribe. A cup of beetle jelly, I had laying around
since the Rhino Beetle Games. It’s sweet and will be a perfect lure for
the ants to come out from within their container. And now for the hole. I was going to use scissors, but I needed
to work as fast as I could to minimize escapes and bites! My heart raced, as I ran through the motions
in my brain first. I was so nervous. Alright, AC Family, Let’s do this! I cut out a hole and used my thumb to block
it while securely sticking the tube inside, and done! Woah! Only a couple of ants managed to escape. Thank goodness! I then watched with baited breath as the very
first weaver ant wandered through the tube, and emerged into Vortexian territory. She smelled the air with her antennae, and
after giving herself a quick clean, she went on to explore her new surroundings. Wow! Look at her colour! She was a greenish brown colour, which is
special because these ants are usually more reddish in this locality. Weaver ants are more green towards Australia
where they are also native. She seemed curious exploring around, totally
uninterested at the cup of beetle jelly, but more excited to explore, and then suddenly,
out of nowhere oh! Hey, this was something to be excited about! Her excitement grew as she began to realize
that this was a totally different, unexplored world, surely better than the dark red plastic
container they were currently in. She began to explore the driftwood. I loved watching her excitement as she began
to realize more and more how awesome this new space was. And then came a second ant, emerging to smell
the delicious fresh air. I loved watching them make an exchange of
excitement as if to say OMG are you seeing what I’m seeing? I actually caught them coming together several
times to marvel in shared awe at the expanse of Vortexia beyond. Haha! So cute As for the two escaped ants, I put them in
to reunite with their colony. It wasn’t long before the ants began to explore
other areas of the territories, as more and more ants began to emerge bewildered and amazed
from the tube. The ants explored everywhere! And I mean everywhere! AC Family, I was happy to announce that, everything
went as planned, and the move had officially begun! I couldn’t wait to see leaf nests! A few minutes later, I looked into Vortexia
and saw this. One of the ants had found our sweet jelly
bribe. She licked the delectable jelly. She just couldn’t get enough! While she was keeping still I could really
admire how gorgeous these ants were! Look at that body, those long powerful legs,
a cute face, big beady black eyes, and a light frame. Perfect for tree top living! The ants truly seemed to be taking to the
new kingdom we’d made for them. There weren’t a lot of ants in here yet, but
I knew by tomorrow, they’d be filling the place and throwing a festival! The next day, I rushed to looked into Vortexia
to see the progress of their move. Were there any leaf nests yet? Nope. Just a few ants wandering around still, feeding
cum gusto on our jelly! Alright, it seems the ants were taking their
time at moving in. By now, ants were returning to the nest after
having their fill or wanting to spread news of the new space. I knew I just had to be patient, but all I
wanted to see were those leaf nests! In time! Meanwhile, the ants would fill up their social
stomachs, return to the colony and regurgitate some of the jelly into other ants’ mouths,
which would cause other curious ants to come wandering out. If you look carefully, you can see the jelly
in their social stomachs through their bodies. Having a social stomach is quite convenient
for ants, kinda like having an internal lunch box. The food is kept sterile. And then, the ants form a sort of kissing
position when transferring the food mouth to mouth, a process called trophallaxis. And it looks like our jelly is generating
interest! Go on ladies, tell the gang to come move out! I decided to leave the ants in peace, and
check up on them later. By mid day, it seemed there still wasn’t a
lot of progress, but it did seem like more and more ants were coming out now. They must really like it in their container! At least it did seem the ants loved our jelly! And I was certain word was spreading back
to the colony and they were planning their move any moment! There was a tonne of trophallaxis action going
on everywhere so that beetle jelly was surely making its rounds! I think right now the ants were content in
their container, treating Vortexia like an outworld just for feeding, but I knew it wouldn’t
be long before the leaves of their current nest in the container dry up and the ants
will be forced to seek a new nesting location. You see the benefit of living in leaf nests
is that the leaves natural transpire, releasing humidity, so weaver ant nests are always perfectly
humid thanks to the plants’ natural processes. But once the leaves making up the nest shrivel
up, which they eventually do, the ants create a new nest at a different location of the
tree, and it looks to me like we have some workers scouting the area already for potential
future real estate. I just loved watching the ants explore around! Adventuring high and low, chartering every
section of the land. I just knew they’d love these vines! Now as the ants continued doing their thing,
I wondered how they’d react to their first Vortexian rain shower. A part of me wondered if the rains would freak
them out and deter them from moving in, or if they’d love it, seeing as these are native
ants and should be used to the rain and weather here. Only time would tell, but I just couldn’t
wait for 8PM! Night fell, and I returned eagerly to the
Canopy of Vortexia. It seemed more ants had warmed up now, to
the idea of coming out into the territories and feast on our bribe. Humidity had now dropped to the 50s. The rain system was set in place and ready
to deliver the weaver ants’ very first official storm in Vortexia. Ahh I was so excited to watch this live nature
scene happening right before our eyes! The Vortexian storm was to arrive at any moment
now. These ants had no idea what was coming up! And then suddenly without warning, the Great
Vortex arrived. Then, one minute later, the storm was done. The ants were completely covered in tiny water
droplets, but overall OK. I had a feeling they would be, as they’re
well adapted to rain, and I bet they were wondering why it only lasted a minute and
not hours like they were used to. They simply brushed off the water droplets
and continued on with their business. Ants immediately went right back to feeding. As expected, temperatures began to drop and
humidity levels rose. My heart was so full! I just love when a designed system works! We are ultimate Creator of Worlds, AC Family! It seemed the ants were slowly but surely
falling in love with Vortexia, and although they still weren’t making leaf nests, inside
I knew they would eventually. I could tell they were starting to feel at
home in Vortexia because they were beginning to display their signature signs of territorialism
and aggression. Look at that gaster pointed over its head,
jaws open, ready to formic acid spray and attack anyone who tried to come their way. I bet they had claimed this sugar source theirs,
so they were willing to protect it at all costs! We made history today, AC Family! We not only created a world with its own fully
automated weather system and climate, but also welcomed to the channel one of nature’s
absolute miracles. Not many have managed to keep these ants successfully
in captivity for very long, due to their very specific needs. It doesn’t surprise me that in the ant keeping
hobby, those keeping this species imported from their native homes of Southeast Asia
and Australia in temperate climates, don’t last longer than a year. But in our case, AC Family, these awesome
greenish arboreal ants are native here, which increases our chances of success, and speaking
of which, you guys won’t believe what I saw when I looked into Vortexia the next morning. Still no sign of leaf nests, and not much
has changed at the food station, but as I looked closer something peculiar caught my
eye in the shadows. What is that? OMG! Look who’s decided to come out and play. It’s an absolute pleasure to meet you, your
Royal Highness! AC Family, first off, happy 3 Million Subs,
guys! I can’t believe it! We’ve reached another hallmark, and are now
on the road to 4M subs! Thank you guys for always supporting the channel
and opening your hearts to the world of ants! I take none of you for granted and am happy
you guys like these ant videos. Did you enjoy today’s first Weaver Ant episode? What should we name this epic weaver ant colony? Leave your name suggestions in the comments
and I will choose my favourites to vote on in a future video! And, it’s far from done, as the fun has just
begun. OK, that rhymed, but there’s so much ahead! Will the weaver ants finally move in to Vortexia
and build their amazing leaf nests, and is this the official colony queen? You’ll find out more next week, so smash that
SUBSCRIBE button and BELL ICON for notifications now so you don’t miss out on this continuing
ant story! And don’t forget to hit the LIKE button every
single time, including now! It would really help a lot! Speaking of ants, it’s officially nuptial
flight season in the Northern Hemisphere, and a lot of you are catching queen ants now,
and in case you didn’t know, we’ve got all the top of the line ant keeping gear for you
ant keepers at all levels from beginner to advanced, as well as a tonne of new and exciting
products for the ant keeping community not available anywhere else, so head on over to
AntsCanada.com, and browse through our shop. We ship worldwide, and offer full email support
if you need us. We also have ant colonies with a queen available
in most regions. We also have ant colonies with a queen available
in most regions so go check us out and pick up your ant farm kit and ant gear today! If you’re new to the channel, and want to
catch up on all your AntsCanada Lore, feel free to binge watch this complete story line
playlist here, which traces the origins of all the ant colonies of the ant room, so you
can follow their stories and better appreciate how these ant kingdoms came to be, and why
we love them so much! AC Inner Colony, I have left a hidden cookie
for you here, if you’d like to see a hidden video of more footage of the queen weaver
ant I spotted the morning after their very first rain storm! She’s easily one of the most beautiful queen
ants on the planet! And now it’s time for the AC Question of the
Week! Last week we asked: Why are pharaoh ants considered one of
the worst ant invaders in the world? There were several correct answers, but congratulations
to RavenBlueFeather who correctly answered: Pharaoh ants are capable of joining
forces with other Pharaoh ants and that makes them very dangerous. Congratulations, RavenBlueFeather, you just
won a free e-book handbook from our shop! In this week’s AC Question of the Week, we
ask: What do weaver ants use to glue leaves
together when making their leaf nests? Leave your answer in the comments section
and you could also win a free e-book handbook from our shop! Hope you can 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!