Frequently asked questions
Who is Ant Antics?
We are more than just an ant pet store, we are different. Notice you can see our address, our email, our information... no shady website, no mystery offerings, no low quality "Cheap" queens. We are a premium brand selling the healthiest queens, legitimate queens, imported Legally!, with this comes a cost, but its peace of mind worth an extra £ or 2
But boasting aside we do this because we love ants and believe that all keepers deserve a brand they can trust for that.
We are a small team of 3 all working round the clock to answer your enquiries and prepare your queens. No complaints here however, we love it!
What is your position on Exotic Ants? (Non U.K Native Species)
Put simply, we love ants... all ants!
In detail however, we recognise some members of the comminity are sceptical on companies selling exotics. But people have had exotic (non native) fish, guinnea pigs, hamsters, lizards and snakes (to name a few) for decades.
We believe we should be able to responsibly enjoy the species we love and providing they are imported with care and in complience of the Laws then we can do so. We are fortunate in the UK with our cold winters and freezing ground, non hibernating exotic ants would not survive a winter here, but our advice does not change;
NEVER release your ants into the wild, its illegal and cruel. Send them back to us and we will find them a loving home.
My Queen is not in stock, will you get more?
Difficult question. Where we would love to commit, we just cannot guarantee this, queens have annual nuptial flights and if our stock is sold outside of this window we may have to wait 12 months to get any more. If you see a queen you love then our advice is, dont delay and buy her today!
I really need help deciding which species to buy.
Not a problem, drop us a message and we will guide you through our selection by asking you a few questions, we can help you narrow down your choice.
If you are finding it difficult to select a nest then please drop us a message and let us know what species you want to house, we can help you choose.
Is the Ant Industry harming ant populations?
In Short, We do not believe it is at all.
In the wild, a queen ant actually has a 5% to 8% chance of sucessfully founding her colony. The ants know this and release millions, billions of future queens annually to maintian populations. So many queens mean that ant populations continue to grow and evolve creating new generations of super colonies and crossing oceans to inhabit new lands.
As a result we at ant antics purchase queens within our forcast, we do so responcibly and do not overbuy our stock. This means that we make such an small dent in wild populations that you could do more damage just walking through a carpark on nuptial day.
I caught too many queens, can you help?
Within reason we would love to help you out. All antkeepers have done this before, we get excited and far too tempted by the amount of queens around us that we take 10 instead of 1.
Dont worry though, if we have space avalible we can arrange postage to us for your surplus queens and we will find them new homes. Alternatively you could wait for them to found a small colony (for natives only) and release them into your garden to help local populations.
If you have a non native species however, contact us and do not release them into your garden.
What is your position of Ethical ant capture?
Ant Antics is very strict in our position on this, we are a responsible seller and a responsible buyer.
DUG UP COLONIES & BROOD BOOSTING
We do not condone or purchase any colony or queen that has been taken from a colony already established. This practice is common and we believe colony theft is single handedly the cruelest thing you can do to a colony.
Stealing a queen to leave her workers queen-less and die out without her is horrific. Likewise you would never know how old a queen is, what if she was to be at the end of her life?
We only sell fresh queens or colonies raised in house from a single fresh queen. We do not buy colonies from suppliers what-so-ever to ensure they are not boosted before arrival.
As such we do not take part in brood boosting.
WE HAVE ONE EXCEPTION
We do however have one species where we add Formica brood from an established colony, this is the Formica Sanguinea (The Slave Maker), she needs a few pupae to begin her colony and then she will lay perfectly on her own.
What is your advice on Gel Nests?
We highly advise you do NOT place an ant colony in a gel ant farm. There are several reasons for this, all of which come down to the welfare of the ants themselves.
1) The farm is too bright, ants (especially the queen and brood) need darkness, this darkness provides safety and security. Gel will make your queen stressed.
2) The farm is too moist. Ants need to regulate humidity and moisture by moving around the nest, this is especially true of brood at various times of day and stages of development. The high moisture of gel will prevent this.
3) Mold. Thats right, all this "wet" and we have a mold outbreak which happens extremely quickly and can kill entire colonies.
4) The gel is NOT FOOD. They look great in the marketing dont they with their "no need to add food", but ants will not eat this and if they do in desparation then its not what they need.
We often get the question whether you can breed ants in a gel farm. A gel farm is not suitable for that!
What are gel farms for?
Great question, Gel farms are for the observation of ants. These companies suggest you buy some workers and watch them dig tunnels. We think this practice to us is also cruel. "Stealing" ants from a colony and containing them sends them crazy, without their queen they will quite literally loose it and start digging deep to find her scent. At most these ants will live 3 to 6 months until they all die and you have to start again.
Please, love your ants and dont use Gel. If you already own a Gel farm, please consider removing the gel and replacing it with a suitable sand-loam or Earth. It is saveable so dont worry :)
Happy Queen Guarantee ( Live Arrival)
Visit our page https://www.ant-antics.co.uk/delivery-information to see more.
We charge a variable shipping rate, this covers a 1st class shipping and the box, bubble wrap, labels, test tube e.t.c that your queen comes in.
The fairest way to do this is on a vlaue basis, so depending how much you spend your shipping will range from £2.95 through to £5.50
Some species may be too high value for this and needs insurance, if we require you to purchase a £7.50 shipping with your queen we will clearly tell you in bold red text on the item.
Reservations & Payment
Can I reserve Queens?
Of course, but only queens which are pending arrival with us. If you are signed up to our newsletters you will get a 7 day warning of new arrivals (the time in our quarantine). We will take a pre-order or reservation from you by you paying in full to avoid us "running out of stock" when they go live.
If a queen is in stock we will not reserve her, she is free for anyone to buy and will not be put on hold. Once purchased however we will hold your queen for up to 7 days if you cant be in for delivery right away.
How do i pay?
Paying is easy, we accept credit card and debit card payments through our payment partner stripe. If we invoice you and you pay that way its stripe too.
Supply & Wholesale
I am a responsible seller, can i work with you?
Of course, drop us an email and we can see what it is you offer. We work with a select group of other UK stores who may be interested too.
We always ensure our trade partners are well rehursed in the Legal, Safe and Legitimate trade of species before we conduct any business.
Do you wholesale supply other stores?
This can be done. If you like something we sell, a product we have developed or an item we have then get in touch.
We cannot guarantee that we will have the avalibility to supply you but its worth asking, especially in the case of physical items like nests, foods and supplies. If you think the Ant Antics brand is as fantastic as we do then we would be proud of you stocking some of our items.
Do you offer Franchises
A Franchise is perfect for a start up store who wants a physical location that fits into our brand and ethos. If you feel you are "Ant Antics" enough then we want to hear from you.
Our franchise oppourtunities is for people who wish to open a physical location, we will permit a web store but only in conjunction with a bricks and motar operation.
Our packages are fair and reasonable, we do not charge you a large franchise fee upfront (you need that money to open your shop), instead you only pay a small monthly premium depending on your turnover.
Please note: Franchise contracts are for a minimum of 3 years and lock the purchase of stock exclusively to items, ants and products supplied by Ant Antics.