ANT WARS - The Worlds First Ant Collecting Competition!
Every year ant keepers across the world go out and collect queens for their personal colonies and also to sell or trade with other ant keepers in the hobby. This year in Europe people will have an extra reason to collect.
Ant keepers will be fighting for the title of World's First Recognised Ant Collecting Champion along with numerous other titles such as the top collector in the UK and top collector in several other regions within Europe.
These titles are to be awarded based on a competition called Ant Wars that is being run by the admin of the Facebook group Ant Keeping UK. The group is not exclusive to the those in the UK and encourages ant keepers from all over the world to join. To be eligible for the competition you must reside in Europe, sorry everyone else :( maybe in the future more competitions will arise that you are eligible for.
How does the competition work:
The basics of the competition are that you earn points for each queen that you catch. Each species has a designated point value with the most common species such as Lasius niger being just 1 point while rarer species like Temnothorax nylanderi being worth 300 points.
The best thing about this competition is that not only does this competition aim to bring the Europe ant keeping scene together through a little friendly competition, it also places numerous rules and restrictions to ensure that the competition does not negatively impact the environment.
The competition emphasises the important of sustainability by awarding additional points equal to half the original point value of the queens every time a queen is released back into a suitable location. So if you released a Temnothorax nylanderi queen (originally worth 300 points) you would gain an additional 150 points. Furthermore due to certain species being protected within Europe such as Formica rufa and rufibarbis these are banned from being collected and if collected in error must be released.
I want participate, how do I get involved and find out more ?
Well firstly you're going to need to join the Ant Keeping UK Page on Facebook. From there check out this post and this post, detailing all the rules and regulations of the competition. These posts also provide numerous resources to guide those less experienced in how to find queens and then how to look after those that they find. Then all that's left is to get collecting and thoroughly document your finds as described by the competition rules.
All the best with your collecting ! Only time will tell who the top collectors in Europe is!