With the channel growing, focusing so much time into self study, for the last 8 years, I have dedicated to my career, protecting people, It's a tough career, my average work week is 135 hours, our requirement isn't covered by the working time directive, you have to be a very disciplined person, self motivated & driven.
I've often thought about continuing with my medical qualifications, to level 6 becoming a registered paramedic, perhaps even training others, as much as I am proficient in my abilities, its not something, that hits a spark within me.
I'm not the type of person that wants work to be predictable, I like a challenge, I don't want to know what challenge I will over come next, I've been looking into the pathway to study Myrmecology, its not very straight forward in the UK, its not a recognised vocation, merely part of other qualifications, biology, zoology, etc.
I have already signed upto some free open university courses, knowledge is a powerful tool, and simply available in a few clicks.
Wildlife & Nature courses.
Tending and caring for Ants, you become aware of impacts on the environment, to keep them you create mini environments for them to live, tiny changes can have massive consequences.
on the wider spectrum, I have found myself considering our environment, local wildlife, local nature sites, parks & forests, I have made a huge decision, no matter how old you are in life, your never too old to learn, its never too late to change something, you just have to make that decision and keep going until it happens.
I am going to make a career change from close protection to conservation.
If we cant protect the environment, then how can we protect people?
without a balanced, stable, protected environment, people will die, the air we breath, the waste we produce, I have a passion to protect, I see this career move as simply shifting from protecting people to protecting nature.
Things may be sketchy in the coming months for releasing content, through no fault of my own, the position I have worked for the last 2 years will be terminated on the 30/06/2021, I have lined up other work, I will be back to traveling the country, from task to task, the sad reality of my career is it doesn't leave much time for my family or my life.
My hope is to find a position within a local wild life trust within Hertfordshire or surrounding area's, I have started applying for positions, combining my dedication in my career, with the passion for my hobbies, the out doors, its pretty much a dream job, get to spend time in nature, patrolling the local forests, a great way to me to start gaining skills and qualifications, on a path that I had begun to make plans to enter, before this situation inspired me to reach out and see what opportunities, I can find.
Wish me luck!
Such an awesome interview, catching up with Ants on a Rock! talking about his channel, how it has grown, his next projects! check the interview and catch it all!
This was such an awesome opportunity, interviewing Miles Maxcer from "The Ant Network".
Still getting in line with the time difference, I had thought I still had ample time when the episode started recording, I thought we was due to record 20:00 (8pm) GMT UK time, of course I get a message at 19:00 (7pm) asking where I was! just sitting down to dinner with the misses thinking I had plenty of time to spare, grabbed the laptop, internet cutting in and out, was loading up the show notes as my part came to speak, I was a bit flabbergasted & tongue tied, but soon got into the swing of things, with so many great questions from the community, literally every question I wanted to ask, had already been in put into the show notes, so many great questions I even missed seeing, Esthetics #wedontapprove question and asking it myself, not my finest of moments, but at least we got it asked!
Moving forward I now have my phone showing both the local time in Michigan USA & in the UK, no more time zone confusion!
Give the podcast a listen, if your an Itunes listener, please consider giving the show a review, it helps the ratings & scope massively.
Lauren Silverman, writing for the National Geographic, has written a very in depth article, about Ant Keeping, the unlikely rise of the hobby, which was brought into the mainstream by Uncle Milton's Ant Farms, the first commercially produced & sold world wide, Ant Formicaria in the late 50's early 60's, In the US these Formicaria were sold with Pogonomyrmex a North American, harvester Ant species, when it reached the EU, they were sold with Messor Barbarus, the European harvester Ant, both species remain to be some of the most popular kept, ant species in their regions.
Certainly the hobby has evolved, it would be unrecognisable to our forebearers, with the choices in formicaria alone, not to mention the growth of the hobby worldwide, aided by the age of technology, the internet, as part of the generation that kept Ants prior to the internet boom, NTL made the internet more accessible for the UK, in the year 2000, with the launch of broadband, dial up was a poor excuse for internet, it would take hours to load a simple Jpeg file.
At that point not much existed in the web, regarding the hobby of ant keeping, really I would say it wasn't until the launch of Facebook in 2004, to put it in perspective, my early years as an Ant keeper came to an end, around 2005.
Fast forward to 2021, we have hundreds of Facebook hobby groups with thousands of members, communities across other platforms, Discord, Reddit, Instagram & the latest craze on TikTok.
Information & knowledge on the hobby is now readily available, youtubers such as Ants Canada & Ants Australia, paved the way for millions into the hobby. I would attribute the internet & technology, to being the biggest catalyst, taking this hobby, from a kid like myself keeping Ants in dirt jars & other home made formicaria, fruitless expeditions to the local library in search for knowledge on how to keep Ants, anything I could find, but content was scarce, to having it all at my fingers tips, through my phone or laptop.
The internet totally, changed the face of the world, opened doors, we have never had so much information readily available to us, now a quick google search can connect you to a whole database of scientific and academia, articles on ants, forums filled with Ant Keepers, video content, more than you could find the time to watch it all.
We have been spoilt by some epic documentary's from the legendary likes of Sir David Attenborough, One of my favorite documentaries to come from the BBC was the Empire of the Desert Ants, narrated by Andy Serkis. Follwing a colony of Myrmecocystus (Honeypot Ants) in the deserts of Arizona, USA.
Its moments like these, when our humble hobby is highlighted to the world, that we as keepers, content creators or ant loving community members, we tend to see an influx of newly emerging keepers into the hobby, perhaps sparking an old childhood interest, others a completely new interest, being left in awe from what they have seen or read.
Articles, documentaries, content creators, inspire people to be a part of the hobby, Its been amazing to see this growth, gaining more and more momentum.
The Ant keeping hobby is not like any other hobby that I have ever taken up, it can be an emotional rollercoaster at times, its certainly one of the biggest learning curves, there is so much to get to grips with, from Latin names, to understanding the differences between species, understanding your local laws, Identifying Queens, capturing or purchasing Queens to start a colony, learning how to create a safe and stable environment, it can feel overwhelming.
My advice to new keepers, join Facebook groups or Discord groups, you can find some listed in the "Our Colony" links page, this will link you into one of your biggest resources & support pools, the community as a whole are very welcoming, most go out of their way to help, give advice or make suggestions, its a unique mix and group of people, from all walks of life.
Terms & Conditions
To enter simply comment on the video, if you would like to show more appreciation please, share the video, show a friend, if you haven't already please consider subscribing to the channel.
I will select winners at random and announce them in the next video, if you win, but are not eligible, due to age, permissions, laws, etc, I will re-draw a new winner in the following video.
Thank you Ants Davey for your generous gift so I am able to offer this competition to the community.
I was due to announce the competition winners in a live stream, since hibernation the Queen has not laid any brood, she has 2 pupae, prior to hibernation which have not eclosed.
I'm not quite sure what is currently happening with the Queen, I'm a little worried to announce a winner and the Queen may not be viable, she had laid brood when she arrived, she ate them prior to hibernation leaving only the 2 pupae.
It could be that a problem has arisen with the Queen through hibernation, I'm not entirely sure the reason, she has not laid since & the pupae have not eclosed.
In theory they should have eclosed by now & she should be well into a few cycles of laying brood.
I would like to wait until the Queen has laid more brood & has some workers, just so that I know that I have done the right thing, she seems in good health, she is actively foraging in the tubs & tubes set up.
I know the competition has been a total shambles on my end and I apologise, I tried to set something up, I was not able to do, then when the pandemic started, shipping became dodgy, I decided to wait a little longer until that all calmed down, months later this is where I currently find myself with the competition.
My proposal is if the Queen is not viable, I will contact Ants Davey & purchase a replacement, to eventually offer the entrants as a prize, he was very kind to offer the first Queen as a prize, she had brood, she was healthy, the fact is her current state could be due to mistakes I have made without realising, perhaps through the hibernation, I've racked my brains, gone over everything a dozen times, quite simply I don't know.
I know those who entered the competition may be feeling disappointed & I totally understand why, I will find a way to make it up to you all, I have the list of entrants saved.
I am still going through the process of learning, setting up the live streams, getting everything in order, I hope this mishap, is something we can all move forward trusting that I will make it happen the competition will be run at some point once I know what's happening with the Queen or have purchased a replacement, it was an honest balls up, I hold my hands up, I over reached in my capabilities and what I hoped to deliver. Lesson learned.
I just wanted to keep everyone in the loop, I have not forgotten, I just don't know what is the best step to take yet, I don't want someone to win a prize just to be disappointed.
Miles Maxcer, is the content creator behind "The Ant Network"
He currently has 4.42k subscribers!
Derka has invited Miles for an interview, on Formicast,
he will be joining us for a pre-recorded show,
this is your last minute chance to get in your Questions,
you may have for Miles?
He is incredibly knowledgeable being an Insect Ecologist.
Check out his content!
Join us on the Formicast Discord
Ants & The Colonialist