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Ant-hunting We Will Go! A Social media Group aims to connect Ant Lovers

Ants Singapore, a Facebook group that has grown to 380 members since last December, aims to connect "ant lovers and even those who are interested in keeping ants."

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An ant collector holds up a queen ant
Chris Chan, an ant collector, holds up a queen ant at a house he rented to keep his ants in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Wikimedia
  • Ants Singapore, a Facebook group, aims to connect “ant lovers and even those who are interested in keeping ants”
  • Followers share tips on catching and breeding ants, do-it-yourself ant farms and links to videos
  • The group hopes to change the idea of ants as a nuisance even though these insects are mostly harmless

Singapore, June 10, 2017: Shining their flashlights into the darkest corners of Singapore, a small group of ant hunters searches for an elusive winged insect.

With luck, they will find a queen ant to lay eggs and start a colony under the watchful eye of a collector.

“You can search for a few hours without finding anything at all. So, it’s really luck,” Leland Tan, 14, said after he hit the jackpot, and found two queen ants in one night.

Singapore, a tropical city-state home to more than 40 ant species, has a small but growing community of ant collectors.

Ants Singapore, a Facebook group that has grown to 380 members since last December, aims to connect “ant lovers and even those who are interested in keeping ants.”

Followers share tips on catching and breeding ants, do-it-yourself ant farms and links to videos such as the giant killer ants in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

While most ants in Singapore are harmless, the insects are often regarded as a nuisance. That is something Chris Chan is hoping to change.

“I want people to look at ants differently,” said Chan, a 29-year-old Uber driver and member of Ants Singapore.

“Now, a lot of people still think that ants are pests, but with enough education, I can educate them that keeping ants can be safe,” he told Reuters Television.

Chan lives across the border in the southern Malaysian city of Johor Bahru with his girlfriend, her family and up to 30 ant colonies living in 10 formicariums, or ant farms.

Helen Teh, the mother of Chan’s girlfriend, said she was curious why the couple needed so much sand and wood in their home.

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“He said, ‘Oh Auntie, I’m keeping ants,'” Teh said, recalling her initial surprise.

“Later, when I knew it is something that he loves … I said, ‘It’s no harm done,'” she said.

Chan has turned to social media to promote his hobby.

He has started a YouTube channel for new collectors and answers questions about ant care on the group’s Facebook page.

Chan also organizes ant-hunting trips to teach people how to find and catch the tiny insects that he says can hold his attention for hours.

“Some people can stare at an aquarium for hours. Same, just like my ants,” Chan said. (VOA)

Next Story

Singapore To Come Up With Strict Alcohol Norms For Pilots

The Singapore Air Operator Certificate holders will be required to strengthen their alcohol abstention policies and implement an Airline Alcohol Management Programme from May to identify, manage and rehabilitate pilots with problematic use of alcohol, the release said. 

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Pilots found to be operating under the influence of alcohol may be subjected to criminal penalties of up to 50,000 Singapore dollars (about $36,878.5) and/or imprisonment of up to two years for the first offence, and up to 100,000 Singapore dollars and/or imprisonment of up to five years for repeat offenders. Pixabay

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced here on Thursday that it would tighten the regulatory regime on alcohol abstention to mitigate the risk of pilots operating under the influence of liquor.

According to CAAS, the authority will implement the Airport Alcohol Testing Programme (AATP) and start random testing of pilots at Changi and Seletar airports on March 31, the Xinhua news agency reported.

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Pilots found to be operating under the influence of alcohol may be subjected to criminal penalties of up to 50,000 Singapore dollars (about $36,878.5) and/or imprisonment of up to two years for the first offence, and up to 100,000 Singapore dollars and/or imprisonment of up to five years for repeat offenders. Pixabay

It will set the alcohol abstinence standard at 0.02 grams per 210 liters of breath for pilots. Those found to exceed the standard would not be permitted to fly, it said.

Pilots found to be operating under the influence of alcohol may be subjected to criminal penalties of up to 50,000 Singapore dollars (about $36,878.5) and/or imprisonment of up to two years for the first offence, and up to 100,000 Singapore dollars and/or imprisonment of up to five years for repeat offenders.

alcohol
It will set the alcohol abstinence standard at 0.02 grams per 210 liters of breath for pilots. Those found to exceed the standard would not be permitted to fly, it said.
Pixabay

The Singapore Air Operator Certificate holders will be required to strengthen their alcohol abstention policies and implement an Airline Alcohol Management Programme from May to identify, manage and rehabilitate pilots with problematic use of alcohol, the release said.

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Kevin Shum, Director General of CAAS, said: “The safety of aircraft operations, passengers and crew on board is paramount and the CAAS and the aviation community take a serious view of pilots operating under the influence of alcohol.”

“The new alcohol testing and management programmes will help ensure that pilots’ ability to operate aircraft is not impaired by alcohol,” he said. (IANS)