Being experts in the field of termites and pests, Conquer Termites are often approached by companies and universities to provide invaluable knowledge, material and guidance.
Recently Conquer Termites were recruited by The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Micro Biology Lab to supply thousands of live termites in an effort to discover more about the break down of cellulose.
The termites (species: microcerotermes) are commonly found through out South East Queensland and are even in most homeowners back yards. This arboreal nest was removed from the side of a tree in nearby bush land by Conquers’ experienced technicians. The most important technique of retrieving termites in this manner, is to have ones eyes closed and mouth shut!
Once collected the termites were placed into a dark, moist and slightly ventilated environment. See the video below, over three thousand termites frantically rebuilding their home after their sudden relocation.
Sharon, Senior Technician-Plant Biologist of the Science and Engineering Faculty, will use 25-50 termites per sample and will then run multiple tests in the lab to examine just how the microscopic bacteria contained within the gut of the termite breaks down and in what time frame.
Termites feed on dead plant material, mostly in the form of wood, leaf letter, soil, or animal dung. Cellulose is difficult to digest for termites but is a very rich source of energy. Termites heavily rely on the microbes in their gut to digest cellulose for them.
With help from Conquer Termites, QUT hope to learn more about the break down processes of termites for the purposes of further developing undergraduate education.