In January 2020, Jun Yi launched his store “Just Ants” (ants only), which is the first store in Singapore dedicated to selling these insects, transforming his hobby, which he used to devote part of his attention to, into a profession to which he devotes all his time.
The Singaporean developed his interest in these insects after he received some samples as a gift from his brother-in-law, and soon he left his job as an electronics sales representative to devote himself to launching his shop.
The 40-year-old sees ants as “compassionate and loving animals” with a “fighting spirit,” and he hopes his shop will become a destination for other ant lovers.
“I want to make this shop a place for people to meet and exchange their knowledge and experiences in raising ants,” John Yi told AFP.
The store sells ant colonies, specialized equipment, tubes to catch them, small trays for food and even worms to feed.
Yi was forced to close his shop during the quarantine stage aimed at containing the outbreak of the emerging corona virus, but business has been progressing well since he reopened it.
Jun Yi provides in his shop about 30 types of ants, some of which were acquired by experts and specialists in the field of ant study, or he took over the families of others and his friends.
It is not easy to catch these insects, as this is only possible during “mating trips,” when new queens and male ants fly in search of a mate.
Jun Yi’s group includes tens of thousands of invading ants, a common species in Asia, all housed in a large box.
The number of those wishing to breed ants is still limited in Singapore, but it is increasing.
The group of ant lovers on “Facebook” has about 4,000 members.
Jun Yi explained that convincing his citizens that these insects can be not only harmful pets still requires a lot of effort and work, noting that most Singaporeans think that keeping ants is not desirable because they believe that these insects are “toxic, disgusting and carry disease.”