Listen and Learn with YouTube: Meet the ‘ant-repreneur’ who sells ants as pets

  • This Singaporean ant collector left his job to open an ant shop
  • Scroll down to check out the script and answer
Doris Wai |

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Watch the video and answer questions 1-10.
Click here for script and here for answers. 

(1) Shop profile: Just Ants
Based in (i) __________, the shop’s owner enjoys keeping (ii) __________. He decided to have a shop where (iii) __________ could gather and share their (iv) __________.

(2) Which of the following best describes an “ant-repreneur”

A. someone who studies ants
B. someone who starts a business selling ants
C. someone who breeds new ant species
D. someone who takes care of sick ants

(3) When did John start collecting ants?

A. 10 years ago
B. when he was still working at his previous job
C. as soon as he left his job
D. none of the above

(4) What sort of service does John provide for ant owners who need to go away on a long holiday?


(5) How long does it take to grow an ant colony?

A. a couple of weeks
B. around two years
C. more than five years
D. a decade

(6) Find a word or phrase in the middle of the video (1:11-1:43) that means “buying something suddenly, and without thinking”.

(7) According to John, what sort of care and maintenance do pet ants need?

(8) Why does John think more people are interested in keeping ants?

A. His shop has had an increase in visitors lately.
B. There are more people asking about keeping ants.
C. More parents are buying pet ants for their children.
D. Many ant hobbyists are selling their ants in his shop.

(9) How did the customer at the end of the video probably feel when she first learned about John’s shop?

A. startled
B. uncertain
C. delighted
D. squeamish

(10) What is the target audience of this video?

A. successful local entrepreneurs
B. young children who are interested in unusual pets
C. people who are keen on keeping insects as pets
D. someone who has a phobia of insects

[1] [Text on screen]: This shop in Singapore offers some very unusual pets. Ant lover, John Ye, opened the store to share his passion for the tiny creatures. He left a job in whole electronics distribution to be become an “ant-repreneur”.

[2] John Ye: Well, it started off [as] a hobby, and then I ventured deeper into an understanding of ants. From then on, I try to collect as many species as I can. My hobby started from one colony, and then I progressed to 10. Finally one day I thought, why not set up a small humble shop, and gather ant hobbyists together? We can share more interests, and have a place where people can get certain ant keeping supplies.

[3] [Text on screen] Ye said his store deals in about 30 to 35 distinct ant species. They range from very common carpenter ants to the invasive yellow crazy ants. Ye also runs an “ant hotel”, where ant colonies can stay while their owners are away.

[4] John Ye: Ants are living creatures, they require care, responsibility. They also require a great deal of patience. For someone to grow a colony, it can take up to a year or two years. So, you have to have due diligence, like cleaning, feeding, offering a good wide range of a diet. So, it’s not just simply buying on impulse. They have the same requirements as a hamster, fish, or even a pet dog.

[5] [Text on screen] Ye said raising ants is a fairly new hobby in Singapore. But he says more people seem open to the idea [of] keeping crawly companions.

[6] John Ye: Obviously, we were hit badly by the [Covid-19] pandemic. It is only until maybe last month when we received a lot of curious visitors, curious parents who want to bring their kids over, to really look at ants in depth and at the same time, discover their hidden world. It wasn’t like that before, so I think many people are opening up to an idea of ant-keeping hobby.

[7] Customer: My son is obsessed with ants and has been for quite a long time, but we’ve never had anywhere, like local, where we could find and buy ant supplies. So he always has to get it online from abroad, or he has to find his own queens in the garden. So just having this resource is great.

1.(i) Singapore
(ii) ants
(iii) ant hobbyists
(iv) interest/passion (any 1)

2. B

3. D

4. ant hotel service/ant boarding service/He can take care of the ants while they are away.

5. B

6. impulse buy

7. cleaning, feeding, and a wide range of diet

8. A

9. C

10. C

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