One that the most interesting ways to obtain an ant farm yard underway is to start with a nest at the very beginning that the ant swarm life cycle, once the swarm contains just one kind of ant, the queen. New colonies obtain their start as soon as winged queen and male ants fly out of mature colonies and also mate. The photo on the left, take away by Alex Wild, shows queens in flight.

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But exactly how do these winged ants know when come fly the end of the colony to discover a brand-new mate? depending upon where they room found, they have the right to rely on different kinds that information, consisting of the work length, temperature, and also rainfall. So the greatest trick is typically to have a an excellent idea of when-what time of year and also what time the the day-to look for them. Additionally keep in mind the you’re most most likely to uncover them in an area that currently has a most ant swarms present.

In places like Arizona, part ants will start brand-new nests in the springtime, sometime in between March and May, depending on the ant varieties and the temperature. Other ants will wait until the summer monsoon rains have rained enough to drench the soil and make it simpler to dig a new nest. So gaining the timing simply right to discover queens that are starting new nests can be type of choose winning the lottery-you need to be patient and persistent and also willing come wait until conditions are just right.


A good way to recognize if your possibilities of detect a queen are good is to go over and take a look at what’s going on in some big, tires colonies. Prior to the queens and also males leave the swarm to mate, castle will typically hang out about the enntrance gate of your parent swarm for a tiny while, deciding if the weather is just right for some flying. If you view winged queens and males in a colony around to take off from the nest, you will more than likely start to see mated and also now wingless kings running about sometime quickly after that.

Queens that have just mated and are in search of a place to begin a brand-new nest resemble tourists the are shed in a big city, to run around, taking wrong turns, acquiring into arguments, and also poking their heads right into cracks in the ground as they watch for simply the right spot to dig their brand-new home. Some freshly mated queens will still have their wings attached, but most will certainly tear them turn off pretty easily as they begin to look roughly because wings do the queens basic target for predators to find.

In comparison to the queens, worker ants look much more like civilization on their method to work and also school, traveling along straight trails in a purposeful fashion as they go about their regular business of collecting food for your colonies.


While a queen is busy looking around, the pretty basic to reach down and also pick her up gently in between your fingers, being mindful to hold her firmly but not to like her. V a small bit of practice, girlfriend can also get great at just grasping she by the legs. If you space lucky enough to spot an ext than one queen, choose up as many as you have the right to collect, because not every queen will have the ability to get a new nest started.

Queens deserve to be preserved in a small container such as a film canister because that a little while. Just make certain they have plenty the water, which girlfriend can provide by giving them a soaked noodle ball. They will be hard to watch, though, so friend could additionally build one ant farm to have the ability to see those going on. Just be certain to collection up several cups of the soil from the location where you gathered the queens.


If you’re simply a tiny bit as well late come collect majesties while castle still running around, that is still feasible to collect them as they begin to destruction a new nest because they i will not ~ be really deep underground. Start out by looking around for a tiny hole in the ground the is surrounding by a little heap of fresh dirt.


Use a hand shovel to dig up the dirt about the hole, and use your hand to pan it out across the surface of the ground.

If the hole consisted of a queen, she will usually shot to scramble cost-free of the dirt to escape.

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Not every hole will contain a queen, so store trying if you nothing succeed in ~ first. Besides, you could find some various other cool surprises as you dig! simply be mindful to fill in the holes that you have dug once you are finished.

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Article: Collecting Queen AntsAuthor(s): Rebecca ClarkPublisher: Arizona State University institution of Life scientific researches Ask A BiologistSite name: - asking A BiologistDate published: November 2, 2009Date accessed: October 10, 2021Link:

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Rebecca Clark. (2009, November 02). Collecting Queen Ants. - ask A Biologist. Re-cover October 10, 2021 indigenous

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Rebecca Clark. "Collecting Queen Ants". - ask A Biologist. 02 November, 2009. Https://