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The Life of a Queen Ant

Ants live together in colonies that consist of different castes including the queen, workers, and drones. These castes determine an ant’s role in a colony. Like other ants, the queen ant has a specific job to complete throughout its life. Check out how these royal ants spend their time. 

How is a Queen Ant Chosen?

Queen ant

When a queen ant lays eggs, some are fertilized and others aren’t. The fertilized eggs develop into female ants and the unfertilized eggs are males. Queens are determined during the larval stage. Scientists have researched what causes an ant to develop into a queen and there are a few theories. Some believe the amount of food given to larvae affect a queen’s development. Others suggest genetics play a role. While queens are usually born, one ant species will promote a worker if something happens to the colony’s queen. 

What Does the Queen Ant Do?

Queen ant on plant

Queens have one job—to grow and replenish a colony. When a queen ant develops, they leave their birth nest and find a mate. After mating, they find a spot to start building a nest. Once the nest is built, the queen ant lays eggs and waits for them to hatch. The queen will remain at this nest and continue to lay eggs for the rest of her life. Ants can lay thousands to millions of eggs in their lifetime. Some ant species are known for having more than one queen.

Is the Queen in Charge of the Colony?

Ant trail

Though they have a royal title, queen ants aren’t in charge of the colony. The queen doesn’t make decisions for the colony. Instead, the ants work together for the good of the colony. Queen ants do have a few special benefits including being fed and groomed by other ants. These royal bugs are also more protected than other members of the colony. They stay deep within the nest to help ensure their safety.

How Long Does a Queen Ant Live?

Ant trail

Lifespans vary by species, but typically, queen ants live longer than other ants. Queens have been known to live for over ten years and some have even had a lifespan of thirty years. This is good news for the colony. Colonies can’t survive without a queen. If the queen isn’t there to produce more eggs, the colony will eventually die off. Queens will do whatever it takes to survive even if it’s not best for the colony.

Though queen ants don’t have any authority over others, their role is crucial to the survival of the colony. While these bugs can be interesting to learn about, you don’t want them invading your space. If ants are bugging you, we have your back! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.

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