Most people have heard about queen bees, but queen ants are a thing too. Queens are responsible for establishing and growing the colony. Without the queen, the colony wouldn’t survive. Check out a few amazing facts about queen ants.
What Do Queen Ants Look Like?
Ants vary in size, shape, and color depending on the species. Acrobat ants have a heart-shaped abdomen and are light brown, while little black ants are tiny and black. The queen ant will look like other members of their colony. However, they are bigger and have an enlarged thorax. Some queen ants can grow up to 1" in length. Queen ants are also born with wings though they tend to lose these after mating.
Do Queen Ants Lay Eggs?
Queen ants are the only members of a colony to lay eggs. After mating, they’re able to produce thousands, sometimes millions, of eggs during their lifetime. If a colony has more than one queen, all the queens will produce eggs. These eggs will develop into males, female worker ants, and future queens. Once the future queens develop, they will leave the nest, mate, and start a new colony.
What is the Queen Ant’s Role in the Colony?
Queen ants are responsible for founding and populating ant colonies. After leaving their birth nest, queen ants mate and find a location to build a nest. Once the nest is ready, she will lay eggs. After these eggs develop, her job is to continue laying eggs. Worker ants will take care of the nest and forage for food. Queen ants don’t have any authority over worker ants. The only special treatment she gets is other ants feeding and grooming her.
What Happens When the Queen Ant Dies?
Colonies with one queen won’t usually survive without her. The colony will eventually die off since new eggs aren’t being laid. Most ant species will reject a new queen. Some species will promote a worker ant. Species with multiple queens are more likely to accept a new queen. Protecting the queen is important to help ensure the survival of the colony.
Fun Facts About Queen Ants
We’ve made a list of fun facts about these royal bugs.
- Queen ants live longer than other members of the colony. They can live between 10-30 years.
- Though queen ants have wings, they don’t fly very often. You’ll usually spot these ants in the air during their nuptial flight.
- Future queen ants are known as princesses until they leave the nest and mate.
- Queens will do whatever it takes to survive even if it leads to the downfall of their colony.
- Queen ants often have other ants surrounding them. These ants are the ones who feed and groom the queen.
- Queen ants can be overthrown, especially in colonies with multiple queens. Worker ants are more likely to kill the queen who is less fertile.
Queen ants may not rule over a kingdom, but they are still critical members of the colony. Without these royal bugs, colonies wouldn’t be established or grow. If ants or other pests are bugging you, we want to help! For a more environmentally and family-friendly option, check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.