I have captured an ant queen and now I'm trying to create an artificial ant nest.

I have noticed that though she has dug a hole to hide in, she keeps the eggs out of it unless she feels that they are in danger.

ant queen reaching for her eggs

I have two theories explaining why she does that:

  1. Ants naturally put eggs in sunlight to keep them warm. In her situation, they are not gonna be any warmer of course - the jar is whole about the same temperature.
  2. She is digging a nest and she needs some space. If this is true, where is all the dirt?
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Theory number 3 suggests, that she is proud of them and she knows how curious am I to see them... $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2014 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ Can you post a complete picture of the ant (Please don't pull her out)? $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2014 at 18:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ She is very shy, and ever since she dug the hole, I can usually just see them for a moment (much like the alien in the first Alien movie). But I have one photo of the queen. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2014 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ Theory number 4 could be it is maybe too warm in your jar and she is trying to keep them from heating up in the warm dark earth. $\endgroup$
    – skymningen
    Jul 21, 2014 at 6:57
  • $\begingroup$ Is this the same queen as in the question, "Can I identify this black ant queen?" There is a picture on that question @skymninge. $\endgroup$
    – J. Musser
    Jul 22, 2014 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


According to various websites and literature I found,

Starting a new colony

During the mating season, Queen Ant grows wings and mate with male (flying) ant. In most of the species the queen will fly away to a new place where, she will loose her wings and dig a tunnel. She may lay eggs inside or outside because of the humidity and temperature, mostly they wait till spring, so that the humidity is high as well as warm temperature.

For laying eggs she will dig a tunnel inside and close the gates. She won't eat or move and completely avoid light, if the eggs are unhatched or some other problem occurs she will eats her own eggs. After around 8-10 weeks eggs will pop and you will get new worker ant babies. They will form the hive and feed the queen ant.

More info: http://antnest.co.uk/colony.html

  • $\begingroup$ My queen already ate lot of sugar. Are you really sure? I have noticed you post tons of content on this board without putting much effort in all the posts (I've been watching you). Remember that all this is not just about earning reputation. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2014 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ Follow the link... antnest.co.uk/colony.html $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2014 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ I can see the link. The fact that something is written there doesn't necessarily mean it's 100% right. You've also said various websites. But in fact, it's according to Myrm's ant Nest website. But most importantly you didn't answer my question. Neither you answered my comment. $\endgroup$ Jul 20, 2014 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ @TomášZato No need to be rude. Devashish is a great user, and has started an unanswered questions event, to take care of some of the unanswered questions. Note that he's put more info into your question than anyone else has. Again, you were wrong to be rude, don't do it again. $\endgroup$
    – J. Musser
    Aug 24, 2014 at 18:27

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