Ant colonyColonies in the ground may vary from those having a single tiny entrance and a few tunnels and galleries below the surface to large ant hills several yards in diameter and several feet high, with extensive galleries both above and below the general ground level (Fig. 1). In these nests may be found a queen (frequently several); males, at least at times; and often many thousands of workers.
The queen or queens produce the eggs which are carried away and cared for by the workers, who also feed the larvae, clean them, transfer them from one part of the nest to another, according to the temperature and other conditions they need, and finally aid them in escaping from their cocoons. They also feed the queen and do all the work of the colony. The eggs laid may develop into either males or females and workers, and the theory of Dzierzon given above for bees has been applied to ants also, though some evidence that unfertilized eggs may in certain cases produce workers tends to throw doubt on the applicability of this theory to ants.