How Ants Change Colonies
Usually an ant colony will have one queen, although in some species they may develop a new colony with multiple queens working together. This will allow a larger initial workforce in the new colony, giving it a better chance of survival in the first year.
If an ant colony is disturbed, it may have a chance to move to a new location, but this is rare. Ants can change colonies, but there is no way for an ant to just bounce between them. This is because ants cannot leave their home without being accepted. They must find another colony that matches the species.
If an ant colony is interrupted, workers may leave the nest and search for food. They will also swarm at anyone who tries to disturb the nest.
If an ant colony is threatened, it will seek to protect the queen and her eggs. Workers will also move the queen to a new location. This is a process called queen movement, and it is meant to provide the queen with protection from half of the colony in the old nest site. If the queen moves too early, it may endanger her becoming lost or preyed on.
The queen ant will lay the first group of eggs. These eggs will mature and become larvae, which will be carried by workers. These larvae will also participate in raids on other colonies.
As they grow, these workers will kill any surplus queens. This is because the larger brood will drain the queen’s energy. Alternatively, the larger brood may leave the queen unable to defend herself against the worker ants.