I have gotten a lot of requests from people wanting Queens for their ant farms and from people wanting entire ant colonies. I decided to do a bit of research to see what I could come up with and here’s what I found out:
Dig one up yourself:
The process I use is to locate a less developed nest (smaller).
You should try to do it in early spring when the sun has warmed the soil and the queen will be closer to the surface as it gets closer to spring. Take a shovel, buckets, and covers for the buckets to site of nest during mid to late day.
Next, cut a circle around the ant hill, about the size of a bucket or smaller if possible. Don’t pull up the section until you have made your entire circular cut. When you’re ready, lift the section out of ground and place it in first bucket. Then, while the nest is disturbed and the ants are freaking out, dig the rest of the soil up, following the chambers and tunnels until the number of ants are become more scarce or your bucket(s) are full.
Now, take the bucket(s) home and start sorting through them, using a spoon to collect the workers, pupae, larvae and eggs while looking for the queen(s). Once you got the queen, then you can decide whether to keep sorting to obtain more workers and eggs.