Yea bee's are different though, they have agricultural purposes and that produces a crop and an income.
Really the only other thing that is of importance is the species of ant. Some species need special requirements. Some are parasitic meaning they will found a colony off an already existing colony in the genera. Like those Aphenogaster sp's I had posted a while back for example.http://myrmecos.net
are good sites on World wide ants.
Identification is key in finding out what kind of set up you would want for you're ants, once (assuming they need a test tube) they out grow their test tube. I think you should be able to find Tetramorium. Their are 4-5 main species of ant you would want to try and get.
-Formica species (as a whole are preatty easy large ants) and colorful and have great eye site
-Camponotus pennsylvanicus/ herculensus (not sure on spelling on the C. herc)/ novaeboracensis are the easiest ones and you shouldnt have trouble finding them.
What part of Canada Western or Eastern or Central? This would help find a species for you. http://www.pestcontrolcanada.com/carpenter_ant_photos.htm
has Sp's found in Canada if it looks similar (is linked too myrmecos.net) take it to antweb.org cause allot of those photos aren't on myrmecos any more.
Some more information on keeping them is that You can have an open Set up this means not enclosed, if you have a tube leading to the set up where they are in, you can Coat the sides of the Foraging area with 3-1 oil or this stuff http://bioquip.com/html/view_prodpics.asp?CatalogNum=2871A
And you don't have to worry about you're ants escaping, this also helps ventilation and food can be in the foraging area longer cause it wont mold. You can even have a Ridge with the oil or anti escape product coated on it and they wouldn't dare try walking on it cause its vertical and they get no grip.
1 way too collect queens is Lay cardboard in the yard in the spring or large flat boards near tree's and out in the open as well. Queens feel secure enough under something to de-alate or take off their wings and will find a spot to build a nest, they might even start right their.
You can always tell its a queen cause
- they have large heads (males have smaller cause they don't do any work in a colony just reproduction)
- they have scar's where the wing used to be or left over wing areas
- they have a bigger build than worker ants (not always some ants have queens the same size as workers)
Female alates are always bigger than males. If you happen to find a swarm pick out 2-3 queens that you see being mated fallow them till you have seen them walk away from the mass of ants mating, and if you have seen them with a male Pick them up put them in you're test tube, or collecting jar w/e you are using, and be ready to take a few photos if you have a decent enough camera. And then put them in their test tube or founding set up.
You can feed you're queens this helps production cause they will use their own body muscle as food to rear brood. Some actually forage so you need to know species, when they don't forage its called a clustural cell, they close it up and they are in their until workers come and open it up.
I'm sure I have forgotten something if I remember ill post it later, if you have any questions go ahead and ask.