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To anyone out there I need some quick advice. A few weeks ago along the side of the shed there was a pile of bricks and there were some ants coming out so I started to move the bricks and it was a humongous ant colony. Today we built a compost pile next to the pile of bricks however, when I moved the bricks there were no ants in there so I figured they had moved on. I started to transfer the compost that has been in barrels that were next to the bricks, into the compost pile, and lo and behold there were the ants, hundreds of them. I wondered where the queen was but I figured there was no chance of finding her. About the 10th scoop of compost transfer, I looked down into the barrel because I felt so bad, and as I said my apologies to the ants that were scurrying around, there was the grand queen. I quickly captured her and brought her inside and put her in a container and I've gone back out and made two trips so far to collect workers. I have them all in the refrigerator right now and it's about 45 or 50° in there so they're sleeping, but the only thing I have to put them in is a tiny ant farm and the top opening isn't even a quarter of an inch. I do have a bit larger ant farm that I want to clean out real quick to put the rest of them in and then connect the 2 ant farms, however I'm just having issues trying to get them into the ant farms before they wake up. Does anybody have a sure fire method of how I can transfer them all into there without them waking and escaping? I'm almost positive they are camponotus pennsylvanicus, and they are big. And also, what's the longest I can keep them in the refrigerator without causing harm?
Leave them alone; mature colonies have very difficult times adapting to captivity.
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