Last week with some of the last hot weather of the summer, you may have seen some very large insects tacking to the air. At the end of summer, dozens of flying ants leave their nests. These amazing ants are different from their siblings due to their large size and huge wings. It may not look like it, but these insects and the sole purpose of the ant nest.
Most ants in the nest cannot reproduce. Their sole purpose is to find food for the colony and protect their queen. All their hard work comes to a head at this time of year, as the queen gives birth to dozens of fertile offspring. Both male and female, these ants wait for a warm late summer day and then leave en-mass, looking for a mate. The males are much smaller than the females and once a male has found a female, he will attach himself to her.
Once they have mated, the young queen discards her mate and his role in life is completed. The female’s role has only just begun though, for she now has everything she needs to hibernate through the winter and start a brand new colony next year. So whenever you see a flying ant, stop for a moment and consider you are witnessing the completion and beginning of the circle of life! The Lion King? More like The Ant Queen!
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