Amazing Ants

This is the time of year when ants all over the country are appearing in a garden or wormery near you. To prevent them getting into a wormery take preventative action and stand the legs in containers of water and smear a strip of Vaseline around each leg.

Here are some amazing ant facts:

On cue usually in August and probably triggered by some environmental factor, such as temperature or humidity, ants burst into action en mass to mate to ensure the maximum genetic mix.

Ants generally mate on the wing and once mating has taken place the males die.

Having mated, the queen ant returns to the ground and removes her own wings by rubbing and pulling at them with her jaws.

The new queen has enough sperm inside her body to last her the rest of her life.

The new queen then finds a spot to nest and starts to lay eggs. These will become the first workers of the colony and until they are ready to serve the queen she will not leave the nest.

Once she has bred her first work force the queen is waited on by her daughters and gets on with the serious business of laying eggs for the rest of her time.

It is only when the nest reaches a certain size that the queen allows for the production of more virgin queens and males.

Queen ants have a lifespan of up to 10 years.

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