Monday, 11 July 2011

Black ant mating flight

A hot sunny day ideal for black ant mating flight. These first two pictures are from a nest on the rockery in our back garden. This was  just about 1.00pm

I think this has been one of the most spectacular years for a long time. Generally the queens in our garden come of the nest and run along the ground and up the nearest wall or similar where the hesitate for ages before they fly off.

This year they poured forth straight onto the wing from two of the nests and was quite spectacular. These two pictures are from a nest underneath a toad ornament.

You can see the larger winged queens, smaller winged males and worker ants.
Interestingly this did not attract much attention from the many swifts and gulls we have nearby. Just this lone gull eating ants in the road.

As I watched I noticed this solitary bee coming out of a hole in the lawn, possible a nest hole.

Early evening I thought it would be safe now to move the toad ornament and mow the lawn. I have been avoiding moving it for some weeks.

However I noticed that the nest was full of cocoons and also some more winged queens. I put the ornament on loosely while the workers ushered the queens underground and carried off the cocoons.

I took a look later and you could see all the tunnels remaining

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