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Queen & Colony

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary Thursday, 7th August 2008


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THIS 1 cm long wingless insect puzzled me. It was searching and probing in the cracks between the paving blocks at Ossett market place. A wingless equivalent of a hunting wasp? A wood ant that had been accidentally transported here?


A small ant wandering around nearby made me realise what it must be: a queen ant. At this time of year there’s a nuptial flight, when thousands of winged queens and winged males are released by ant colonies.

After mating, the queen removes her wings, excavates a small burrow and lays the eggs, which will, after going through the grub and pupa stage, become the first workers of her colony.


At the hairdressers’, Unit 9 Hair Design, Ossett.