On our way back from the park yesterday we saw thousands, upon thousands of ants. Colonies of them dotted along the streets on the long walk home.
“Perhaps they’re having an ant party?” suggested my son.
At home we discovered that a friend had seen legions of flying ants in the south of England and someone else had seen lots of flying ants in Portugal the day before. I was keen to find out why and discovered that ants mate annually. They leave their colonies in the hope of finding a mate from another colony just one day out of the year.
Quite how they all know to leave their colonies on the same day is unclear however it needs to be warm and humid, with recent showers. After they have mated the female burrows down into soft ground to hopefully start a colony and the male pops his clogs.