Begining of a new colony
In a single day all the ants from the surrounding go for their nuptial flight. This has an aim to contribute to mixing genes. This day is determined by the humidity of the air, the temperature and the season. The wind has to be weak or missing and a special hormone has to be present. Every day the sexual ants (the drones and princesses) try to get out of the nest and climb as high as possible and go for their nuptial flight. All the ants in the nest are nervous. The workers are holding the sexuals until all the ants fly off in a single day. There is peace and quiet in the colony again and the workers start doing their daily jobs again.
During the nuptial flight a single female gets fertilized by about 40 males. Already fertilized the princess becomes a queen. She removes her wings with her back legs or by scratching them off in a stone. The new queen begins a new colony. This can be done in two general ways:
- Independent begining of a colony:The queen digs a hole in the ground or under a stone, where she lays some eggs. There are two possible ways here too:
- First:The queen stays by the egs and feeds some of the larvae on eggs she lays. She produces these eggs by breakung down her wing-muscles which she does not need any more.
- Second:The queen gets out to seach for food, which is very dangerous. She is responsible for feeding the larvae until the first workers hatch and start doing this. Then her only job is to lay more eggs.
- Dependent begining of a colony:After the nuptial flight the fertilized princess (the queen), which has removed her wings can do one of these:
- First - She can join the colony she was born in.
- Second - She can together with some workers begin a new colony.
- Third - She can steal in a hole dug by another young queen, where she lays her eggs and leave all the cares to the other queen. Once born, the workers kill the foreign queen and their queen takes her place.
- Fourth - She can steal in a colony and kill its queen. Then the workers accept her as their queen and take care of her eggs. Their number gradually decreases until they get completely assimilated.
Big part of the thousands of queens that fly off for their nuptial flight die for different reasons. The few which are lucky enought to stay alive, begin a new colony and continue their kind, which is their main aim in life..