Every year, around the time of Midsummer, marks the beginning of the insect swarming season. So far this year I have seen one large swarm of bees, which is good news for both gardeners and growers alike as there is a definite shortage of bees this year.
Today, it was time for the ants. In Britain, we are currently on the edge of a heat wave – perfect swarming weather. The ants all but spurted out from their nests but what should have followed with a cloud in flight, didn’t happen. Each of the nests only pushed out around ten winged ants. The remainder were all standard workers milling about on their six little legs and transporting a few very small white eggs several feet to perhaps begin a new colony.
For an insect to change its usual behavioural pattern that has been flowing smoothly for millions of years is worrying. Even if insects aren’t your favourite creatures they are most essential to the eco system and any change in their pattern of behaviour could warrant the death knell of another creature. If insect patterns dramatically change then it will eventually impact upon us. So take a look around. Check out your local insects – are they behaving normally? Do you see any changes? Are the ants in your area swarming on the wing?