The queen is the mother of the entire population of the colony. It lives for about fifteen years. It has a pair of wings, but bites them off after its ‘wedding’ flight. This flight takes place on a hot summer day. The queen leaves the nest and goes out to meet a male ant, or drone, high up in the air. On its return to earth, it gets rid of its wings and then does nothing but lay eggs.
Eggs hatch and grubs come out. Soldiers guard them. Workers feed and clean them, and also carry them about daily for airing, exercise and sunshine. Two or three weeks later, grubs become cocoons and lie without food or activity for three weeks more. Then the cocoons break and perfect ants appear. Now it’s time for teaching and training. New ants learn their duties from old ants as workers, soldiers, builders, cleaners, etc. After a few weeks’ training, the small ants are ready to go out into the big world of work.
A queen ant is the mother of the entire colony of ants. It lives for about 15 years. It has a pair of wings with which is flies (wedding flight) above in the air. It meets with the male ant, called drones on a hot summer day. On its return journey, it sheds its wings and comes back to lay eggs.
- Once the eggs hatch, the grub (or the larva) comes out.
- The soldier ants guard the grubs.
- The worker ants feed and clean the grubs. The workers carry the grubs daily to get air, sunshine and exercise.
- After \(2\)-\(3\) weeks, the grubs become cocoons.
- The cocoons lie without food or any activity for another 3 weeks.
- Then the cocoons break and ants are born.
- These ants start their training period - it learns their activities and duties from older ants - as workers, soldiers, builders, cleaners.
- After a few weeks of training, these ants are ready to face the world.
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). An Alien Hand. The Tiny Teacher(pp. 1-6). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.