life cycle of the ant?

hello all,
i noticed a great deal of ant-flies (ants with wings) in my garden on saturday and now those nests seem deserted. i guess they fly off to start new colonies elsewhere.
does this mean no more ants till next year? what is the life cycle of the ant or ant-colony?
many thanks,
Harry.
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The nest isn't deserted.
You'll get lots of authoritative answers on uk.rec.natural-history, honestly.
Mary

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On Tue, 5 Aug 2003 21:34:28 +0100, "Mary Fisher"

I'd rather ask talk.origins how the ant had evolved, than go anywhere near a UK CONservation newsgroup 8-( I've never seen ng's quite so polluted by trollish egos.
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I know what you mean, but the animal rights loonies don't care about ants and if you read offline you won't have to download the endless crap. It's easy to spot, the loons use capital letters in the subject lines. In amongst the crap you will get an informed response, and at the moment the loonies seem to be kept quiet by the heat, or its loony holiday season.
Peter
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Harry wrote:

Not quite sure it's a diy thing, but still...
Flying ants are the new queens and males - raised that year in the old nest. Queens bigger, males smaller. The new (virgin) queens take flight, followed by the males. Mating mid-air ensues - and then wherever the queens land, they rub their wings off, and look for a suitable site for a new nest. Males unfortunately land and die - they have no further use in the ant lifecycle. The original nest continues - but underground - you only see the fine earth piled up in the run up and shortly after the flights, while the newly mated queens go off to set up their own nest. Eventually she will have a functioning nest, complete with worker ants, and will produce the next generation of queens and males ready to take to the wing and start the cycle all over again.
Nests survive from year to year, unless neighbouring ant colonies invade and wipe it out, so if you have ant hills in your lawn/borders once, chances are you'll get them this sort of time again next year, and the year after...
On the other hand, ants apparently do a good job at pest control - though I must say their farming of aphids leaves a lot to be desired IMO.
Velvet
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Not round here they don't!
I got that "fog of ant powder" down to a fine art now! All over (including the wriggling) in ten minutes! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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I was at the beack a while ago and we sat down in the sand dunes for lunch, sheltered from the wind, and I was watching the ants farming scale bugs on every little sprig of sorrel (that's what I think it was anyway). Every plant was infested and patroled by ants, fascinating to watch.
Peter
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On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 10:47:15 +0100, Peter Ashby

I happen to think highly of ants. If there's a possibility of creatures being able to pool intelligence they've got to be a living example of the concept.
In that tiny little body they can't have much in terms of brain power, but collectively they know how to survive and deal with everything life throws at them.
Rather than brain power it's probably got more to do with some sort of undiscovered chemical system - a chemical system with legs and disconnected parts :)
Andrew
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yes, the social insects are very much a success story, and we humans think we invented farming and animal husbandry. We are beginning to understand how they do it, or at least some of the chemical cues they use. It is remarkable the sort of complex behaviour you can get out of an apparently rather simple nerve net too.
Peter
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So do I. I'm glad there's another supporter who doesn't want to kill everything which is (usually wrongly) perceived as a nuisance.
Mary
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On Wed, 6 Aug 2003 18:06:24 +0100, "Mary Fisher"

I think they are smart and scary, however the day they started damaging our building, they were going to lose - it's amazing how hard they have resisted so far, but I keep on top of them for the most part.
I've even left them to it on a part of the property they attacked which would not have dire consequences if they carried on, but once they cross my threshold, they are going to be terminated, and it seems they have more or less learned that now they've had time to learn too! They've even cut back severely on their scouting missions in our direction.
That said I have no real problems with them or any other creatures as long as they don't cross "the policy line" I have decided on - I even peacefully evicted the same butterfly/moth this morning - 3 times (a particularly dim one it seems!) and I threw it out twice yesterday! Hardly cavalier treatment on my part! I explained to it that I was of course pleased to see it, as it was a handsome beast, but it was better off being elsewhere! I lined it up at the threshold, gave it clearance and vector for departure, and off it went, eventually.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 19:34:20 +0100, Andy Dingley

What you need is any weed killer which warns that over spray will kill vegetables! ;O)
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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Harry wrote in message ...

Get a book from the library. Big subject but totally fascinating. Did you know they have soldiers who are so heavily armed they cannot feed themselves? etc etc. I'm sure I've whetted your appetite :-)
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Isn't there a web cam on the natural history site of their ant room?..
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Tony Sayer


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tony sayer wrote:

Found this the other day - looks pretty cool: http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/CGIBIN/PRIAMLNK.CGI?CNO=1&MP=PRDUPD^GIN132&STNO=ST01182&WHAT=info
Too many of the little buggers in the garden though - they keep getting into the kitchen. Ant powder seems to do the trick.
Later,
Russ
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To define recursion, we must first define recursion.
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