I went down to London over the weekend with my wife, kid's and two brothers. It was fine all weekend but as we went to drop my niece my wife say she seen a flying ant. I didn't know what to think but as we drove on we hit traffic an then they came ;D. They were all over the place. I opened the window and they flew in some were still mating so I got two of them that were mating. I don't know if they will be OK but I do know they have mated . Then one dropped on to my leg and pulled off it's wing's. I have had a very very good day to day I just can't wait for the flights up here in Skelmersdale.
Here in the south, we had a very bad thunderstorm yesterday afternoon. All the roads looked like swimming pools, it was that bad.
It was very muggy/humid, and shortly afterwards the sun came out making it even hotter. On taking the dog out, I noticed some queen ants wandering along our path. I decided to go on a search, and true to form, the nigers and the flavus had started their flights, both at the same time. They were everywhere, included on myself! It is not over yet, as later in the evening, it started to rain again and so the flights will continue perhaps today and tomorrow here.
Now is the time to collect your queens if you want any (minus the wings)
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The heat and humidity in the air is perfect right now, as mating flights nearly always follow heavy rain; and that thunderstorm created the best possible conditions for species like Lasius to fly. The ground is now nice and soft, and being wet it is easy for young queens to dig into.
As the nests around us normally have so many winged sexually mature adults, they often put out their mating flights over a period of 3 or 4 days. As it rained again shortly after the mating flight, many males and females went back into the nests, so more new queens are waiting to be mated
It has been raining this morning too, but as I type this the sun is coming out and it is getting hot and sticky. Perfect weather for yet another mating flight here in Southern England, so you guys in the North need to keep your eyes peeled, as nuptial matings will be happening sooner rather than later, so watch those places where you know ants are, such as parks, gardens and especially footpaths
They happened here in the Western outskirts of London on Sunday. There is a nest on my patio, which I had not noticed before (the nest that is, I noticed the patio last week ). me and my sister, who is 10, were helping the males and females fly. It was a great feeling knowing that you helped them on their flight. Taking into account their chances of survival, it makes little differnce whether they fly from my finger or from some grass, but I like to think we were giving them a better chance. The males were going from about last friday up to sunday, but it was most females on Sunday that flew. Those males have pretty decent fly abilities, but they are the worst at take-off by far. Many times I had to rescue ones that immediatly dived into my pond!!