Category Archives: Ants

Ant Hill Mob

A few weeks ago as part of tidying up the garden we dug out a long-standing ant-hill that was in the middle of the lawn. The ants weren’t too happy, but they’d had a long run of several years undisturbed and it was time for them to move on.

The lawn has now recovered with some re-seeding, and the ants – so it appears – have found a perfectly good new home. This was the sight that greeted me when I opened our compost bin earlier in the week.

ant colony with pupae

Ant colony with a huge number of eggs pupae. The dark areas are
tunnels leading down into the compost bin

You can clearly see the tunnels they are building down into the compost, a little bit like a hive. There are a huge number of eggs pupae (larger than the ants) on the surface, plus some large winged ants, though vast majority are the standard small worker ant. I’m trying not to disturb them too often as once daylight hits the surface they go into a frenzy of moving everything.

ant colony with winged ants

There are several winged ants among the mass

ants moving pupae
ants moving pupae

Close-up of ants and eggs pupae

The major problem with the colony is that they make the compost more or less unusable, so we may have to start again entirely. The ants are safe for the time-being!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.

edited 20/6/19 to correct references to eggs to ‘pupae’
Also posted in Insects, Wildlife Tagged |

Ants and Bee

A short sequence of a presumably common garden event, but one I’ve not previously taken any notice of: ants finding and swarming on a dying (or dead) bee. When I took these thee ants had already moved the bee from the centre of the patio to a corner near the wall.

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Ants swarming over a dead bee

Quite a feast for them!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.

Also posted in Bee, Insects Tagged , |