How Hard Working Are Ants?

Lazy people need to learn the habit of doing hard work from ants, in addition to discipline, unity, teamwork, etc., because these insects always keep moving and doing activities.

How Hard Working Are Ants? Ants are hardworking insects as they can walk long distances, build colony walls, climb vertical surfaces, lay hundreds of eggs, protect nests from predators and flooding, carry heavier loads, fight with predators, store food in summer, and feed their nest members. However, almost 40% of colony members are inactive, including male ants, larvae, and a few worker ants.

A small percentage of ants in a colony are active and perform heavy-duty tasks, while the others keep resting and enjoying food.

It does not mean their entire life goes on in taking rest because reproductive males and females become active in spring or mating time when they have to transfer and receive sperm.

In the same way, larvae are not considered hardworking members because they consume food only until they become adults and are assigned to do some tasks.

They are hardworking insects, as a significant proportion of the colony seems to be busy doing tasks all the time. Some members are more active than others, depending on their duties.

Walk long distances

Ants can walk long distances without getting tired as they can cover a distance of almost 2 to 3 miles in a day, which is considered a long distance according to their size.

Moreover, they do not sleep for long hours, which can affect their walking duration, but they enjoy short naps that last for a few seconds to minutes.

They have six muscular legs that can support walking behavior when moving out of their territories for food or water.

In addition, they have to shift colonies and move to new places when there is a food shortage in their old territories, so they move far from their nests to look for a suitable nest spot.

Building colony walls

Ants build mounds higher from the ground’s surface as they usually look dome-shaped. This raised mound can help protect nests’ from flooding during rain or keep them cool.

They can hide deep inside mounds to protect their bodies from the sun’s hot rays, which can cause drying of their exoskeleton. The working force of the colony works hard to build walls on nests.

Moreover, these walls can be made of soil when they mix saliva with the soil to moisten it properly and gather it around the nest.

Some collect smaller stones to make strong walls to keep predators away from the nest entry hole. In addition, these walls can also keep rainwater away from entering the mound.

Ants can climb vertical surfaces

They are not afraid of heights and climb vertical tasks on surfaces fearlessly, as their sticky feet allow them to walk on the walls.

These vertical surfaces or boundaries cannot stop these hardworking insects from exploring stored food upstairs. They have adhesive pads to maintain grip by filling the spaces with sticky feet.

Moreover, you can see long trails or straight lines of ants marching toward the ceiling or coming downwards from the ceiling to the floor, intending to invade indoor areas.

Their primary purpose is to work hard and collect food particles or seek a moisture source to return them to the colony.

Queen ants lay hundreds of eggs

Queens are responsible for controlling the colony’s population and managing the loss of dying members by laying hundreds of eggs simultaneously.

She has to produce a larger number of eggs at the same time and take care of them until they become adult insects and can perform colony tasks.

It is one of the most challenging jobs in a colony performed by the queen because each colony has only one queen ant on average, or it can increase from 2 to 3 at maximum.

So, the whole burden of raising the colony population and making up the loss is on the queen ant. She does a lot of work and lays a bulk of eggs because every egg does not become an adult.

Ants protect nests in flooding

There is a risk of flooding in the mounds during or after heavy rain, so that ants can die because they cannot remain underwater for a long time and need oxygen to breathe.

Accordingly, these insects are usually known to work hard after heavy rains and fill their bellies by drinking the water entering their nests.

It is also known as communal peeing because this water is thrown out of the nests by all the insects involved in preventing the flooding of nests.

Accordingly, they do hard work for survival; otherwise, they can die from drowning in rainwater. They can live without oxygen for around 20 to 24 hours.

Fight with predator 

It seems to be a backbreaking and strenuous job when a few ants take care of the colony from attacks of predators by strictly checking the insects from the entry point.

Some colony members are assigned the task of protection and must remain close to the entry hole. They keep an eye on the entries and check their identity by smelling the body odor.

Every colony has a particular odor, and the members release specific types of chemicals, so it helps soldiers to identify their fellows and foes while checking them at the outer check post.

So, they have to be attentive and vigilant to ensure the attack of predators by looking at territories and warding off bigger or smaller predators by fighting to the death.

Ants carry heavy loads

The ants have incredible strength as they can carry heavy loads easily. They can carry around 20 to 50 times their body weight on average.

Most probably, you have seen these tiny insects carrying leaf chunks on their back and water droplets on their exoskeleton to take them back to their nests.

Yesterday, I saw two parallel and opposite trails of marching ants coming inside through the kitchen window and going out with tiny granules of sugar in their mouth.

Store food for winter 

It is not wrong to consider them future planners because these tiny creatures prepare for winter as they prefer to collect food in the summer when there is plenty of food everywhere.

It becomes difficult for them to find green trees loaded with fruits, blooming flowers, and insects during winter, so they kill insects in warm weather and store their bodies.

These cold-blooded insects have the risk of freezing to death in winter. So, they store seeds and fruit chunks in addition to plant leaves when the weather is favorable for foraging.

Feed nests members 

The workers are the most hardworking insects in the colony because foragers perform hectic tasks of collecting the food and transferring it to nursing ants.

These foragers and nursing ants are both workers, but their functions differ because the nursing members feed larvae or queens.

Almost 40% of colony members are considered inactive or lazy because they only consume food and spend their lives within nests. They perform tasks at a specific time of year or stage of life.

In addition, some inactive workers conserve energy and fill the space by replacing the workforce when the active foragers die or get lost somewhere.

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