A fundamental fact about social hymenoptera (wasps, ants …) that most people, including entomologists, do not know is that they can not live without their larvae.
Next time you see a bait, a beehive or a beehive nest, remember: the structure is, in principle, a neonatal UTI!
Why? Look at an Ant's Body:
Did you notice the waist? Look closely: the ant stomach is behind its thin waist. That means ants can not eat solids.
Now, take a look at the ant's larva:
Did you notice the waist? There is none because the larvae eat solid foods!
This happens: Ants work hard in anger to raise hundreds of children. They go out for food and take it to the nest, where it chews and places the larvae. The larvae swallow and digest the food for them. Especially proteins. Then they are secreting nutrients rich in aniseed nutrients. It is the main source of amino acids and fatty acids.
And who puts the eggs to produce the larvae? Queen *.
And what happens when the queen dies? There are no eggs, so there are no larvae.
What happens when there are no larvae? Poor nutrition In short, there is no reason for the nest. The trainers are gradually disorganized and after a few weeks they die. This applies to other social hymenopters, such as wasps.
(*) In fact, in many species of ants, mainly at Formicinae acid producers, workers can also lay eggs and therefore keep the colony for long after the queen's death.
(**) Queens usually live longer than workers.
(***) The most primitive "wasps" and ants can easily produce a new queen who will be the next woman in the hierarchy. However, if none of them is sufficiently fertile, the nest will not last long. Bees work differently.
Eduardo Fox has a doctorate in zoology and entomology at São Paulo State University. This entry was initially published on Quora.