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Topic Summary

Posted by: P-Kasso2
« on: 23 August, 2017, 12:35:08 PM »

I am fascinated by ants and bees and how they organise their communities. I was merrily digging in the garden yesterday when I disturbed some very irate ants. That was then it hit me...

There are soldier ants, worker ants, some ants with wings and some without wings. Some become ‘slave’ ants and take care of the eggs and look after the growing baby ants, some become leaf-cutter ants collecting food for the colony. And others become specialists at building and re-building the anthills.

The same pretty much goes for bees in their hives.

My question is this...Presumably all these ants are born to the same queen – so how do all these various ants and bees become so specialized into such specific jobs?

Are they born already different?

Why and how do some ants, for example, grow wings and others not?

Are they all originally born the same - and then physically somehow ‘made’ to fit their new jobs?  Or is more like with us humans where some form of psychological development and training that leads some chosen ants and bees to live their lives dedicated to separate and very specialised jobs?

Who (or what) decides which ant or bee does what?