Nature: ant hibernation

Self-tutoring about ants: the tutor makes an observation.

There is a large ant hill near here, of thatching ants. It popped up around four summers ago, seemingly from nothing. Trails from it lead 20ft away or even further. In summer, the hill is aswarm with activity.

Although this past summer was very hot, autumn conditions arrived suddenly, with surprisingly cool temperatures in September. The ants became less active. Then, sometime in early October, they disappeared.

On nice days that followed – one sunny one in particular with a high around 13°C – I examined the ant hill again, wondering if they would re-emerge. Apparently not, nor since: in early October they decided to pack it in for the winter.

We’ve had numerous sunny days since, when flies would buzz around in the sun: it’s not like insect activity has halted. Yet, those ants aren’t tempted outside, even on such a day.

I’ve noticed that, with the sun’s decline toward the south, that ant hill doesn’t receive direct sunlight anymore, while it did in summer. Perhaps once the soil reaches a certain low temperature, the ants lie dormant until that temperature recovers. Without direct sun, even a really nice day can’t accomplish it, so they will remain in retreat until sometime in spring. That’s my theory.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Leave a Reply