How Do Ants Work in Winter?
During the winter months, ants will seek out warmth. In some species, the ants will build underground chambers to provide food and rest. Others, like the Messor aciculatus, will store seeds and plant seeds for the winter season. They also build huge mounds. These anthills can tower up to several feet into the air.
The worker ants leave the nest to search for food. They will then leave a trail of odor that will lead the other members of the colony to the food source. The ants will then return to the nest and alert the others. The nest is closed off with soil and sand.
When the temperature begins to drop, the ants enter a metabolic state called diapause. Diapause is a suspended animation of sorts. It is a period of rest and minimal activity. In this state, the ants will not lay eggs or eat or drink.
During the summer, ants are active and work hard. They eat a variety of foods to get ready for winter. They are also busy caring for their young. They are social creatures, and will work together to share their body heat.
During the winter months, the ants search for warm places to hibernate. They will often go deeper into the earth than they do during the summer. This gives them a warm place to stay while they wait for the spring. Some anthills have huge networks of connected chambers that can be several feet deep.