Learn About The Termite Queen

Published: 11th April 2009
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The common termite is also known as a white ant, and like an ant colony, the termite colony is ruled by a queen termite. As can be expected by her title, the termite queen rules the colony and is responsible for its day to day operations. She is also responsible for proliferating the colony by giving birth to thousands of new termites each and every day. As any pregnant woman can tell you, at least it doesn't take nine months to give birth to a termite baby - that's way too long! The queen is done with her reproduction responsibilities within a couple of days.

A termite queen isn't a faithful mate. She will become impregnated by any male who wants to give his seed to her. However, you will often find that there will be one specific male who wants to be the queen's king. Once her king has taken his "throne", you will find them together often. Sort of like my daughter with whichever guy she met at the bar last night. But I digress.

The amazing thing about the termite queen is that she is able to lay thousands of eggs every single day. That explains why if you see on termite, you will see hundreds more. It sure doesn't take long for them to accumulate. When the queen termite is impregnated, she can grow to almost ten times her regular size. As you can imagine, that makes it difficult to get around the colony. That is when the worker termites come into play.

If the termite queen needs to move about, she employs the strength of her worker termites. It takes a lot of the worker termites just to move the termite queen a few inches, but they are actually rewarded in the end. The queen bee secretes a juice from her posterior end which the worker bees then feed on so they can replenish themselves after their massive job.

The queen termite is the only one in the colony with wings, so she can move about easily - of course, assuming she isn't carrying a load of eggs! Unlike with ant colonies, a termite colony can have several king and queen termites. While that might seem contradictory to some, but actually, the queens and kings are bred to fly away from the colony and establish yet another one. That's why when you have one termite; you've probably got hundreds and even thousands.

The main job of the termite queen is to reproduce other termites so that they can spread and form their own colonies. While that's not exactly a welcome thought for those of us who fight termites, for the colonies, it is nirvana.

Visit the About Animals website to learn about termite extermination and termite prevention.

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