You may not know, honey bees are not the only insects capable of producing a natural product that has a sweet, creamy and brown to yellow color that we call honey. Several other species of bees, as well as bumblebees and even wasps are known to produce similarly sweet nectar, but perhaps the most unusual insect that converts nectar into nectar is the Honeypot ants, the most common of which is Camponotus inflatus, are workers who act as builders of honeypots for the colony when food is scarce.
In fact, these are worker ants that specialize in feeding on nectar obtained from various plants. They will eat continuously until their bellies expand to the point where they look ready to burst and explode the amber liquid inside. Known as “honey ants,” the sweet amber liquid in their bellies is released whenever members of their colony need food.
Species such as Camponotus inflatus continuously feed honey ants on nectar and pollen. And when it reaches a certain limit, honey ants’ bellies become so big that they can’t move, so they can just hang their bodies on the roof of the nest until their fellow ants fall in love. ask to eat honey.
Most honey ants are found in arid, desert or semi-arid regions of Australia, the United States, Mexico and the African continent, where foraging can be difficult, so production and storing bile is thought to be an adaptation to survive in these extreme environments.
Honeypot ants are such a valuable resource that ant colonies will sometimes attack each other and steal them. In Australia, the Aboriginal people also show a great love for these honey-filled insects and will dig around ant nests to find them.
One can catch a honey ant and put it in their mouth to chew immediately. Many people may think that this action is scary, but the rich nutrition in their bellies is the reason why honey ants become a very special dish.
In the 1990 documentary Trials Of Life, director David Attenborough himself was filmed inserting an ant into his mouth and he actually got to taste them.
According to a study by scientists, although at first glance ant honey and honey look very similar, the honey of ants has less consistency than honey. It is sweet, but not quite as sweet as the honey we are used to, and in addition, ant honey has a sour taste that is not detected in honey.
Like their cousins in the ant world, honey ants also organize society in layers, in which each level has its own task.
The highest position in the colony belongs to the queen ant, taking on the reproductive role. However, it is important to know that in a colony of honey ants, not every individual is a honey ant. In an ant colony, some are male ants who are responsible for coordinating with the queen to create new generations. The rest are worker ants and a small part plays the role of honey hunters.
Source: Animalia; Unbelievable; Odditycentral