Flying ants sweep through Aylesbury Vale

Swarms of flying ants swept through Aylesbury Vale and much of the country today (Wednesday) on what is known as Flying Ant Day - when queen ants emerge from the nest to begin their nuptial flight.

Wednesday saw millions of the insects crawl up from out of the ground to follow their larger, more noticable queens.

On what is also informally known as Flant Day, the queens fly for a while - sometimes being dispersed very long distances, and sometimes going only a few metres - before mating and dropping to the ground where they lose their wings, and attempt to start a colony.

The mass of flying insects often attracts the attention of predators such as birds, and it is common to see flocks of feeding birds gorging on the readily available food. The annual phenomenon occurs in many colonies simultaneously when the local weather conditions are appropriate as they were with temperattures hitting as high as 27 degrees in the Vale today.

Although the mass turnout of insects gives the appearance of it being something of a 'timed' event or that the ants somehow communicate, it is in fact just a common response to temperature, humidity and windspeed.

People in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland, were being urged not to panic recently after millions of flying ants suddenly appeared in the cities. Switchboards were jammed with worried callers but although the ants are capable of delivering a tiny bite, people are being reassured they are not dangerous.

Do you have any pictures of flying ant swarms or colonies, why not send them to us at