Flying ants to swarm Sheffield for days

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Thousands of flying ants have come out in Sheffield today as part of their mating ritual.

Readers of The Star have reported seeing the insects in their communities.

And the story is the same all over the country as the ants emerge at roughly the same time nationwide to form new colonies.

Alistair McLean, curator of natural sciences for Museums’ Sheffield’s weather station at Weston Park, has been researching the mysterious appearance of flying ants for three years.

He said: “They have surfaced already this year, we had a bout at the beginning of July, one last week and we are having a fairly major, substantial, emergence today.

“What we do know is the queens and drones emerge to go and mate.

“The males will go and die then the females and queens will create new nests and go back under the stones.

“It should all be over in a couple of days.”