About 40% of "worker" ants just hang around, doing nothing


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/12/living-larders.html


Interesting! I’ve noticed the workers who walk around in endless circles and wondered if they were sick or confused.


Freakin’ ant unions…


only 40%? I had no idea ants were so far ahead of us! Maybe if they had better blogs they could learn to slack off properly?

What is this, a blog for ants??


Tiiiny Shovels… (apologies to Don Ho)


They’re not voting for Mitt, that’s for sure.


It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.


I’m not entirely sure they really did this study with an ant colony … sounds eerily familiar to my working environment,


Maybe they only hang around when they have been color-marked by the scientists?


Any comparison with current human society is entirely coincidental…


I’ve noticed that if an ant finds a food source that’s too big for them to move on their own will look for others and get them to help. The ones who are just hanging around can assist better than the ones who are focused on other jobs.

And with several of them…whoops there goes another rubber tree plant.


Bet they all voted for Obama.



that 40% is basically on welfare, feeding off the hard work of the 60%.


What they really need is tax cuts.


Slackers will be eaten.


They also serve who only stand and wait.




Typical men, right?


I was playing with my daughter in the park, and we noticed a pile of tiny, bright orange/brown pellets piled up between two roots of the tree where they meet the trunk. We traced it to a hole in the tree about 3 feet up from the ground, where a single ant was bringing these little wood crumbs from a small tree hollow. the crumbs were scattered about the base of the hollow, and it was grabbing them one at a time, taking them to the edge of the hollow, then dropping them the three feet down to the ground. I don’t know how common this is, but I’d never seen an ant walk to the edge and drop something, they always seem to walk all the way to where they want to leave things. It was such an elegant shortcut, we watched for a while, and then realized a single other ant would come to the top of the hollow and drop a piece down to the first ant. These two fellows were certainly pulling their weight for the colony.

Also, do we know it’s always the same 40%? Maybe these particular ants were just on vacation…


Huh. When I suggested we should eat our unproductive co-workers during economic downturns, I ended up getting a written warning from HR. They said my proposal “didn’t fit the values of the company” and was “probably in violation of OSHA guidelines.”