On Monday 18th of July there was a “flying ant day” in Turku. The flying ants were queens and males of Small Black Garden Ant that had taken off for their wedding flight. After the mating, which happens in air, queens drop their wings and start to seek place for a new nest. Males will die soon after mating.
The swarming started in the evening being most intense just before 7 pm. Loudly screaming sea gulls and swifts hunted flying ants in sky. Despite of bird predation thousands of queens managed to start establishing new ant colonies.
It is likely that Small Black Garden Ants will have another swarming day in the end of July. In August and September Stinging Ants will have almost as notable mating swarms.