5 things ants can teach us about management | BBC Ideas


Ants and human societies
are similar in many ways. They live in communities numbering
from just a few individuals up to many millions. They can build vast empires
that span the world. They conduct diplomacy
with neighbouring settlements. And they can even go
to war with each other. All the ants have just one single
intent on their mind, and that’s the reproductive
success of the colony. Everything that they do is directed
towards that one aim. Most ant colonies consist of just
one reproductive individual – the queen –
and many non-reproductive workers. And the workers
are actually all female. So they’re a vast sisterhood
who does all the work. Now the title ‘queen’ seems to imply
some kind of political authority – that the queen is telling the workers
what to do at any one moment in time, but in fact it’s completely
self-organised. In a colony of ants,
there are no fixed managers. There are no CEOs or presidents. Everyone is working towards
the common goal. If one ant finds a trace of food, that ant will become,
in that moment, a leader, and get everyone else
to come into that food source. But the modern organisation
is obsessed with hierarchy. Obsessed with managers
and where you are up on the scale, which number or paygrade you are. And what happens is
lots of people lower down spend all their time trying to guess
what their manager wants, or their manager’s manager wants, rather than what’s going to work
for the organisation and the people they serve. When an ant encounters a food source,
for example, what it can do
on the way back to the colony is lay a trail using pheromones – and these are just chemicals
that they can lay on the ground so that when others ants come
along and encounter that trail, they know to follow it
all the way to the food. So this simple process
of positive feedback is surprisingly effective
at finding the shortest path. The idea,
borrowing from the ant world, of actually getting the data, making sure you’re capturing it from the very people
who are on the coalface, so to speak, makes tons of sense, because they’re the ones
with the rich qualitative data to be able to feed that back
into the decision-making. We have to be self-organised. We have to allow people to have
their own intelligence and wisdom and organize around a problem
or a project themselves, rather than always waiting for
someone else to tell them what to do, or for a three-year business
planning cycle to take effect. Just as ants respond immediately
to changes in their environment, say the diminishing
of a foraging patch, and adapt really quickly
to that change, organisations must be able
to do the same. If, by looking at ants for instance, it stimulates our thinking about how we might
try to do things differently, then that’s worth it
in and of itself. I just think you probably
want to start experimenting in a quite small and bounded way –
but yeah, why not? Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to subscribe and click the bell to receive notifications for new videos. See you again soon!

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp


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NC State: Wild Yeasts, Wasps and Beers

NC State: Wild Yeasts, Wasps and Beers


We have all different types of yeasts,
traditional ale and lager brewers yeast, and we also have this, our bumble bee yeast,
here as well.Historically just two kinds of basic yeasts have been used to produce
all beer, both of which come from nature. But, one of the really exciting things
that’s become clear recently, is if you look across beers, of the things that you
can vary to vary the taste, the yeast is actually what has the biggest impact on
the taste of the beer. We know that if we could vary the yeast, we could we could
alter the beer in all kinds of new ways. So, what we’re now trying to do is to go
to nature to find new kinds of yeast to alter the flavors of beers. There are yeasts on
trees, yeasts on insects. The interesting candidates for us or social insects. We
know that wasps consume lots of sugars they consume a lot of the raw stuff
that’s used in fermentation. A lot of people are hesitant to try it. Anything
wild can intimidate people, but I think they become surprised by how
fruity it is, and how much flavor it really has compared to the kind of beer
they normally taste, because the flavors from the yeast are sweeter and more
aromatic and are really easy to drink. This is really exciting because the
craft beer market it’s all about the unique flavors and tastes and attributes
of beers. What we’re now trying to do, not just in the context of beer, but more
generally, is figure out how do we build more and what can we learn from nature,
whether it’s in the context of beer, biofuels, or new stimulants, what’s the
next caffeine, or new antibiotics? We’re also working on that, because the truth
is every time you go outside you’re surrounded by species that could be a potential
benefit, but they’re only ever going to be a benefit if we somehow connect the
basic biology and the application. And I think NC State’s the perfect place to do
that.

Weaver Ants | The Guardians of the Canopy

Weaver Ants | The Guardians of the Canopy


hi guys my name is Jordan and in this
video I’m exploring Australia’s topics up in northern Queensland. Here ancient
rainforests stretch as far as the eye can see and are home to an incredibly
diverse range of wildlife. Including one of the most unique ant species I’ve ever
encountered. They are the highly prolific and ingenious Weaver ants. Weaver ants fall under the genus Oecophylla and are found solely within tropical and
subtropical climates throughout Africa Asia and Australia. The ones found here
in Australia are often known as green ants after their vibrant green color. what makes Weaver ants so different from
most other ants is instead of burrowing down and forming their nests within the
ground, Weaver ants form their nests up in the trees. Their homes can usually be
found towards the ends of branches where the fresh healthy leaves sprout. Fruit
bearing trees with broad leaves are favored, but they’ll happily work within
narrow-leaved eucalyptus trees and sometimes will even utilise needle thin
leaves like those from this Beach she-oak. Construction begins with the ants firmly
grabbing hold of a leaf with their mandibles pulling stretching and curling
them into position… Next, the ants do something quite
remarkable they enlist the help of an unlikely ally, their own young. These
small pill shaped grubs are the ants larvae. They’re unable to travel on their
own so the ants carefully carry them over to their worksite. At this point the ants begin to gently
tap their heads using their antennae. This induces the larvae to expel strands
of silk from a small gland underneath their mouths. Normally ant larvae use their silk for metamorphosis spinning a cocoon which
helps protect them as they develop into their pupal form and eventually hatch
as an adult. But in the case of Weaver ants, they use their silken thread to
instead weave leaves together. Creating a super strong binding. Once complete the
ants now have themselves a comfy and safe waterproof refuge, a perfect place
to raise their young and allow their colony to thrive. Younger colonies might
have their nests comprised of just a single leaf curled in half and neatly
stitched together. But as they expand their numbers they gradually create
additional nests. Established Weaver ant colonies may occupy dozens at once, some
with massive nests comprised of hundreds of leaves all clustered purposefully
together. This nest here the size of a beach ball. Other much smaller nests are often
positioned along the perimeter of the colony’s territory acting as outposts.
The first line of defence against intruders, the most common of which being
foreign and colonies. Which may seek to ambush and invade their rivals. This
Vanguard is often occupied by the eldest ants of the colony deemed to be the
most expendable. But it’s not just raiders that the Weaver ants need to
worry about. Here in the dense foliage of the rain forest, plants are constantly
competing with one another, reaching as high as they can to soak up as much
light as possible. So naturally down on the forest floor
not much light seeps through making ground temperatures significantly cooler as ants are cold-blooded animals when in
happening cool climates they aren’t nearly as active limiting their foraging
capabilities and slowing down the growth of their future generations
this gives Weaver ants a significant advantage over the forest ground
dwelling ant species living up in the canopy Weaver ants can stay nice and
warm in the sun’s rays much like a crocodile basking on an open riverbank
the extra heat greatly extends the ants active hours and increases their
productivity but the canopy is ever-changing many
trees lose the battle against neighboring trees which outgrow them
shrouding them in darkness some even become the target of parasitic plants
like this strangler fig which slowly wraps itself around its host restricting
the tree’s ability to grow its dealing their life from above and absorbing up
most of the surrounding nutrients within the soil below so Weaver ants must
actively reposition themselves in order to pursue the sun’s valuable heat the
most successful colonies are often found nearby clearings in the forest alongside
rivers coastlines and cyclone affected areas
where strong winds have torn down temporary clearings in the forest
here along the forest perimeters they’re almost completely unhindered by shade so
the ants can take even better advantage of the sun’s warmth rapidly speeding up
the development cycles of the young helping them grow to enormous sizes some
colonies can be home to hundreds of thousands of ants strong the leaves which form their homes do
inevitably die and crumble into pieces and so must be abandoned for fresh ones
so even in ideal conditions Weaver ants are kept extremely busy constantly
rebuilding renovating and relocating their homes all this hard work requires plenty of
energy which we’ve Rance obtained from two main sources
honey jus and insects honey you is sourced from sap-sucking invertebrates
like these merely bugs here these tiny insects bore their way into fresh plant
stems and leaves and consume their SAP as the SAP is digested they excrete
excess waste in the form of a sugary liquid rich in carbohydrates the perfect
fuel to keep the ever busy Weaver ants going so instead of eating these bugs
themselves the Weaver ants cluster around them waiting patiently for their
sweet reward but most other bugs aren’t so forward-thinking ladybugs love
devouring these little guys the mealy bugs can secrete a powdery wax coating
their bodies which helps discourage their attackers someone but otherwise
they’re virtually defenseless the ants are their real defense as a few of them
feed many others patrol the surrounding area for threats but there are some predators which can
be a much trickier foe to deal with jumping spiders they’re often seen
eyeing off their little friends on their own they’re no match for the Weaver ants
so they must be stealthy and wait for the perfect opportunity to strike if
detected the predator could easily turn into the prey almost spotted the spider
sensibly backs off too risky for this meal weave rants themselves a very
effective predators they have excellent eyesight when compared to most other
ends and can utilize their strong razor-sharp mandibles to great effect
given the chance and they’ll tackle almost anything they find once their
prey is secured each end pulls from multiple directions stretching out and
dismembering their helpless victims so that they can be efficiently returned to
their nests and distributed amongst their corny
a large part of Weaver ants diet are other ants a great source of amino acids
here in the rainforest ants a highly abundant and come in all manner of
shapes and sizes many of the ground dwelling species regularly venture up
into the trees to forage for food but this often means passing through Weaver
ant territory so they must be wary all it takes is a single ant to notice their
presence and soundly along once one ant gets a good grip all it needs to do is
secure their rival down and simply wait for reinforcements to arrive this one on
one scuffle is likely the victims only chance to escape several more quickly follow suit pinning
it down its fate now sealed not only a rival ants and nutritious and reliable
source of food but removing them also reduces competition at the same time any
food that these ants would have discovered and returned back to their
nest now ends up as their own further proliferating their range and dominance the more vast the corney’s territories
the longer distances the ants must cover in order to best utilize the available
resources and to maintain their control over it in dense forests Weaver ants can
easily navigate from one tree to the next thanks to the vast labyrinth of
vines and branches into connecting the canopy allowing them to access and
colonize multiple trees without ever needing to descend the long way down to
the forest floor whilst most comfortable up in the trees
on occasion they will venture down to the ground forage this particular colony
is nested along the beach in and amongst the salt tolerant mangroves regularly
they send out scouting parties during low tide scavenging upon whatever the
water is swept in this gecko here is a notable find and
will be a great source of nourishment for their quarry the answer tempted to
break a park the lizard into more manageable pieces pulling from all
angles some of the ends begin targeting the vulnerable joints slicing into and
spraying them with formic acid this noxious liquid expelled from the ants
abdomens slowly burns and breaks down the flesh within despite the ants determined biting an
acid spring the gecko is proving rather difficult to pour part before the tide
returns it must be either taken to higher ground as is or left behind but
these Weaver ants are more than up to the challenge
they have tiny hooked claws on the ends of their feet giving them incredible
gripping strength even at the steepest and most obscure of angles paired with their ability to work in
synergy with their fellow colony members they are able to accomplish some pretty
remarkable feats hauling our prey much larger than themselves all the way up to
the treetops sometimes Weaver ants will improvise
quicker routes along the way to make their job is a little easier some of
which may at first not even seem possible the path up a low-hanging
branch from the ground below the ants can’t jump or fly across like
other insects mine instead they must build a bridge to close the gap a bridge
made of hands each ant grips on to each other using their mandibles slowly
forming a chain and eventually they’ll link up from
either end and their shortcut is complete such incredible teamwork but
not all members of the colony err is capable of securing prey in traversing
their environment as these answer some rarely venture out from their homes at
all Weaver ants are a polymorphic species meaning they produce different
castes of workers which perform distinct roles within their colony the main cast
are the mages the ones who do most of the foraging in nest building another
first line of defense against intruders the other caste are the miners they look
almost identical to the mages but side-by-side you can see they’re much
smaller in size this cast of worker is assigned to nesting duties spending most
of their time tending to the colony’s developing brood and looking after their
queen the mother to the entire colony quite the accomplishment so that’s we friends there’s such an
incredibly unique and species from the way that they construct their homes from
leaves using their own young as tools to building living bridges to efficiently
scale their surroundings to their brutal yet methodical approach of securing prey
I think what amazes me most is their extreme aggression just slightly
brushing against their nests or a nearby branch is enough to set them into a
frenzy as a defensive response they posture up their bodies and kill their
abdomens over their heads poised to fire out wrapping strings of their formic
acid if this liquid were to get into a potential threat size like a bird or a
lizard it surely made for a great deterrent one of the reasons most other
animals like to give these guys a wide berth next to me dance they’re probably
the most territorial ants I’ve ever encountered regardless I really enjoyed
documenting these guys and exploring the forests which they and countless other
animals call home like giant butterflies and grasshoppers the size of my hand
plenty of other amazing ant species like trap joints jumping adds spider heads golden tailed spiny ants
and lots more the cute little turtles I saw swimming up and down the streams and
the massive saltwater crocodiles hanging out along the estuaries the largest
living reptiles in the world I was even lucky enough to spot three wild southern
cassowaries one of the largest living birds in the world these modern-day
dinosaurs mostly feed on fallen fruit and a highly important seed disperses
many of the forest plants depend entirely on these birds to survive unfortunately they’re an endangered
species mostly due to habitat loss as a result of deforestation
let’s just hope these ancient and incredibly biodiverse forests remain
around for a long time to come sadly Australia has just been hit with
one of its worst bushfire seasons in recorded history which definitely
doesn’t help I’m fortunate to not have been affected
by the fires living here in Melbourne aside from experiencing several days of
thick smoke I could only imagine what it was like
closer to the flames whilst fire is a natural part of the Australian landscape
with some forests actually needing fire in order to reproduce and thrive these
fires following Australia’s 2019 record average high temperatures and low levels
of rainfall burned an unprecedented strength devastating vast amounts of
land and claiming the lives of countless native animals many which managed to
escape the flames had little to no habitats left to them and ended up
either starving or being hunted down by invasive predators like feral cats and
foxes which have an easy time spotting them within the open scorched land
the combination of this extreme heat and prolonged droughts also allowed fire to
reach his way into environments which aren’t naturally adapted to it unable to
fully recover if affected even lush rainforests which
has stood since the Cretaceous period at least 65 million years ago were ablaze
as Earth’s climate changes we can expect to see extreme natural disasters like
these occurring more and more frequently and on even larger scales governments
and policies at least here in Australia really treat environmental concerns
seriously repeatedly dismissing scientific research and delaying the
transition from fossil fuels into cleaner energy production so it’s really
up to us as individuals to take matters into our own hands there’s many places
we can start in reducing our environmental footprint but one of the
most impactful steps we can take is changing something which most of us do
at least three times every day it’s what we eat whilst often-overlooked animal
agriculture is one of the main drivers of deforestation fresh water usage
species extinction and greenhouse gas emissions so avoiding the consumption of
animal products like meat dairy and eggs is a simple way we can all collectively
make a huge difference helping to conserve and restore the natural world
and bring it back to its former glory oh no I don’t know this channel is
almost at a hundred thousand subscribers thank you guys so much for your
overwhelming support over the years when I started making videos back in 2014 I
honestly never expected more than a hundred people to be interested let
alone nearly a hundred thousand it’s really great to see that there’s so many
of you out there deeply interested in ads also a big thanks to my generous
patreon supporters for helping make these videos possible and a special
thanks to my top-tier supporters and Iker Ben Cargill John Overton nicholas
atkins and thomas window now on to the regular giveaway where you
guys get a chance to win one of our specially designed air phones in my last
video on medias I asked what do you find most interesting about them I think what
I find so interesting is the way that they kick box to resolve their
territorial disputes with rival colonies such a quirky yet highly civilized
strategy of success so the winner is Alex Boyd who is most interested in how
medians can predate Australia’s invasive cane toads making them conservationists
ants of sorts and was also fascinated with how medians and sugar ants are able
to coincide due to their opposite foraging hours a great display of how
maidens have their own niche in their ecosystem congratulations Alex you’ve
just won yourself one of our acrylic starter kits for next videos giveaway
we’ll be putting one of our white song starter kits up for grabs which includes
one of our founding size of white or nests along with a bunch of accessories
to enter simply answer the following what do you find most interesting about
Weaver ants is it the way that they stitch leaves together how they build
living bridges or something else post your answers in
the comment section below I’ll pick out a single comment and announce them as
the winner in my next video as always thanks for watching and I hope you enjoy

* SPIDER * | Animals For Kids | All Things Animal TV


Spiders. Deep in the forest. You might just
come across a creepy crawly Spider. Spiders can be found all over the world. From
Timbuktu to Uluru. Clever spiders can make silk. Which they use
to spin elaborate spider webs. Spider webs are great for catching a spider’s dinner.
Blowing gently in the wind, unsuspecting flies get caught in the spider webs. The spider
then wraps the fly or other prey up with silk.That way the spider can eat the prey later. Some
spiders use venom to like a snake, to paralyse there pray. But most spiders are harmless to humans. Did
you know? Spiders are arachnids not insects. Insects have 6 legs, 3 body parts and antennae.
While Spiders have 8 legs, 2 body parts and no antennae. They can have up to 8 eyes too,
but they still don’t have very good eyesight. Daddy long legs have really long legs. And
some spiders are brilliant and white. Spiders can lay unto 1000 eggs. That’s a lot of
babies when they hatch, isn’t it?

Why do wasps build nests? | Natural History Museum


We have millions of wasp specimens here, and
amongst all the pinned insects we also have a more surprising collection, which is that
of about 1,000 or so wasp nests. These range in size from tiny little clay
pots to huge paper nests that fill people’s lofts. One of our most exciting examples of that
is this wasp nest. This is by the common wasp Vespula vulgaris. This made its nest in a bowler hat in an
outhouse on Sir Walter Rothschild’s estate. This is a fantastic example of how wasps
can be very opportunistic, making their nests anywhere which is safe,with
structural support.