Illustrated Talk in Tunbridge Wells: The Fascinating Lives Of Bees, Wasps And Ants

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By kentsussex | Friday, November 23, 2012, 10:03

Who or what kidnaps other people's children and forces them into slavery, and what connection do they have with this area? 

Find out as Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery's illustrated evening talks series continues on Wednesday 28 November in the Camden Centre, Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Social and Solitary is the title for the next talk which will be given by the museum's own natural history expert Ian Beavis. Ian will be exploring the extraordinarily varied lifestyles of bees, wasps and ants.

Ian has been involved for many years with the conservation of these insects both locally and nationally. 

As well as talking about the fauna of the High Weald, Ian will also be referring to his work with the Red-barbed Ant project and the Big Scilly Bee Hunt.

Ian's talk will demonstrate the range of lifestyles found in the bees and wasps of our area. Some live in large colonies with sterile workers caring for the young, while others are 'solitary', with each female making her own individual nest. 

There are also intermediate stages on that spectrum, which give us an insight into how social life evolved, and 'cuckoos' which sneak into other species' nests to lay their eggs there.

Ants too show a remarkable range of behaviour, including wood ants which build the largest insect structures in Europe, and slave-making ants which kidnap the offspring of other species and rear them as workers in their own nest. 

Slave-making ants had a starring role in Darwin's Origin of Species, and some of his research was done here in the High Weald.

The talk will be held in the Camden Centre at 7.45pm. Tickets are £5 and are available from the museum in person or by phone on 01892 554171



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