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Flying ant survey underway
Scientists study mating flight

Scientists from the Society of Biology are attempting to count the number of places flying ants appear in the UK as they swarm across the country during mating flights.

The seasonal appearance of these insects occurs when they begin their mating flight, in their first step to found a new colony. The males and potential queens are the winged ants seen during the summer months, and after mating the females will lose their wings and attempt to found a new colony.

It is of high importance that the flights between nests are synchronised; however, the details about how the ants know when to fly remain a mystery. The survey, running throughout July and August, may help to make sense of it by charting the appearance of the ants.

Dr Downs, the Society of Biology's chief executive, explained: "The flying ants won't survive very long and need to maximise the chances of meeting ants from other colonies to mate with. But how do they do it?

"Do flying ants appear at a very similar time each year, determined by the ants' biology, or is there a lot of flexibility in response to external conditions such as weather?"

The results will be announced during National Biology Week in October

Flying ant-spotters are being asked to submit their sightings throughout July and August on the Society of Biology's website.


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Do you know a practice wellbeing star?

News Story 1
 Has someone in your practice team gone above and beyond to make your workplace a positive one during the coronavirus pandemic? Then why not nominate them for a 2020 Practice Wellbeing Star!

The joint RCVS Mind Matters Initiative/SPVS Practice Wellbeing Star nominations recognise individuals who have held up morale during a time when practices are facing unprecedented staffing and financial issues.

Nominees receive a certificate in recognition of their colleagues' appreciation of their achievements and will be entered into the prize draw for a pair of tickets to attend the joint SPVS and Veterinary Management Group Congress in January 2021.

 

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News Shorts
WellVet reopens ticket sales to online conference platform

Following the success of its online conference, the organisers behind WellVet Weekend have re-opened ticket sales to allow new delegates to access session recordings and its online networking platform.

The day-long conference saw more than 360 veterinary professionals mix activity sessions with personal development CPD, all hosted within a virtual conference platform. Now, with more than 500 minutes of CPD available, the resource is being re-opened to allow full access to the session recordings until May 2021.

Sessions are aimed at providing delegates with a range of proactive wellbeing tools to explore to find ways of improving their mental and physical health. Tickets are limited in number and on sale at wellvet.co.uk until 30th August 2020.