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Honey pot ants or honey ants are specialised worker ants of certain species. They collect nectar in their abdomen and feed it back to the other ants during droughts and when food is scarce. Their abdomen bloats until they are not able to walk anymore, the liquid contained is sweet and similar to honey. Most species of honey pot ants occur only in Australia, only species of the genus Myrmecocystus live in North America.

Australian Aborigines collect honey ants as a sweet food. They are very popular, especially among children. To harvest the honey, the older women look for the entrance holes of ant nests. They have to know how ant nests are built very well, for honey ants are hidden in chambers that often lie a meter deep. The women dig deep holes with long sticks. They usually find only a handful of honey ants but single ants may reach the size of grapes. The abdomen of honey ants is crushed between the teeth and the honey sucked from it.


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