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Women of the Natural World

International Women’s Day is March 8th, celebrating the invaluable contributions of women around the world. However, human women aren’t the only ones with impressive abilities, but in their own way females in the insect world are powerful as well.

Female insects have unique abilities, such as a few familiar species of spiders, bees, and termites. They have made a big impact on the pop culture industry, agriculture, not to mention the destruction of your home.

Female Spiders

Females of many species dominate over the males, including most spider species. And the most infamous spider of all is the black widow spider.

Human men tend to be physically larger and stronger than women, but not in the spider world. Generally, a female black widow spider is twice the size of any male, and her venom is 15 times more poisonous than a rattlesnake’s, whereas the male’s venom is nothing in comparison.

To put that into perspective, if a man were six feet tall, his wife would be at least 12 feet tall! If a man could deadlift 450 pounds, his wife could lift 900 pounds!

Black widows aren’t the only ones with this huge difference in males and females. Almost all spider females are more poisonous, larger, and more brightly colored than the males.

Honeybee Hives

Honeybee hives are the best pollinators on the planet, and their societies are some of the most efficient as well. The workers of every hive are female, and all are ruled by a powerful queen with some unique abilities.

Only the females do the work of the hive, performing all the duties to keep the hive running, such as feeding the larvae, keeping watch over the eggs, protecting the hive from thieves or predators, and most important of all, collecting all the nectar to produce the honey. As a collective hive, these females have to make about ten million flights to gather enough nectar for one pound of honey!

Beehives are almost like an industry composed entirely of women working endlessly for the betterment of the hive and the world.

On the other hand, male honeybees are called drones, and they’re as boring as their name. Male honeybees are slightly larger than females but they aren’t nearly as strong as fliers, have no stinger, and don’t perform any of the work. Their only purpose is to mate with a new queen and perish directly afterward.

The honeybee queen rules the hive in numerous ways, the most famous of which is egg production. Most queens lay around 2,000 eggs every day!

The bee queen is around twice the size of the other bees and gives orders mainly by producing pheromones. To put that into perspective, that would be like a CEO or company owner running a giant industry with tens of thousands of workers using nothing but perfume. Apparently, the queen’s methods must work because a typical American hive produces about ten times more honey than it needs to survive.

(Interesting fact: Honey never goes rotten, is always ready to be eaten, and lasts thousands of years. They even found edible honey in the ancient tombs of Egyptian pyramids.)

Queens of Termite Colonies

Not all societies are run entirely by females. Termite colonies are made up of male and female workers and soldiers. But the consummate member of the colony is the termite queen.

Termite queens are longer-lived than any other insect, with some species living between 20-50 years!

Like a honeybee queen, termite queens also rule her colony by producing pheromones. She most likely does this because her abdomen grows so large that she is completely unable to move by herself and lives her entire life in a disk-like cell made of dirt, called, “The Queen’s Chamber.”

The queen’s abdomen grows to be about as long as a human index finger, which means she is entirely dependent on her attendants for nourishment, bathing, protection, and even egg-laying. The king remains loyal to her throughout all his life and never leaves her side.

Termite queens constantly lay eggs, generally about one every three seconds, or around 30,000 eggs per day on average, and some queens can lay even more! The fact that she’s constantly giving birth for up to 50 years gives a new meaning to the phrase, “Long live the queen!”

Thank You to All the Women of the World

To all women who continue to make our world a better place, we say thank you for all your valuable contributions that continue to benefit us all. From Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, to women’s rights activists like Loujain Alhathloul, Angela Davis, and the late Rosa Parks, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, and countless other women who change our world for the best. Of course, we also appreciate the females of the insect world that benefit the environment in unique, powerful, and often unknown ways.

We also want to give a shout out to the women of Fox Pest Control, without whom our business could not be what it is today. A big thank you to Kezia Whitteker, Fox’s Marketing Director, Christy Checketts, Fox’s Senior Administrator over Customer Service, and all the women who are part of the Fox Family, from our technicians and office personnel to our marketing team, sales teams, recruiters, and everyone in between.

Fox Pest Control will continue to support women in the company and value all women’s contributions to humanity.

Posted on March 9, 2020.

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