What is a Termite Queen?
Termite colonies operate under a complex social structure. At the top of this hierarchy sits the termite queen, which is responsible for reproduction. Traditionally, there are only a few, and hundreds of workers and soldiers support the queen to ensure the nest’s health and future.
The largest member of any colony, termite queens range in size from one-quarter to one-half inch in length. They have long, straight antennae. The most distinct characteristic is her abdomen, which stretches to accommodate eggs.
Role Within the Colony
Since queen termites can give birth to over 500 offspring each year, colonies grow quickly. Under the right conditions, it may take as little as a year or two for a termite population to undermine the structural integrity of a building.
Once the queen termite has settled into her role as prime breeder for the colony, she will not leave the nest. However, during termite mating season, home or business owners may see swarms of winged reproductives, the future termite queens and kings of their own colonies.