Main content

Planet Ant: Life Inside the Colony

Entomologist George McGavin and ant expert Adam Hart capture all aspects of life in an ant colony using time-lapse cameras, microscopes, microphones and radio tracking technology.

Ant colonies are one of the wonders of nature - complex, organised and mysterious. This programme reveals the secret, underground world of the ant colony in a way that's never been seen before. At its heart is a massive, full-scale ant nest, specially designed and built to allow cameras to see its inner workings. The nest is a new home for a million-strong colony of leafcutter ants from Trinidad.

For a month, entomologist Dr George McGavin and leafcutter expert Professor Adam Hart capture every aspect of the life of the colony, using time-lapse cameras, microscopes, microphones and radio tracking technology. The ants instantly begin to forage, farm, mine and build. Within weeks, the colony has established everything from nurseries and gardens to graveyards.

The programme explores how these tiny insects can achieve such spectacular feats of collective organisation. This unique project reveals the workings of one of the most complex and mysterious societies in the natural world and shows the surprising ways in which ants are helping us solve global problems.

17 days left to watch

1 hour, 30 minutes

Last on

Fri 10 May 2019 01:30

Alien Nation Season

Alien Nation Season

Planet Ant is part of a special season of BBC Four programmes supersizing the insect world. Discover the other programmes in the season below…

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter George McGavin
Presenter Adam Hart
Producer Graham Russell
Series Producer Jacqueline Smith
Executive Producer Marcus Herbert

Broadcasts