Not content with simply going around the world to film diverse colonies of ants for The Incredible Film About Ants (title tbc). We have now travelled right across Bristol to visit Professor Nigel Franks, a world expert on social insect behaviour.
The ant's sophisticated communication and decision-making systems are key to their global success, Professor Franks has a colony of rock ants each with a tiny chip on their back, participants in an experiment demonstrating how ants make choices between prospective nesting sites more details of this work here. We had a busy day filming the ants as they moved around the set activating laser-controlled doors on their way to different sites, we also interviewed Professor Franks for the film.
We have two more filming trips to make before we can hand the material to the editor, stay tuned...
Howard Bourne filming in the lab with Professor Franks (Nadége Laici)
Chipped rock ants - Temnothorax albipennis (Ammonite photography team)