Flying ants are the new female queens and male ants that develop wings for their nuptual flight. The queens mate only once and then drop their wings to start their own colony. The males die typically soon after mating. The queens can live for around 10 - 15 years, during which they produce many sterile worker ants that are typically seen crawling on the ground. When they arrive, flying ants can arrive in huge numbers, often causing large clouds that besiege holidaymakers hoping to enjoy the summer weather. The ants, however, also help to pollinate plants and can be an important source of food for birds. When the males die they also produce a vital boost to soils.