Termite Bivouac

Termites may be tiny insects but they are highly efficient.

If their timber food source is too far from their nest, they will organise mid-points, equivalent to the golfers’ half-way house. These reduce their travelling time and conserve energy.

Graham Hellier, managing director of Rapid Solutions in Australia, in a recent meeting with Aardwolf Pestkare, explained that this is because researchers now believe that the worker termites stay focussed in their duties and do not multi-task. Those who specialise in food and water gathering will want to do it in the best possible manner. His 30 years experience with termites supports this observation.

A bivouac suspended in the ceiling

Close-up of a bivouac

Graham with a queen termite

This half-way house was previously called “subnest” or “carton”. Today it is more appropriate to call it “bivouac” (pronounced as bi-voe-ak). This term is French in origin and means a temporary or makeshift camp in the open, without tents or cover, for soldiers or mountaineers.

The queen termite is not present in the bivouac. What is, however, most critical is the presence of water to sustain life.