By Jennifer Macke
Right now is a good time to observe winged ants. In summer, mostly from late June through early August, ant colonies produce winged ants, called alates. Both male and female alates are produced, and their purpose is to make new colonies. They emerge from the ant colony, fly around, and mate in mid-air. When the mated female returns to the ground, she sheds her wings and walks around looking for a place to make a nest.