This is the surreal moment a tiny ant put on a performance befitting ‘a strongman’ as it tried to drag a bee 60 times its size to its nest for lunch – before realising its ‘eyes were too big for its belly’.
The hungry insect had spotted the bumblebee on wildlife photographer Ron Thomas’ driveway in Merseyside on August 14 and decided it looked like an appetising meal.
In his footage, the ant grabs hold of one of the bee’s antennae and begins dragging it with all his strength.
After being joined by another ant, the determined duo manage to drag the bumblebee for less than an inch before his companion gives up.
The original ant soldiered on, clasping the antenna with its powerful jaws and yanking on it like a dog playing with its owner, before finally admitting defeat and appearing to decide on a smaller snack instead.
Retired telecoms engineer Ron, 69, went out after spotting the insects and drove around the bee to make sure the ant could return to it if he wished, but it didn’t.
Ron, from Birkenhead, Merseyside, said: ‘The whole thing was quite bizarre, really.
‘It’s like he’s emulating a strongman competition. I would say [the bee was] 10 times the length of the ant and six times the width.
‘My initial thought was the ant was trying to take it to the nest to eat because I’d seen similar things with smaller insects. I thought the main reason for them doing this would be food.
‘It’s quite the feast. It would keep them going for a while.
‘They seemed to be having a pretty good go at it but it’s like his eyes were too big for his belly and he thought he’d find something smaller.’
One woman viewing Mr Thomas’s footage online suggested the bee might be full of poison after being sprayed with bug killer.
Ron said: ‘I was aware that we have a number of ant nests in the front garden.
‘The ant had noticed that this bee had died.
‘One of the comments I got was from a lady who said it was possibly killed by fly spray and the ant wanted to eat it but decided there was too much toxic [spray] on it.
‘It was a mysterious thing that was going on and I had the desire to record it so I could speak to someone else afterwards.
‘Towards the end of the video, the ant that’s done all the work walks off. He dwells a bit then disappears to do something else.
‘That bee remained there for the rest of the day. I know that because I had to go out after that and I drove the car around the bee.
‘The bee was in the same place when I came back three or four hours later.’