Ants – with their wise farming practices and efficient navigation techniques – could inspire solutions for some human problems

King Solomon may have gained some of his famed wisdom from an unlikely source – ants.

According to a Jewish legend, Solomon conversed with a clever ant queen that confronted his pride, making quite an impression on the Israelite king. In the biblical book of Proverbs (6:6-8), Solomon shares this advice with his son: “Look to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise. Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”

While I can’t claim any familial connection to King Solomon, despite sharing his name, I’ve long admired the wisdom of ants and have spent over 20 years studying their ecology, evolution and behaviors. While the notion that ants may offer lessons for humans has certainly been around for a while, there may be new wisdom to gain from what scientists have learned about their biology.