This interesting video takes you into the nest of one of the higher termite species. It is a species that builds huge towering nests over decades that have efficient low tech air conditioning and underground fungus farms tended by millions of workers. In contrast, the termites used in the desktop Termitat are Zootermopsis angusticollis which are more primitive and make their home in the tunnels they make in downed trees in the forests of the Pacific northwest United States. Unlike the colonies of millions shown in the video, Zootermopsis colonies have a maximum size of about 3000 individuals, made up of reproductives (1 king and 1 queen), soldiers, and “nymphs” at any stage in their 6 molts. There is no specialized worker class. Any one of thees colony types can be either male or female, except the king and queen of course.
The Pacific Dampwood Termite (Zootermopsis) queen’s abdomen only swells slightly as she ages and can move on her own for the approximate 7 years of her life. The king is allowed to live a long life also as he is not killed with all the other male reporductives every season as with honey bees who are social insects like the termites.