The sterile, female individuals of the I'ee are the most numerous of their species, and number in the tens of thousands in just a year after the formation of a hive. They possess the smallest size amongst their species, standing at around four feet at full height. When a worker has first emerged from her pupal chamber, her duties are solely based inside of her home. They guard the entrance to the hive, utilise gathered building materials to extend their structures and feed and clean the larvae/queen(s). Once they have aged a little, and a new generation of workers are at the ready, they move out of their home to pursue duties such as patrol, resource collection and hunting. Finally, when a worker has reached full maturity, they are given the opportunity to decide upon a 'career'. While the I'ee families have recently begun compartmentalising their species, focusing each hive upon a specific modern task such as research, manufacturing, etc., they still require workers performing all possible jobs to maintain both a sense of freedom and industrial/cultural integrity.
In general, workers bear a strong, sisterly bond with one another and a great attachment to their family at large. While they bear a kinship with individuals from other families, an I'ee only truly feels at home with others from the same family. Generally, a fully matured I'ee will partake an annual 'pilgrimage' back to her home to see her mother and bask in the sensations of nostalgia and familial attachment.
Male individuals of the I'ee generally make up roughly one in twenty amongst those born. Compared to worker females, the drones of their species are tall and slender, with longer antennae and a thinner abdomen. When a drone comes of age, they would,in days of old, mate with the queen and other, younger queens of other hives, then die in a fairly unceremonious fashion. With the advent of modern technology and millennia of evolution, the life-span and role of drones has increased substantially. Since sex is not at all recreational and solely necessary for birthing amongst the I'ee, mature drones will donate a significant portion of their sperm to a sperm bank for storage. Afterward, similarly to worker females, the drone is free to pursue a position of work that interests him. Generally, due to their lack of a stinger and less robust physique, males do not pursue combat roles, instead performing less intensive duties.
Like the terrestrial wasps of Earth, I'ee queens do not literally fill a role of leadership, in a political sense, at least. Instead, a Queen's role is primarily that of reproduction and love, which, to the workers of the I'ee, is crucial to healthy performance. Queen's possess the largest bodies amongst their people, bearing as much resemblance to termite queens as they do those of wasps, thanks to their productive capabilities. I'ee workers and drones view their mother with great affection and loyalty, trusting few outsiders in her presence, even those of their own species. To an I'ee, any threat to their home is not only a threat to their mother, but to their infant sisters as well.
Soft, helpless and near immobile, the larvae of the I'ee are universally adored by their older brothers and sisters. While not a true caste as such, since all I'ee are derived from them, they still bear a distinct place in I'ee culture. Unique in their lack of any true role, the larvae sit within their protective chambers, graced with gifts of food and affection by their older sisters until they are ready to pupate. It is only then that their destiny as an adult begins to literally take shape.
Littlewasp created this article on 2016/01/02 03:15.