Social insects live in integrated communities which in some ways are similar to human communities. In both types of communities there is division of labour. In insect societies certain insects are responsible for reproduction, the workers collect food while the soldiers defend the colony. In the same way, human groups such as farmers and shopkeepers have specialized functions in producing goods and providing services to the community.
Insects and human societies are also alike in that individual members of the community work together. Termite workers coordinate their efforts to build nests. Similarly, in human-societies, engineers, architects, town planners and construction workers unite to build cities.
The nests of social insects are as complex as a man-made city. In some insect nests special accommodation is provided for the young and for food storage. Many nests also have devices for regulating the temperature. So insect nests are as functional as human houses.
It is not surprising, therefore, that many analogies have been made between social insects and human societies. It must not be forgotten, however, that insect social behaviour is determined by innate instinctive mechanisms. Insects show no capacity for learning or for developing a social tradition based on learning.