swarm

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swarm

  1. a group of social insects, especially bees led by a queen, that has left the parent hive in order to start a new colony
  2. a large mass of small animals, especially insects.
  3. ability of certain MICROORGANISMS to move in a collective and ordered manner across a surface. For example, colonies of Proteus swarm in a series of concentric rings across an AGAR plate.
References in classic literature ?
As the craft neared the building, and just before she struck, the Martian warriors swarmed upon her from the windows, and with their great spears eased the shock of the collision, and in a few moments they had thrown out grappling hooks and the big boat was being hauled to ground by their fellows below.
We swarmed out of our holes, examining the marks his claws had made on the crumbling rock of the bluff, all of us talking at once.
The poisonous flies and gnats swarmed around by thousands; in vain one waved myrtle-branches about like mad; the audacious insect population did not cease to sting; nor was there a single person in the well-crammed carriage whose face was not swollen and sore from their ravenous bites.