"The ants are a
people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer."
Ants not only store food for the winter but they
also have a special place in their stomach called the crop which enables them to store extra food for themselves.
During the winter, ants stay warm by hibernating in their nests which may be 15 feet underground. Ants that live in
particularly cold climates, produce their own biological antifreeze so that the
water in their bodies does not freeze.
Until 2000, the largest known ant supercolony was in Japan. The colony was estimated to contain 306
million worker ants and one million queen ants living in 45,000 nests interconnected by underground passages over an area
of 2.7 km2 (670 acres). In 2000, an enormous supercolony of Argentine ants was found in Southern
Europe. Of 33 ant populations nested along the 6,004-kilometre (3,731 mi) stretch along the Mediterranean and Atlantic
coasts in Southern Europe, 30 belonged to one supercolony with estimated millions of nests and billions of workers, interspersed
with three populations of another supercolony.
Cast of Florida Harvester ant's nest
The amazing hard-working ant - caregivers, ranchers, farmers,
Honeypot Ants are gorged with food so they can
later serve as a food source for their fellow ants when food is otherwise scarce. When the liquid stored inside a honeypot
ant is needed, the worker ants stroke the honeypot ant,
causing the honeypot ant to regurgitate the stored liquid. Some worker ants turn into honeypots immediately on emergence from
the pupa.The young ants stay in the
nest, and the worker ants who collect food feed them. As the workers feed them with more food than they need, the surplus
nutrients get stored in their abdomens and eventually they lose their mobility.
Aphid-Herding Ants. The relationship between these honey ants and aphids are awesome! The ants eat the Aphid's sugary waste called
honeydew. At times ants will actually "milk" the aphids by stroking them with their antennae to stimulate them to
release the honeydew. Ants keep their "cattle" well-fed and safe. When the aphid's source of food runs out, the
ants will carry them to a fresh source and they will protect the aphids from insects or parasites that want to destroy them.
Sometimes the ants will carry aphid eggs back to their nest and care for them during the winter months. When spring comes,
they will carry the aphids to a source of food. Once in a while, when conditions are right, aphids will develop wings, but
to keep the aphids from flying off, ants will cut their wings - they also have a chemical they use to prevent the ants from
developing wings or prevent them from having the ability to walk away.
Four things on the earth are small, but they are exceedingly
wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs; the locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank; the lizard you can take
in your hands, yet it is in kings' palaces. (Pro 30:24-28)
Go to the ant,
her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food
in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to sleep - so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.
God uses a tiny creature to teach us to work. In order
to prosper in all areas of our lives, it will take work. We may tend to only think in terms of paying our bills, but work
is required in our homes, in the body of Christ, our personal relationships, and in our own spirit so that we can be at peace.
Like the ants, we are to store up for the future,
but our "storing" is that we may lay hold on eternal life.
Command those who are rich in this present age not
to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do
good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the
time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1Timothy 6:17-19)
God gives milk but not the pail.
wood but not the nail.
God gives earth but not the spade.
God gives wheat but not the blade.
God gives fish but not the hook.
gives food but not the cook.
God gives the horse
but not the cart.
God gives the head, hands and heart.
The rest is up to you!
Leaf-cutter ants bring cut portions of leaves back to their nest in order to farm fungus. The leaves develop a fungus the ants eat.
Harvester ants carry seeds
back to their nest to store for winter.