“And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”
Honeydew is one of the favorite foods of ants. There are a number of insects, including thorn bugs and aphids, who consume so much honeydew that they cannot digest it all. These insects are designed so that ants can milk them for the excess honeydew, just the way a farmer obtains milk from a cow.
Many species of ants will milk the honeydew-collecting insect by stroking its abdomen with its antennae. The tree hopper actually slows its secretion of excess honeydew to the milking ant so that the ant may drink his honeydew “fresh from the cow”, so to speak.
Some ants construct clay pens and shelters in which they enclose certain species of aphids, just as a farmer keeps his herd. Like the farmer, the ants move the aphids to better honeydew feeding sites when necessary. They also care for the aphid eggs during the winter.
Herding ants are even better able to protect a young tree hopper than its parents. It is not unusual for a tree hopper parent to turn her young over to herding ants because they can do more for the young insect than she can.
Such complex relationships between creatures point to a God who is both Creator and Teacher – even to insects!
Father in heaven, as a good father, You try to teach me. I confess that I have been slow to learn and sometimes stubborn about learning. Forgive me for Jesus’ sake and grant me Your Holy Spirit so that I may learn more from Your Word. Amen.
“Thorn bug.” Science Digest, Jan., 1985. p. 81.