Thursday, March 26, 2015

Life Lessons of Ants and Bees

Proverbs 6:6-8
6. Go to the ant, you lazy man! Observe its ways and become wise.
 7.  It has no commander, officer, or ruler,
 8.  but prepares its provisions in the summer and gathers its food in the harvest.

There are untold life lessons that are demonstrated around us daily. We could go our entire lives and never see them. In our modern world many of the lessons we should be learning are taught by creatures that in certain situations would be considered pests. Ants and bees are perfect examples.

If you have ever had the opportunity to watch ants or bees work you have to admit that they are amazing. The ant has been mentioned many times throughout history for it's industry or work ethic, no one who has ever watched ants work will deny that. What lessons can we see taught by these insects? We are going to go through a few. These are simply observations and human applications for these insects behavior.

All Ants and Bees Are Doers

There is no such thing as a lazy ant or bee. All of the members of the colony or hive are workers. Everyone has a job. There are workers, soldiers, and of course the queen. The queen isn't really a ruler though. For many species there are even different groups of workers. For ants there are foragers, gardeners, harvesters, nannies, and even more. The soldiers job is simple defense. Everyone works, everyone has a job, and everyone is important.

Be Courteous

While watching ants work you will notice that once a resource is found ants will go single file to that resource until it is exhausted. They will meet other ants coming back from the resource. Every time an ant meets another ant they stop very briefly. When they do this they are communicating. Ants lay down scent trails that communicate where resources and even where danger is, they even verify that they are members of the same colony.

The honeybee is similar but different. Scouts go out to find resources, when they come back they are greeted by the guards and workers. The guards verify that these scouts belong to this hive and the workers learn where the best pollen or nectar can be found. Communication is key to the survival of both of these insects. They are being courteous to each other because they are all on the same team and working toward a common goal, the survival of their colony. Always be courteous to other doers.

Don't Get Hung Up On One Way To Do Things

One thing about honeybees and ants as soon as something is used up they move on to something else. I know people who do everything the same way every day. There are some that are so programmed that they cannot deal with interruptions or changes of plan. I hate to say this, but there are some days that are just an adventure. It doesn't matter how much you plan, it will not work the way you want.

When I was in college, we had to read a book called Who Moved My Cheese? This is a fairly short book and really could have been shorter, but it does give an important message. Don't rely too much on the same way of doing things. I do suggest everyone read this little book, it will help you.

Prepare for the Future

Each and every member of the colony or hive is working on being prepared. They are gathering food, way more food than they need each day. They are building a deep pantry because tomorrow may storm and they will not be able to work outside. They are storing up as much as they can so their community will be able to make it through the hard times. 

Life Can Still Be Sweet

This lesson comes specifically from honeybees, but I think it applies. While you are working on providing not only your daily provision you are also laying up stores for the winter. When winter time comes you get to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Nothing is better than fresh honey.

Stay True To Family

Both ants and honeybees are just one really big family. Everyone is helping everyone. Competing for things with other families but doing so for the most part peaceably. Every member is important.

Thrive Where Ever You Are

One thing I have always respected about almost all insects, especially honeybees and ants. They make the best of where ever they are. Think about it. Honeybees will make a home in a hive that we provide, a hollowed out tree, the cleft of a rock, and even if you are far enough south just a covered branch of a tree. They improvise and make the best of what is available. The same can be said of ants. I am sure you have seen an ant bed that the entry point was in the crack of a slab of concrete. I am not saying that you shouldn't strive to achieve better. What I am saying is that you should be a good steward of where you are.

Defend Your Home With Zeal

What to know what pain is? Mess with a beehive or an ant mound. Every member of the family will rise to defend their home. Honeybees give their very lives in defense of their family. I will never understand why we, as supposed superior beings have such a hard time defending our families. I am not just talking about defending our families when they are in physical danger. I am talking about a whole lot more.

I am sure you know at least one person, probably several, that talk bad about their spouse out in public. There are people who are not a good husband or wife that is true, but some of these people berate their spouse even though they love them dearly. I believe that when you have chosen a spouse you are no longer two people, you have become one. Our job is to be encouraging and supportive as much as possible. When we need to give our spouse a reality check we should do it in private. This builds respect and respect is something we all need. 

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