Provides her food in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.
Read Chapter 6
Clement Of Alexandria
Scripture says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard, and become wiser than he.” The ant at the time of harvest lays up an ample and varied store of food against the threat of winter. “Or go to the bee and learn her diligence.” For she feeds over the whole meadow to produce a single honeycomb.
Come, therefore, and let us also, wandering, as it were, around some intellectual meadow, gather the dew let fall by the Holy Spirit upon the divine message of the gospel, that so being enriched in mind we may bring forth the spiritual honey, even the word profitable and useful to all who thirst after the communication of the divine doctrines, whether they be noble and illustrious, or obscure and private persons in a humble rank of life. For it is written, “Good words are as honeycomb; and their sweetness is healing to the soul.” Commentary on Luke, Homily
There is the busy ant to rouse the indolent and sluggish; for when a man spends an idle youth, then he is instructed by the irrational creatures, being chided by the sacred Scripture, which says, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, and considering her ways, emulate her and become wiser than she.” For when you observe [the ant] treasuring up food for itself in good season, imitate it, and treasure up for yourself the fruits of good works for the world to come. And again, “Go to the bee and learn how industrious she is”; how, hovering above flowers of all kinds, it gathers the honey for your use, that you also, by ranging over the sacred Scriptures, may lay hold of salvation for yourself.
By “ant” Solomon seems to indicate the practical way, while the “bee” designates contemplation of creation and of the Creator. Both the pure and the impure, the wise and the foolish apply [this saying] for the benefit of their souls. It seems to me that the wax corresponds to the realities of creation, while the honey symbolizes the contemplation thereof. And while wax perishes, as it is written, “Heaven and earth will pass away,” the honey does not perish. By the same token, the words of Christ our Savior do not pass away, about which Solomon says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, their sweetness is health to the soul.” Also, David says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Scholia on Proverbs.
Harvest. The economy and diligence of this little republic is admirable. (Pliny, xxx. 11.)
Some copies of the Septuagint add with St. Ambrose, (Hex. v. 1.; Calmet) "or go to the bee, and behold what a worker it is, and how beautiful is its work; whose labours kings and private people use for health. But it is desirable and glorious to all; and though it be weak in strength, by the love of wisdom it has got forward "(Haydock) in esteem. (Calmet)
Nature has given the form of a monarchy in bees, and of a democracy in the regulations of the ant. (Tournemine)
“Go to the bee.” Run to the church and learn the works of light which are done in it, and how the church in holiness accomplishes what it does. See how sensible and chaste it represents itself before kings and private citizens alike. Both the rich and the poor respect its prescription for their own salvation—although it is certainly weak and despised in this world. But when the church puts its faith in Christ it is exalted. In Christ, in fact, there is a rich and luxurious banquet for the time which he has appointed. The church does not look so much at what is present but rather envisions plans for the future. It prepares supplies in the summer and stores a great crop at harvest. Notice, I say, how the bee is solicitous about the future. You also should enjoy security in this life, but be careful lest, with the coming of winter, your house may be found empty and deprived of food. Notice how the bee treats everyone equally: not only is it useful to kings but to private citizens as well....
Are you unwilling to learn from the Scriptures which teach that it is good to labor, and that he who will not work ought neither to eat? Learn this lesson from the irrational creatures!… You should receive from this creature [the ant] the best exhortation to industrious living. Marvel at your Lord, not only because he has made heaven and the sun, but also because he has made the ant. For although this creature is small, it affords much proof of the greatness of God’s wisdom. Consider then how prudent the ant is, and consider how God has implanted in so small a body such an unceasing desire for work! But while you learn industry from this creature, you should take from the bee at the same time a lesson of neatness, industry and social concord! For it is not more for itself, than for us, that the bee labors and toils every day, which is indeed a thing especially proper for a Christian: not to seek his own things but the things of others. As then the bee traverses all the meadows that it ...
The bee alone, however, is collected and honored, as divine wisdom says: “It is in honor and in love among all.” … Furthermore, the bee is loved by merit, for his labors are given for the delight of kings and [all] humans. .