Termites and Their Ways

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The 2000 species of termites are found throughout the world. These insects live in large colonies in dark places and never come out into the open, except when swarming to establish new colonies. There are three classes of termites in their colonies: workers, reproducers and soldiers.
The workers, along with the baby nymphs, form the largest part of the colony. They never leave the nest, even at swarming time. Their lives are spent tunneling and feeding on wood. They digest the wood and feed it to the king, queen, babies and soldiers, all of which cannot feed themselves.
The queen's responsibility is to provide eggs to keep the colony growing. Soon after mating she swells up with eggs until she is much larger than the workers. In fact, this load of eggs is so great that she has to finally settle down in her royal chamber where she will stay the rest of her life, producing millions of eggs during that time.
The workers stand by to take the eggs as soon as they are laid. They lick each one clean before placing it in the nursery area. It takes many months for the eggs to hatch and the young termites to fully develop. During development, the nymphs are blind and helpless. They could not survive if the workers did not take care of them by constantly bringing them food to eat.
Most of the soldiers have large, armored heads and fiercely attack enemies. Standing guard over the nest, they often plug the entrances with their heads to keep intruders out. If danger appears they make sharp noises, calling other soldiers to help them.
Termites usually live where it is dark and moist, because they cannot survive under other conditions. Where it is necessary to cross exposed areas, they make tunnels of mud. These are built by special soldiers who have the ability to produce a liquid cement for holding the mud in place.
In Australia a species known as "compass termites" builds nests up to 20 feet above ground. The sides of these nests always face east and west, with the ends pointing north and south. Lost travelers have found their way by using these nests as compasses. Since these nests are exposed to the hot sun, the termites build ventilating flues in them to maintain a constant, cool temperature.
These creatures, seeking dark places and hiding their activities, remind us of those persons who "love darkness rather than light." They foolishly think they can hide evil deeds. But the Bible says, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Prov. 15:33The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)). Our opening verse also reminds us of the One from whom nothing can be hidden.
But we are happy to tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ, who knows all the secrets of our hearts, loves us and invites us to come to Him as the Savior of sinners. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:99If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)).