When food isn't readily available, honeypot ants drop nectar into larger ants in the colony who will serve as living storage tanks of nourishment for the whole colony. From Deep Look:
The species of honeypot ant featured in our video, Myrmecocystus mexicanus, forages at night in the Southwest and Mexico. Workers venture out of their nest at dusk and collect nectar from plants, as well as other sweet liquids they slurp from the backsides of tiny animals like aphids. And they gather dead insects, such as other ants. Some of the fat and protein they extract from the insects will end up inside the repletes.
Workers carry the nectar and other liquids back to the nest inside their own abdomens. Then they transfer it, mouth to mouth, to the ants they're turning into repletes.
The liquid flows into a pouch in the replete's abdomen called the crop. This is the part of the ant that swells into a storage tank. The nutritious liquid stays inside the crop because four valves prevent most of it from flowing into the ant's stomach, where it would be digested.