It sounds like insect galls or cottony maple scale might be the culprit (see the two articles below). These issues are quite common for maples in the summer months, but rarely result in the death of the tree. The insects for cottony maple scale are extremely small. Spraying for mosquitoes in the area can reduce the predators that eat these problematic insects. The cottony maple scale also produces the honeydew substance you describe. The treatment for this scale is usually to get rid of the sap, and insecticide is not typically used, unless there is a heavy infestation. If it seems to really be spreading, you should take a sample to your local nursery for a more informed opinion.
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