Honeybees and Their Sweet Nature

I will be buzzing about bees today. There are many kinds of bees – about 25,000 species worldwide! Can you imagine that? The most well known are probably honey bees, bumble bees, carpenter bees, mason and leafcutter. But for now, let me focus on the common honey bees.

The “social bees” are the honeybees. They are called social because they live in colonies. And these colonies are huge, usually consisting of 50,000 – 60,000 bees. They play an important role in conservation which I will not discuss in details because it’s too broad a topic. Honey bees are also used extensively in crop pollination. And along with other bees, they help us grow crops so we can have something to eat.

“Busy as a bee”, a very familiar expression. There is a very good reason for that, bees are some of nature’s diligent workers. FYI, to make just one tablespoon of honey for our morning toast, a bee has to visit 4200 flowers! Amazing isn’t it? A worker bee will make up to 10 trips a day, visiting 400 flowers. And to make just one pound of honey, worker bees need to visit more than 3 million flowers and travel the equivalent of three times around the world. They are really hard workers but they don’t mind because they care about the hive. And the harder they work, the happier and more productive their colony can be. We as Christians, are also workers. And the Body of Christ which is the church is the beehive. God wants each and everyone of us to be “busy workers” in our homes and churches and beyond these institutions. He would like us to be “busy bees” doing our part to make life sweeter for those around us.

There are different roles in the honey bee colony. There are queen bees, worker bees, and drones. The workers find the nectar and they are the ones who make honey. The queen of course lays the eggs. And the drones? They do not have stingers and so they can’t defend the hive and they do not gather nectar, make honey or lay eggs. You might think that they are a useless bunch or they might appear worthless. But in a hive, everybody is important and useful. These drones are the baby sitters of the larvae. They help feed them and this role is vital. And the same goes for you and me. God has placed every bee in the hive for a reason: to fulfill its purpose. He has placed us on this earth for the same special reason. And let us bear this in mind, no matter what our job is, it matters. For in God’s eyes there are no losers. We all matter.

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