Last night we inducted two queen bees into their hives on our school farm. We tried to do it a couple of days ago, but the vibes weren’t right. It felt too much like some of the workers, who are all female, didn’t like the queens and might have caused mayhem and carnage. Yesterday everything was different. It felt just right. We shook the queens out of their little boxes and they immediately crawled down into the hive to begin doing their “queen thing,” meaning to lay eggs so the hive stays populated. Every hive needs a healthy and happy queen!
The worker bees are all female. They tend the babies, clean the hive, stand guard against intruders, attend to the queen, and travel far and wide, gathering pollen to make honey, and nectar and water to feed the babies. Then there are the drones. They are male, and they have only one purpose – (gulp) sex. Yep, their only job is to mate with the queen. When summer turns to fall, and the hive must hunker down for winter, the drones have no purpose and they will eat too much of the stored honey, so they are all chased from the hive by the workers.
This probably all sounds very prosaic, but the order of it fills me with wonder. When female scouts find abundant sources of nectar, they come back to the hive and dance. If the nectar is close, they dance in circles – a distance away, they dance in figure-8s. There is an amazing division of labor, including undertaker bees who remove dead bodies. All the jobs are done responsibility, with huge effort, and with a completely selfless attitude. Everything they do is in the best interest of the group, including possibly giving their lives. They do the work they have been created to perform, and by their model, they show us what we, God’s creations, should be doing every day, to fulfill His plan – one where we glorify God and draw others closer to Him.
How do I know? The Bible tells me so! Second chapter of Acts: “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe... All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Sounds a lot like my hives. I have a lot to learn from bees and the Bible as I consider my place in my Father’s world. I’ll keep sharing as I learn.