The Sweat of Sweet Honey
Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. All of us know the joy of eating honey on a hot, buttered biscuit! That sweet substance has such a unique taste. From childhood, most of us remember having honey on our table. And, moms sometimes truly did practice what the song says of using a “spoonful of honey to make the medicine go down”.
Have you ever considered how much work was done for you to enjoy even a tablespoon full of honey? Perhaps this look at a few “fast facts” will make you enjoy it even more next time!
- Honey bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
- One bee has to fly about 90,000 miles – three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey.
- The average bee will make only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
- A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
- A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour.
- The bee’s brain is oval in shape and about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has a remarkable capacity to learn and remember things. For example, it is able to make complex calculations on distance travelled and foraging efficiency.
- Honey bees communicate with one another by dancing. When a bee finds a good source of nectar it flies back to the hive and shows its friends where the nectar source is by doing a dance which positions the flower in relation to the sun and hive. This is known as the ‘waggle dance.’
- The bees’ buzz is the sound made by their wings which beat 11,400 times per minute.
- A colony of bees consists of 20,000-60,000 honey bees and one queen. Worker honey bees are female, live for about 6 weeks and do all the work.
- The queen bee can live up to 5 years and is the only bee that lays eggs. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength and lays up to 2500 eggs per day.
- Larger than the worker bees, the male honey bees (also called drones), have no stinger and do no work. All they do is mate. (https://matteroftrust.org/4754/20-amazing-honey-bee-facts).
Bees are critical pollinators: they pollinate 70 of the around 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world. Honey bees are responsible for $30 billion a year in crops. That’s only the start. We may lose all the plants that bees pollinate, all the animals that eat those plants and so on up the food chain. (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140502-what-if-bees-went-extinct).
Bees could teach us a lot about persistence. When we are weary with the monotony of some aspect of life, we try to find a way to delegate that role or quit. God made bees to do their task without hesitation or interruption. Who would suspect that one flying insect had such a vital role in all the earth? You may think what you do for Christ is insignificant, but in truth, the Kingdom is sustained by lots of us common folks just doing faithfully what God assigned for us to do!