Lessons from Bees
Our Creator God (Yehovah Elohim) has made some awesome creatures, and I’ve written about some of them in previous blogs. From my vantage point as a human being, though, there is none more awesome than the humble honey bee. Evolutionary scientists used to describe the bee and their brain and body functions as being very simple. However, the more that is discovered about these amazing creatures, the less you hear them described in this way. As recently as 2006, a well-known scientist said this about bees’ brainpower: The brain of the honeybee is “relatively simple.” (Evolution Research – General Evolution News, August 5, 2006).
Let’s look at some known facts from scientific studies of bees and their anatomy and behavior. A number of years ago a study was done to compare the processing power and speed of a bee’s brain to that of a supercomputer. The findings showed that the bee’s brain was 7-8 times more efficient than the most advanced computer chips, and about 1,000 times faster in processing instructions. A bee’s brain can process one trillion instructions per second. With the latest generation of supercomputers, it is now possible for them to process information faster than the brain of a bee, but there is no comparison in efficiency. The Fujistsu “K” computer runs 8 times faster than a bee’s brain, but it takes enough electricity to power a city of 10,000 people, while a bee’s brain fits on the head of a pin and takes less than a microwatt of power!
Much of the bee’s incredible brainpower is used to control and process information from their two compound eyes, each of which contains 7,000 hexagonal facets. Using these light-detecting facets, each pointed in a slightly different direction, the bee has an uncanny ability to detect different types and colors of objects, how far away they are, and how quickly they are moving towards them. This allows them to see flowers quickly (with a built-in mechanism for detecting whether or not they have pollen), know exactly how far away they are and to find them in any type of weather. The bee’s eyes (and other sensors in their bodies) also allow them to tell if a food source has been moved to a different location. Being a God of meticulous design and possessing a great sense of humor, Yehovah’s amazing bee creatures are programmed to do a little “waggling” dance to tell their fellow workers how far away a food source is, and when and where it has been moved.
If Abba put so much thought and creativity into making these tiny pollinating creatures, then how much more does He love us, who have far more intricate, complex bodies than our miniature friends? In a recent Independent news story, a beekeeper in the UK witnessed the most amazing episode of loyalty to a hive’s queen bee. As the beekeeper was moving a hive, the box she was transporting them in blew over in the wind, and somehow the queen bee was attracted to something sweet in the trunk of a Mitsubishi Outlander. She then got herself lodged into the back of the SUV. About 20,000 bees (from her hive that was being moved) attached themselves to the back of the SUV. When the car drove off, the swarm of bees followed it for over 48 hours, while the SUV was driving around various parts of western Wales. They were seeking to rescue their queen!
When I thought about the unwavering loyalty of these bees to their queen, I realized that God has put a deep desire into human beings as well to be loyal to their leaders, or to the homeland where they dwell. On this Memorial Day weekend in the US, I reflected on how this relates to our soldiers’ pledge to fight for our nation under the most severe conditions, risking their lives to preserve the security of our country. We know from God’s word that “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). But what about Yeshua and what He did for us – He laid down His life for his enemies; those who persecuted and hated Him and put Him to death in the most brutal, painful way. He gave up His life willingly – He said: “No one can take My life from Me; I sacrifice it voluntarily” (John 10:18). While it is true that bees would sacrifice their lives for their queen, and soldiers for their country, they are sacrificing for the one that gives them safety and livelihood, not for someone who beat and cursed them and then put them to death.
If we are loyal to our family, friends and nation, how much more should we be loyal to our Savior. We should be willing to lay down our lives for our Lord at any time, just as we see modeled for us by martyred believers in terrorized nations across the world. When we think of our awesome God who created bees and humans, our greatest desire should be to follow Him at all costs, boldly telling others of His amazing love and sacrifice for us, and praising Him for who He is and what He has done for us.