AN AMAZING FACT: To produce about 1 pound of honey, bees must make 25,000 trips between their hive and the flowers from which they gather precious nectar. Furthermore, that same pound of honey contains the essence of about two million flowers! In the process of making this honey, bees provide a crucial service to nature—pollination. Albert Einstein once remarked that “If bees were to disappear, man would only have a few years to live.” This statement is especially sobering when you consider the recent decimating plague among U.S. bee colonies called colony collapse disorder (CCD).
Just before the beginning of 2007, beekeepers from all over North America began reporting colonies of their bees dying off in unprecedented numbers. Twenty-four U.S. states reported honeybees vanishing at an alarming rate, leaving beekeepers struggling for survival and farmers worried about pollination of their crops. The mysterious disappearance of bees ranges from 30 to 70 percent in some states. Blooming orchards that used to roar with buzzing bees are now strangely silent. One California beekeeper said, “I have never seen anything like it. Box after box after box is just empty. There’s nobody home.”
Experts are exploring several theories to explain the losses from CCD. These include viruses, mites, pesticide contamination and, strangely enough, poor bee nutrition. The mysterious colony collapse disorder highlights the fundamental role that honeybees play in the natural chain of God’s economy, providing fruit and vegetables. Honeybee pollination contributes more than $14 billion worth of North American harvests each year. A broad assortment of crops like apples, peaches, avocados, soybeans, pears, pumpkins, cucumbers, cherries, kiwis, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and many more, depend on honey bee pollination. Some have suggested that if all honeybees suddenly died off, it would bring their vital work of pollination to an end. This environmental breakdown could easily cause an agricultural and economic chain reaction leading to a financial collapse and possibly a national famine.
Who would have guessed the work of these little creatures was so important! Maybe that’s why the Bible has so much to say about honey! David writes about God’s law: “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103). And Solomon says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? and he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.Judges 14:18