When my son, Joel, was around 8 or 9 years old he started asking if we could get some bees and learn beekeeping. My answer was swift as sure as it was firm –
“Ain’t gonna happen, Sparky.”
Sparky – that’s one of my many terms of endearment – don’t ya just love it??
Undeterred by his mother’s seemingly iron-clad negative response, he continued. It’s not that he was whiny or nagging. He just kept asking.
Finally, when he was 14, I paused a little when he asked… “He has been interested in this for a long time,” I thought to myself. “I shouldn’t allow my reluctance to voluntarily expose myself to tens of thousands of angry, stinging insects on a regular basis to snuff out a genuine interest he has…. Should I…???”
We started going to the county Beekeepers Association meetings (did you know they existed?) just to see if this was something we could even consider. We were not even novices – we were novice wannabees. But we kept going and learning what we could.
Joel was a trooper sitting through countless hours of men and women with PhD’s in apiculture (beekeeping) drone on and on about pest management and bee diseases… He really just wanted to get on with it. But perseverance was becoming a strong suit for him and he kept going so that I could feel more comfortable with this whole idea.
To make a long story short, I relented, and we finally got some bees. We started out with two hives, which both died the first winter. Undaunted, we bought two more packages of bees (a small crate about the size of half a cinder block containing approximately 3lbs – or about 12,000 bees) to try again. One of those survived this past winter. And we got two more packages this year, for a total of three hives.
Can I just take a moment and be the voice of that excited five-year-old who has just lost her first tooth…. BEES ARE SO COOL!!!!!!
When I first found out that there are men and women who have PhD’s in a variety of things having to do with bees, I thought, “Oh come on… That’s a little ridiculous. That’s like getting a PhD in basket weaving.” But now that I know a little something about bees and beekeeping I realize that not only is there enough knowledge to legitimately earn a PhD in beekeeping – I WANT ONE!!!
These little creatures are AMAZING!
Their bee society is amazing. Their body structures are amazing. Their honey production is amazing. Their hives are amazing! I mean it – the more I learn the more I am in awe.
But not with the bees, really. Though I find them fascinating to ever increasing measures, I am in awe of the One who made them.
I cannot help but to praise God every time Joel and I go out to work with our bees.
Recently we attended a lecture at our local Beekeepers Association meeting and the professor – who openly gushed about how awesome she thought bees were – said multiple times, that bees and the flowers they pollinate are “so smart – amazingly intelligent!”
Joel and I looked at each other. Huh?
As cool and amazing and fun and educational as we both think bees are… we’ve seen the size of their heads that enclose their even smaller brains. “Smart,” is not an adjective either of us would use.
And flowers…. Last we knew, they didn’t have brains at all.
So what gives with this professor of professors trying to earn PhD’s in apiculture calling flowers and insects “smart?”
This woman, who knows so much about the created order, has carefully constructed a world view that tries to deny a creator. But she simply cannot deny praise! Her research and experience all point directly to awe-inspiring design – yet, who can she praise if she denies a designer? She is left to relegating her praise to the created things – as absurd as it sounds – because surely these are praiseworthy!
Bees are not smart. Flowers are even less smart. But bees and flowers and birds and mountains and oceans and stars are all awe-inspiring. They don’t inspire awe because they’re so clever. They inspire awe because they each, in different ways, give a clue – a small hint – to the AWESOME character of the God who created them. Their beauty, design, majesty, power, light, and order all tell us something about Him. They remind us how small we are and how mighty He is. They speak of his delight in color and strength, tranquility and grandeur, and even in his humor (have you seen the size of a bee’s wings compared to its body size??) in the unexpected.
Look around you – His handiwork is everywhere. And everywhere there is cause to praise Him!
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96:10-12