Did you know that honey is mentioned in the Bible 56 times? These incredible insects will spend their entire lives gathering nectar and bringing it back to the hive to convert to honey. The honey they make is the only substance that does not appear to spoil with age and has many health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties. It can soothe coughs and provide a great boost of natural energy. It also contains antioxidants that prevent cellular damage in the brain, amino acids like tryptophan to improve sleep, and even natural antibiotic properties that allow it to be used to treat wounds and burns. In fact, honey contains all of the substances needed for life: enzymes, water, minerals, and vitamins.
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24
Almost all of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables we eat require bees for pollination, and these plants provide the bees with the perfect reward: nectar. The relationship between the plants and bees demonstrates one of the beautiful relationships God placed into His creation. Other evidences of design are also apparant in our beehive. The social order with each bee completing a specialized job. The queen, who does nothing but lay eggs, the drones mating with the queen, and the female workers completing other specialized jobs including the gathering of nectar, but also working in the nursery of the hive, or serving as undertakers to remove bees that have died keeping the hive healthy. The hive itself shows the intelligence programmed into the bees. The hexagonal structure of the hive baffled Darwin who stated, “Such simple instincts as bees making a beehive could be sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.”
Honeybees are not the only important pollinating bee, however. Many solitary bees also play an important role in pollination on the Ranch and elsewhere. Recently students constructed some insect condos to encourage other important pollinators to make a home near the gardens.