(Editor’s Note: Natasha, her husband Terry and their three small children have been serving as missionaries in Ouanaminthe, Haiti since October 2010. You can follow their adventures in serving and loving the people of Haiti, as well as their efforts in seeking more sustainable ways of living on their website and blog: Haitian Happiness.)
Recently we visited Baker Joe (who speaks excellent English) hoping to buy some wheat berries to grind for our own sourdough bread. We didn’t find what we had hoped, but he cordially invited us to share his equipment whenever we need it. On the same visit, he introduced us to his bee-man.
The delightful older gentleman’s eyes twinkled as he amazed us with the detail of God’s creation, the honeybee. He smoked them out and pulled out a honey-filled hive for us to observe. The honey drizzled deliciously into our mouths as we lifted bits of honeycomb to chew.
Meticulously and frugally he collects the bits of chewed wax to provide new materials for the worker-bees to expand their hives. After taking us down to the bee boxes, giving us a glimpse into bee life, being stung a few times along with Baker Joe – apparently, we were ignoring the bees’ warnings and disturbing their work – the bee man extolled the virtues of the bee.
Organized, managed, and planned withe enough productivity to make an accomplished CEO stand and take notes, there are no individualists here. In fact, I wonder if traditional royalty developed their kingly habits after studying the honeybee. Each time a worker returns to the hive, he goes to the queen to receive new orders. Some gather water, others collect pollen, and each has a specified amount of time to return. If they do not return in time, they receive a warning punishment. Each bee must be home by 6 p.m. with their last load.
These worker bees lead such taxing lives that they survive for only 3 months, while the queen lives about 3 1/2 years before a new queen emerges. Any worker who is too lazy or slow to accomplish his mission with the allotted time on the 2nd infraction is isolated in an octagonal cell sealed with a yellow substance until the time for his execution by bee dagger.
The breadth of God’s imagination still amazes me, the height of His holiness, the depth of His love. Such diversity, such perfection of planning can only come from a mind much greater than our own.
[Source: WorldTurners.org – Thanks Turners!]