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Lessons from a Honeybee

The Voice of the Garden

April showers bring May flowers … and bees. Some folks are fussy at bees, but farmers know how much we need humming little bees to pollinate crops and more. Consider the honeybee! A royal beekeeper to King Charles I said, “A bee is an exquisite chemist.” He’s referring to the production of honey and beeswax, of course! 

“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.”
Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople in the years 347-407.

And such labor! One beehive will make 500 million visits to flowers in the course of a year! Their labor results in a healthy ecosystem of strong flowering plants, oxygen production, and food for the rest of the animal world. A tiny bee figures so prominently in God’s plan for the world.

“Bees and honey are mentioned widely in the Bible and clearly have significance in Judaism and Christianity. In Judaism, their symbolic role can, for example, be seen in the celebration of Rosh Hashana. On the eve of the holiday it is customary to eat symbolic foods which may include dipping challah (leavened bread) and an apple into honey. This can symbolise the hopes for a happy and healthy new year. In Christianity, the bee has historically been seen as a symbol of Jesus Christ’s attributes. The honey reflecting His sweet and gentle character, whilst the sting pertaining to justice and the cross.” Source: DrBeekeeper.com

There are many references to honey in the Bible — too many to count. Most of these relate to the description of “a land that flows with milk and honey”– a place of well-being or utopia, perhaps. Besides Judaism and Christianity, there are symbols and references to bees and honey in the teachings of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Spring is a time for growing.
Nature blooms with just the right combination of sunlight and water (and bees)! For our own spiritual growth, we rely on the right combination of time with God in His word and time with other Christians in fellowship.

Inspiration from the Bee

“It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.” Proverbs 25:27
“Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:8
The words of Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

This post contributed to Pastor Kinrade’s blog by a little worker bee who seeks no glory.