For centuries bees have been the objects of careful study by scientists. They are amazing creatures indeed that bear the imprint of divine design in so many ways.
The Social Bee
Consider, for instance, the social conduct of these little insects.
A swarm of bees may consist of more than 50,000 individual insects. Their laboring efforts are skillfully divided among three classes.
The solitary queen at the appropriate season lays the eggs—thousands of them—that will hatch in just three days.
The male drones have one function—to mate with the queen.
The female worker bees do a variety of chores. They tend the young, build the comb, gather pollen and nectar, and protect the colony. They literally work themselves to death. Worker bees only live for about six weeks in the summer, but a bit longer in the winter.
Bees, along with other social insects (e.g., ants, wasps, and termites), have baffled scientists for a long time. Each individual in the colony appears to have its own purpose. And yet, the group is a highly organized entity, functioning as a unit.
Who organized these communities of cooperative creatures?
The Bible student knows the answer to that query. The skeptic does not.
Learning from God’s Design
Those who can think logically will reason from the effect back to the cause. In doing so, we conclude that a wise intelligence must have designed these tiny, mobile creatures.
Their designer placed programmed instructions within their minuscule brains, which they follow day and night, year after year. We accommodatively designate this as “instinct,” because we simply don’t know what else to call it.
Now some of the world’s prominent scholars are studying social insects like bees and ants to see what might be learned about the efficiency of their organization.
In an article entitled “Swarm Smarts” that appeared in Scientific American, the authors demonstrate that some scientists are applying “bee-havior” to the modern workplace with wonderful results (Bonabeau & Thraulaz).
For instance, in a honeybee colony, the bees specialize in accomplishing certain tasks. The older bees tend to be the food gatherers for the hive. But when extra help is needed, younger nurse bees pitch in and gather food as well.
Scientists are applying the bees’ work patterns to help workers schedule tasks. Research “investigating the flexible way in which honeybees assign tasks could lead to a more efficient method for scheduling jobs in a factory.”
And so the labor force is patterned according to the bee methods of labor. These scientists claim that the bee system enables the work to be accomplished “with higher efficiency—specifically fewer changes—than [even] a centralized computer can provide.”
In other research, “a model that was initially introduced to explain how ants cluster their dead and sort their larvae has become the basis of a new approach for analyzing financial data.”
Is it not amazing that many in the scientific community study God’s creatures for the effective designs, and yet many researchers are virtually blind to the intelligent cause of these operations?
How can men ignore that God is there? His fingerprints are everywhere to be found—if one is only astute enough to recognize them (see Rom. 1:20).