What is the only insect that produces food eaten by man? You guessed it, Apis Mellifera. Or as we often know it, the honey bee.
But did you know that the worker bee makes only a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its entire short six week lifetime?
Or that honey is the only food that contains everything necessary to sustain life, including minerals, vitamins and enzymes?
It is the one food that contains ‘Pinocembrin,’ an antioxidant that is associated with accelerated function of the brain.
The hive’s only queen lives for up to five years. Without her, the hive loses all sense of meaning. The hive needs her to continue existence. Their selfless work is for her — mother of all — and for their community. They work tirelessly. So much so that a hive of bees will actually orbit the earth three times, or 144,840 kilometres, just for the production of one kilogram of honey.
The world’s most expensive honey is produced in Turkey and costs 5000 euros a kilogram. That’s as much as it costs for a small car.
The work of honey bees pollinates a third of all world food. That’s about one in every three mouthfuls that sit on your plate.
In ancient Egypt bees were seen as a symbol of royalty and power. Druids looked at bees with a sense of celebration and community. Christian monastic communities associated bees with selflessness, cleanliness, courage, sociability, wisdom and spirituality.
Pharaohs took it with them to the afterlife. Honey never spoils, and just as it was esteemed in ancient times, the worth of honey is rising once more.
The book of Judges teaches us about Deborah, prophet and judge. Deborah has been called the mother of Israel. Her name also happens to mean ‘bee’.
When Samson killed a lion with his bare hands, he went back the following year to discover that a colony of bees had made their hive inside the lion’s empty carcase. The pleasure at finding combs full of honey — and not so pleasant stinging worker bees — would have been considered an incredible bounty in those times.
In Judges 14:14, Samson tells a riddle:
“Out of the eater, something to eat;
Out of the strong, something sweet.”
The great power of a single lion had been defeated. In its decay there was nothing lovely, nothing clean and yet bees had made from it something sweet, an abundance of something good.
When we create loveliness out of the everyday, begging the beautiful out of the mundane, it is the sweetness of our efforts that is like gold. Our tireless work from continued routine is what makes us strong.
Yet as writers, it can often be a struggle to continue to push past indolence, flagging sales, rejections, not to mention writer’s block. For all that writing is by its very nature a lone undertaking, it is togetherness and community which can build and strengthen the individual and the team.
In encouraging, listening, being willing to share, we are a hive of many working in togetherness to make something sweet in His name, and that’s powerful.
My newest work is ‘Folly’, the conclusion to ‘Charter to Redemption’. It has been an endeavour which was only made possible through the help of others, and I’m indebted to all those who’ve been part of the process. I’m thankful to the team at Rhiza Press regarding the release of ‘Central to Nowhere’ in 2018. I’m currently writing my second contemporary novel, ‘Rising Son’, as well as looking forward to starting a guest author blog in the near future. Thank you for the encouragement I’ve found with Christian Writers Downunder; it is gold.
I have milked cows and made cheese. I have reared babies, border collies, and kept bees. I bartered my Gouda for wine at a boutique vineyard near our home in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales. A short stint with horses saw me falling off and breaking my best arm. Now I steer clear of animals of the equine persuasion. Being mother to five is my highest achievement, but writing comes a close second. After all, it has been my friend for so many years, we two are inseparable.