And your Lord revealed to the bee saying: Make your home in the mountains and in the trees and in what they (Human) build, Then eat of all the fruits and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. From their bellies comes a drink with different colors which contains healing for mankind. There is indeed a sign in that for a people who reflect. (Surat an-Nahl, 68-69)
It is generally known that honey is a fundamental food source for the human body, whereas only a few people are aware of the features of its producer, the honeybee.
As known, food source of bees is nectar, which is not possible to be found during winter. For this reason they eat nectar at summer and their body makes honey and they store it for winter.
The amount of honey stored by the bees is much more than their actual need.
Question: why do they waste time and energy and they never stop this?
Answer: The answer to this question is hidden in the verse which states that the bee is "revealed" so by the Lord.
Bees produce honey not only for themselves but also for the human beings. As a matter of fact, bees, like many other beings in nature, are offered to the service of man. Just like the chicken laying at least one egg a day although it does not need it, or the cow producing much more milk than its offspring needs.
1- EXCELLENT ORGANIZATION WITHIN THE HIVE:
The lives of bees in the hive and their honey production have very interesting contents. Without going into too much detail, let us discover the "social life" of the bees with its basic features.
Regulation of humidity and ventilation: Humidity of the hive gives honey its protective quality, If humidity is over or under a normal limit, then the honey will get spoiled and loose its protective and nutritious qualities.
Similarly, temperature in the hive has to be 320 C for 10 months of the year. In order to keep the temperature and humidity in the hive within certain limits, especially in hot weather there are some bees at the entrance of the hive that are flying and trying to fan the hive by their wings, in a standard hive, air entering from one side is forced to leave from the other side. Extra bees in the hive work for pushing the air to all corners of the hive. The ventilation system is also useful in protecting the hive from smoke and air pollution.
Health system: the effort of the bees to preserve the quality of the honey is not just for humidity and heat regulation, the main purpose of this system is removing all foreign substances subject from entering the hive. To secure this, always two guardians are kept at the entrance of the hive, if a foreign substance enters the hive all bees take action to remove it out from the hive too. For the bigger foreign objects that cannot be removed from the hive, another protection mechanism is started. Bees produce a substance called "propolis (bee resin)" for these kind of situations. Propolis is a special substance in which no bacteria can survive.
2- MAXIMUM STORAGE WITH MINIMUM MATERIAL:
Honey bees construct a hive where 30.000 bees can live and work together. The hive is made up of beeswax-walled honeycombs, which have hundreds of tiny cells on each of its faces. All honeycomb cells are exactly at the same size. This kind of engineer is a miracle. Bees use these cells for food storage and maintenance of the young bees. And although the walls of the cells are rather thin, they are strong enough to sustain a few times of their own weight.
When we search on hive we see same hexagonal structure, even there is a bee fossil is found dating 100 million years that has a same hexagonal structure. Now the first question comes to our mind is why bees always make their hive hexagonal? Why they don’t make it in octagonal, or pentagonal?
Do you know what does these word mean? (Hexagonal, Octagonal, Pentagonal)
Mathematicians answered this question: “hexagonal structure is the most suitable geometric form for maximum use of unit area" If the honeycomb cells were constructed in another form, then there would be areas left out of use; so less honey would be stored, and less bees would be able to benefit from it. And the other answer is that the amount of wax required for hexagonal cells is less than that required for a triangular or quadrangular one.
Conclusion: the hexagonal structure is very useful for bees because they can store more honey and they need less wax requires for Honeycomb cells. This result, obtained after many complex geometrical calculations, can surely not have been calculated by bees themselves. These tiny animals use the hexagon form, just because they are “revealed" and inspired by their Lord.
3- HOW THEY DETERMINE THEIR DIRECTION:
Bees usually have to fly long distances and trace large areas to find food. The bee which finds the flowers flies back to the hive to inform others about their place. The bee will inform others by making some sort of a dance. This dance is a means of expression used to tell other bees the location of the flowers. This dance is actually an "8" figure constantly repeated by the bee. The bee forms the middle part of the figure "8" by shaking its tail and making zigzags. The angle between the zigzags and the line between the sun and the hive, gives the exact direction of the food source.
However, knowing only the direction of the food source is not enough. Worker bees should also know the distance between the hive and food source. So the bee returning from the flower source, tells other bees the distance of the flower by shaking the bottom part of its body and causing air currents. For example; in order to describe a distance of 250 m., it shakes the bottom part of its body 5 times in half a minute. This way, the exact place of the source is made clear with the details given about distance.
4- METHOD OF MARKING FLOWERS:
When a flower is visited, a honey bee can understand if the nectar of that flower has previously been consumed by another bee, and leaves the flower immediately. This way, it saves both time and energy. Well, how does the bee understand, without checking the flower, that the nectar is consumed?
This is made possible thanks to the bees which have visited the flower earlier and marked it by leaving a drop with a special scent. Whenever a new bee looks in on the same flower, it realizes the scent, understands that the flower has been used and goes on flying directly towards another flower. Because bees are not allowed to waste time on the same flower.
"Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought." (Surat an-Nahl, 69)
"And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: Behold, in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect." (Surat al-Jathiya, 13)
5- THE HONEY MIRACLE
Do you know how important the honey is? Which is offered to man by Allah by a tiny animal.
Human receives lots of benefits from honey, this fact was confirmed by scientists. Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulfur, iron and phosphate. It includes B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 vitamins changing according to the qualities of nectar. Also, several kinds of hormones are also present in its content.
Some other benefits:
1- Easily digested
2- Has a low calorie level
3- Supports blood formation
4- Does not accommodate bacteria
Now we all know that honey, which is produced in much higher amounts than the requirement of the bees, is made for the benefit of man. And it is also obvious that bees cannot perform such an unbelievable task "on their own"...