15th November 2011

“Bee Alert”

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)

I have some Perovskia plants in the garden. They’re unruly plants with tall, blue flowered stems that flop untidily on the ground.  I only planted them because they tolerate the chalky soil and the bees love them.

Earlier in the season, as I was watching the bees buzzing about the blossoms, I caught sight of a large bumble bee scrambling amongst the flower stems that were laid on the ground.  I knelt down to take a closer look and as I did so the bumble bee lifted up one of his legs in self-defence.  “That’s odd,” I thought. “If he’s scared, why not just fly away?” It was then that I noticed that the bumble bee couldn’t fly away because he only had one wing. The right wing was completely missing. I’ve never seen a wingless bee before and assumed it wouldn’t survive for long. But how wrong I was. Weeks have gone by and that determined bee is still jetting about the garden, on his little legs, from one floppy plant to another, grabbing hold of the flower stems and doing what bees do.  Sometimes I find him wrapped in flowers, like a comfort blanket, taking a nap, and the other day he was on the patio, in the sun, walking backwards in circles. “This is it,” I thought. “The end is nigh.” But, no, the little feller suddenly stopped, attended to his ‘needs,’ vigorously washed himself and scuttled back into the flowers. I couldn’t help smiling. I know that my bumble bee won’t survive the winter. He isn’t programmed that way. Only the young mated queens hibernate, but he doesn’t know that. He probably isn’t even aware that he’s disabled. This little guy is living his life to the full against all the odds. God uses the natural world to teach us important lessons. In Proverbs 6:6 God says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.”

So what have I learnt from my disabled bumble bee?  Ecclesiastes 9:10 tells us, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.”  And in Colossians 3:17 we find, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Thank you, great God, for the wonders of the natural world. Help us to
be alert to the wisdom it contains for us.

Study by Diana Hall 

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