Honeybees

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Honeybees

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You all might have seen a honey bee somewhere. If not in real life, at least on a screen. How does a honeybee come across to you; busy, industrious, focused, skilful, useful?

Honey bees are marvellous creations of Allah swt. Today let us know about this tiny insect which even got a special mention in the holy Quran. A chapter is named after bees – would you like to find it?

Allah swt made this world beautiful. He filled it with flowers of different sizes and colours. He also created honeybees to perform the incredible task of taking the sweetness from these flowers and converting it into honey – an awe -inspiring food preparation that only the bees are capable of.

To showcase His wisdom, Allah swt created bees for different jobs. Not all the bees are ordered to fly in the gardens to make honey. The bees work in obedience to their creator and all of them know their role and follow it to their death.

Allah swt created some bees to act as caretakers, they look after the brood; some are cleaners of the hive; others that we usually see buzzing around flowers are the collectors who gather nectar to make honey. And then Allah also appointed a leader for all of them. A Queen bee. All the other bees take care of the Queen and cannot function if she is not in the hive. Thus Allah swt has shown us how everyone is created for a purpose and why fulfilling our purpose is important.

Allah swt hasn’t given these insects a very big size. They are around 2 mm to 4 cm in size and with brains only the size of sesame seeds. But yet, collectively, these honeybees are able to achieve great tasks.

Allah swt has also told the bees how and where to make their houses. In surah al-Nahl, verses 68, Allah swt says:

And your Lord inspired the bees: “Make your homes in the mountains, the trees, and in what people construct.

Everything we see around us is a sign from Allah swt to reflect. Beehive is such a brilliant example of how perfect Allah’s plan is and how He directed bees to come up with splendid miniature creations. A beehive is one such splendid creation. Honeybees live in a beehive, which can house about 60,000 bees. Yes, that’s a lot of bees in one place!! Inside this hive, bees create (as taught by their Lord), perfect hexagonal shaped cells out of beeswax. These cells are known as honeycombs. In these cells honey is stored by bees and when one cell is full, they seal it with the same beeswax.

It is not an easy job for honeybees to fill these cells. They visit at least 100 flowers per trip and in their whole lifetime, each honeybee is capable of producing only around one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey!!

Allah swt has not only made the honey sweet to taste but has packed it with numerous health benefits. Allah swt states in Quran;

There comes forth from their bellies a drink of varying hues. Therein is cure for men. Surely, in that is a Sign for a people who reflect.” (sura al Nahl)

People for millions of years have been using honey both as food and as medicine. Another unique feature of honey is, it doesn’t rot (if stored in the right manner).

Archaeologists in Georgia have found ceramic jars containing honey, which is about 5,500 years old. And a few years back in 2015, 3,000-year-old honey was found while excavating tombs in Egypt, and it was perfectly edible.

Isn’t honey a miraculous substance?

Honey is also the main food source for bees themselves. In winter months when there are very few flowers available for nectar, honey bees eat from their own honey stock. So honey is useful for humans and bees themselves.

It is our responsibility to plant more flowering plants for honeybees collect nectar and also leave trees uncut so that bees can make those beautiful hives. Allah swt has created everything in this world for our use, we need to look after them and be khalifahs of this earth.

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