As we know, the food source of bees is nectar, which is not found during winter. For this reason, they combine the nectar collected in summer time with special secretions of their body, produce a new nutrient - honey - and store it for the coming winter months.
It is noteworthy that the amount of honey stored by bees is much greater than their actual need. The first question that comes to mind is why do the bees not give up this "excess production", which seems a waste of time and energy for them? The answer to this question is hidden in the "inspiration" stated in the verse to have been given the bee.
Bees produce honey not only for themselves but also for human beings. Bees, like many other natural beings, are also dedicated to the service of man, just as the chicken lays at least one egg a day although it does not need it, and the cow produces much more milk than its offspring needs.
And He has made everything in the heavens and everything in the earth subservient to you. It is all from Him. There are certainly signs in that for people who reflect.
(Surat al-Jathiyah: 13)
EXCELLENT organization IN THE HIVE
The bees’ lives in the hive and their honey production are fascinating. Without going into too much detail, let us discover the basic features of the "social life" of bees. Bees must carry out numerous "tasks" and they manage all of them with excellent organization.
Regulation of humidity and ventilation: The humidity of the hive, which gives honey its highly protective quality, must be kept within certain limits. If humidity is over or under those limits, then the honey is spoiled and loses its protective and nutritious qualities. Similarly, the temperature in the hive has to be 32° C throughout 10 months of the year. In order to keep the temperature and humidity of the hive within certain limits, a special group takes charge of "ventilation".
On a hot day, bees can easily be observed ventilating the hive. The entrance of the hive fills with bees and clamping themselves to the wooden structure, they fan the hive with their wings. In a standard hive, air entering from one side is forced to leave from the other side. Extra ventilator bees work within the hive to push the air to all corners of the hive.
This ventilation system is also useful in protecting the hive from smoke and air pollution.
Health system: The efforts of the bees to preserve the quality of honey are not limited to the regulation of humidity and heat. A perfect healthcare system exists within the hive to keep all events that may result in the production of bacteria under control. The main purpose of this system is to remove all substances likely to cause bacteria production. The basic principle of this health system is to prevent foreign substances from entering the hive. To secure this, two guardians are always kept at the entrance of the hive. If a foreign substance or insect enters the hive despite this precaution, all bees act to remove it from the hive.
How do bees know that this substance is an ideal substance for embalming? How do bees produce a substance, which man can only produce in laboratory conditions and with the use of technology if he has a certain level of knowledge of chemistry? How do they know that a dead insect causes bacteria production and that embalming will prevent this? For bigger foreign objects that cannot be removed from the hive, another protection mechanism is used. Bees "embalm" these foreign objects. They produce a substance called "propolis (bee resin)" with which they carry out the "embalming" process. Produced by adding special secretions to the resins they collect from trees like pine, poplar and acacia, the bee resin is also used to patch cracks in the hive. After being applied to the cracks by the bees, the resin dries as it reacts with air and forms a hard surface. Thus, it can stand against all kinds of external threats. Bees use this substance in most of their work.
At this point, many questions spring to mind. Propolis has the feature of not allowing any bacteria to live in it. This makes propolis an ideal substance for embalming.
And in your creation and all the creatures He has scattered about there are signs for people with certainty.
(Surat al-Jathiyah: 4)
It is evident that the bee has neither any knowledge on this subject, nor a laboratory in its body.
The bee is only an insect 1-2 cm in size and it only does that with which its Lord has inspired it.
MAXIMUM STORAGE WITH MINIMUM MATERIAL
Bees construct hives in which 30,000 bees can live and work together by shaping small portions of beeswax.
The hive is made up of beeswax-walled honeycombs, which have hundreds of tiny cells on each of their faces. All honeycomb cells are exactly the same size. This engineering miracle is achieved by the collective work of thousands of bees. Bees use these cells for food storage and the maintenance of young bees.
Bees have been using the hexagonal structure for the construction of honeycombs for millions of years. (A bee fossil has been found dating from 100 million years ago). It is astonishing that they have chosen a hexagonal structure rather than an octagonal, or pentagonal. Mathematicians give the reason: "the hexagonal structure is the most suitable geometric form for the maximum use of unit area." If honeycomb cells were constructed in another form, then there would be areas left unused; thus, less honey would be stored, and fewer bees would be able to benefit from it.
As long as their depths are the same, a triangular or quadrangular cell would hold the same amount of honey as a hexagonal cell. However, among all these geometric forms, the hexagonal has the shortest circumference. Whilst they have the same volume, the amount of wax required for hexagonal cells is less than the amount of wax required for a triangular or quadrangular one.
The conclusion: hexagonal cells require minimal amounts of wax in terms of construction while they store maximal amounts of honey. Bees themselves surely cannot have calculated this result, obtained by man after many complex geometrical calculations. These tiny animals use the hexagonal form innately, just because they are taught and "inspired" so by their Lord.
The hexagonal design of cells is practical in many respects. Cells fit to one another and they share each other's walls. This, again, ensures maximum storage with minimum wax. Although the walls of the cells are rather thin, they are strong enough to carry a few times their own weight.
As well as in the walls of the sides of the cells, bees also take the maximum saving principle into consideration while they construct the bottom edges.
Combs are built as a slice with two rows lying back to back. In this case, the problem of the junction point of two cells occurs. Constructing the bottom surfaces of cells by combining three equilateral quadrangles solves this problem. When three cells are built on one face of the comb, the bottom surface of one cell on the other face is automatically constructed.
As the bottom surface is composed of equilateral quadrangular wax plaques, a downward deepening is observed at the bottom of those cells made by this method. This means an increase in the volume of the cell and, thus, in the amount of honey stored.
Another point that bees consider during the construction of the honeycomb is the inclination of cells. By raising cells 13o on both sides, they prevent the cells from being parallel to the ground. Thus, honey does not leak out from the mouth of the cell.
While working, worker bees hang onto each other in circles and congregate together in bunches. By doing this, they provide the necessary temperature for wax production. Little sacks in their abdomens produce a transparent liquid, which leaks out and hardens the thin wax layers. Bees collect the wax with the little hooks on their legs. They put this wax into their mouths, and chew and process it until it softens enough and so give it shape in the cells. Many bees work together to ensure the required temperature for the work place in order to keep the wax soft and malleable.
There is another interesting point to note: the construction of the honeycomb starts from the upper side of the hive and continues simultaneously in two or three separate rows downward. While a honeycomb slice expands in two opposite ections, first the bottom of its two rows join. This process is realized in an astonishing harmony and order. Therefore, it is never possible to understand that the honeycomb actually consists of three separate parts. The honeycomb slices, which started simultaneously from different ections, are so perfectly arranged that, although there are hundreds of different angles in its structure, it seems like one uniform piece.
For such a construction, bees need to calculate the distances between the starting and connection points in advance and then design the dimensions of the cells accordingly. How can such a delicate calculation be done by thousands of bees? This has always impressed scientists.
It is obviously irrational to assume that bees have solved this task, which man can hardly manage. There is such a delicate and detailed organization involved that it is impossible for them to carry it out on their own.
So how do they achieve this? An evolutionist would explain that this event has been achieved by "instinct". However, what is the "instinct" that can address thousands of bees at the same time and make them perform a collective task? It would not be sufficient even if each bee acted on its own "instinct", since what they do would necessarily have to be in concordance with each other’s instincts in order to achieve this astonishing result. Due to this, they must be ected by an "instinct" coming from a unique source. Bees, who start constructing the hive from different corners and then combine their separate tasks without leaving any gaps and having all the cells constructed equally in a perfect hexagonal structure, must certainly be receiving "instinctive" messages from the very same source!...
The term "instinct" used above is "only a name" as mentioned in the Qur’an, in the 40th verse of Surah Yusuf. It is of no use insisting on such "mere names" in order to conceal clear truths. Bees are guided from a unique source and thus they successfully come to perform tasks which they otherwise would not be able to. It is not instinct, a term with no definition, that guides bees but the "inspiration" mentioned in Surat an-Nahl. What these tiny animals do is implement the programme that Allah has particularly set for them.
HOW THEY DETERMINE THEIR ECTION
Bees usually have to fly long distances and scan large areas to find food. They collect flower pollens and the constituents of honey within a range of 800m of the hive. A bee, which finds flowers, flies back to its hive to let others know about their place, but how will this bee describe the location of the flowers to the other bees in the hive?
By dancing!… The bee returning to the hive starts to perform a dance. This dance is a means of expression, which it uses to tell the other bees the location of the flowers. This dance, repeated many times by the bee, includes all the information about the inclination, ection, distance and other details of the food source that enable other bees to reach it.
This dance is actually a figure "8" constantly repeated by the bee (see picture above). The bee forms the middle part of the figure "8" by wagging its tail and performing zigzags. The angle between the zigzags and the line between the sun and the hive gives the exact ection of the food source (see picture above).
However, knowing only the ection of the food source is not enough. Worker bees also need to "know" how far they have to travel to collect the ingredients for the honey, so, the bee returning from the flower source, "tells" the other bees the distance of the flower pollens by means of certain body movements. It does this by wagging the bottom part of its body and creating air currents. For example, in order to "describe" a distance of 250m, it wags the bottom part of its body 5 times in half a minute. This way, the exact location of the source is made clear in detail, both with respect to its distance and its orientation.
A new problem awaits the bee in those flights where the round trip to the food source takes a long time. As the bee, who can only describe the food source according to the ection of the sun, goes back to its hive, the sun moves 1 degree every 4 minutes. Eventually, the bee will make an error of 1 degree for each four minutes it spends on the way about the ection of the food source of which it informs the other bees.
Astonishingly, the bee does not have such a problem! The bee's eye is formed of hundreds of tiny hexagonal lenses. Each lens focuses on a very narrow area just like a telescope does. A bee looking towards the sun at a certain time of the day can always find its location while it flies. The bee is reckoned to do this calculation by making use of the change in the light emitted by the sun depending on the time of the day. Consequently, the bee determines the ection of the target location without mistake by making corrections in the information it gives in the hive as the sun moves forward.
METHOD OF MARKING FLOWERS
When a flower has already been visited, the honeybee can understand that another bee has earlier consumed the nectar of that flower, and leave the flower immediately. This way, it saves both time and energy. Well, how does the bee understand, without checking the flower, that the nectar has earlier been consumed?
This is made possible because the bees which visited the flower earlier marked it by leaving a drop on it with a special scent. Whenever a new bee looks in on the same flower, it smells the scent and understands that the flower is of no use and so goes on ectly towards another flower. Thus, bees do not waste time on the same flower.
THE MIRACLE OF HONEY
Do you know how important a food source the honey is, which Allah offers man by means of a tiny insect?
Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate. It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities. Several kinds of hormones are also present in it.
From their bellies comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind… (Surat an-Nahl: 69)
We have made them (livestock) tame for them and some they ride and some they eat. And they have other uses in them and milk to drink. So will they not show thanks? (Surah Yasin: 72-73)
As Allah says in the Qur’an, honey is a "healing for men". This scientific fact was confirmed by scientists who assembled during the World Apiculture Conference held from 20-26 September 1993 in China. During the conference, treatments with honey derivatives were discussed. American scientists in particular said that honey, royal jelly, pollen and propolis (bee resin) cure many diseases. A Romanian doctor stated that he tried honey on cataract patients, and 2002 out of his 2094 patients recovered completely. Polish doctors also informed the conference that bee resin helps to cure many diseases such as hemorrhoids, skin problems, gynecological diseases and many other disorders.
Nowadays, apiculture and bee products have opened a new branch for research in countries advanced in science. Other benefits of honey may be described as below:
Easily digested: Because sugar molecules in honey can convert into other sugars (e.g. fructose to glucose), honey is easily digested by the most sensitive stomachs, despite its high acid content. It helps kidneys and intestines to function better.
Has a low calorie level: Another quality of honey is that, when it is compared with the same amount of sugar, it gives 40% less calories to the body. Although it gives great energy to the body, it does not add weight.
Rapidly diffuses through the blood: When accompanied by mild water, honey diffuses into the bloodstream in 7 minutes. Its free sugar molecules make the brain function better since the brain is the largest consumer of sugar.
Supports blood formation: Honey provides an important part of the energy needed by the body for blood formation. In addition, it helps in cleansing the blood. It has some positive effects in regulating and facilitating blood circulation. It also functions as a protection against capillary problems and arteriosclerosis.
Does not accommodate bacteria: This bactericide (bacteria-killing) property of honey is named "the inhibition effect". Experiments conducted on honey show that its bactericide properties increase twofold when diluted with water. It is very interesting to note that newly born bees in the colony are nourished with diluted honey by the bees responsible for their supervision - as if they know this feature of the honey.
Royal Jelly: Royal jelly is a substance produced by worker bees inside the beehive. Inside this nutritious substance are sugar, proteins, fats and many vitamins. It is used in problems caused by tissue deficiency or body frailty.
It is obvious that honey, which is produced in much higher amounts than the requirements 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."
TAKEN FROM "FOR MEN OF UNDERSTANDING"
BY HARUN YAHYA, TA-HA PUBLISHERS, UNITED KINGDOM, 1999
Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.”
From inside them comes a drinkof varying colors, containing healing for humanity.
There is certainly a sign in that for people who reflect.
(Surat an-Nahl: 68-69)
THE MIRACLE OF HONEY
. . . From the contents of their bellies, from between the dung and blood, We give you pure milk to drink, easy for drinkers to swallow. (Surat an-Nahl: 66)
By making honey, bees have served humanity since very ancient times. Beekeeping goes as far back as 3500 BCE.141
The Production of Honey
As you know, the main ingredient in honey is the nectar collected by bees from flowers and fruit buds. Bees turn this into honey. Pollen has no effect on the production of honey, and is used by bees only to meet their needs for protein.
The nectar a bee collects from flowers and swallows undergoes a chemical change in its honey stomach, where it becomes a heavy, sugary liquid rich in vitamins and minerals. Later, bees place it into the honeycomb cells and seal with a wax cover. The honey acquires its familiar taste and consistency in the comb, thanks to the special air-conditioning provided by the bees.142
The color of honey, its sugar content and different flavors all stem from the original nectars collected. The aromatic volatile oils in flowers, those same oils that give flowers their scents, give the honey its aroma.
Honey production requires a major effort. For example, it takes 900 bees working an entire day to collect half a kilogram of raw nectar, only part of which can be turned into honey. The amount of honey obtained from the flowers totally depends upon the sugar concentration of the nectar brought to the hive. In the apple blossom, for instance, there is little sugar, and so little of the nectar collected from apple trees can be turned into honey.143
HOW DO BEES FEED IN WINTER?
Bees store honey for use in winter. The amount of honey to be produced depends on the flower sources. Even if they collect enough honey for the needs of the colony a month before the flowers fade, they still do not neglect to gather more nectar, and try to store as much honey as possible, even if it requires to increase the volume of the comb.
Beekeepers remove from the hive only a portion of the honey-filled combs, because the bees will need some of the honey to consume during the winter. If bee-keepers do take away most of the honey, they feed the bees with sugar water during the winter. The only exception is in the very coldest days, when sugar water is not enough. At these times, the bees must be given honey.
In order to obtain 450 grams of pure honey, some 17,000 bees must visit 10 million flowers. An average expedition to find food requires that a bee visit some 500 flowers and on a journey lasting approximately 25 minutes. That explains why bees have to put in 7,000 work hours to obtain 450 grams of pure honey.144
Although this job is most demanding, bees create many times more honey than they need. No doubt, this is a blessing from God for human beings' benefit.
The Contents of Honey
The reason for honey's sweet taste, the first characteristic that comes to mind, is the three different sugars in honey: dextrose (34%), sucrose (2%) and levulose or fructose (40%).
In addition, 17% of honey is water. The remaining 7% consists of iron, lime, sodium, sulphur, magnesium, phosphorus, pollen, manganese, aluminum, calcium, copper, albumen, dextrine, nitrogen, and traces of other substances besides protein and acids. It is this 7% of the mixture that determines the quality of the honey.145
There is one very important difference between honey and the ordinary cane sugar with which we are all familiar. Sugar enters the bloodstream only after undergoing changes in the digestive system, while honey can enter it immediately, with no need to be digested first. In short, honey is a food that has been specially created in such a way that human beings can benefit from it at the highest level and in the most rapid manner. It has been established that honey mixed with warm water supplies energy to the body in a matter of minutes.
(Surat an-Nahl: 69)
Average amount in
100 grams of honey Energy 304.0 kilocalories Water 17.1 gram Carbohydrates (total) 82.4 gram Fructose 38.5 gram Glucose 31.0 gram Maltose 7.20 gram Sucrose 1.50 gram Proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals (total) 0.50 g Thiamine <0.006 milligram Riboflavin < 0.06 milligram Niacin < 0.36 milligram Pan¬tot¬henic acid < 0.11 milligram Pyridoxine (B6) < 0.32 milligram Ascorbic acid (C) 2.2-2.4 milligram Minerals Calcium 4.4-9.20 milligram Copper 0.003-0.10 milligram Iron 0.06-1.5 milligram Magnesium 1.2-3.50 milligram Manganese 0.02-0.4 milligram Phosphorus 1.9-6.30 milligram Potassium 13.2-16.8 milligram Sodium 0.0-7.60 milligram Zinc 0.03-0.4 milligram Acid (particularly gluconic acid) 0.57 % (0.17-1.17 %) Protein 0.266 % Nitrogen
0.043 % Amino acids 0.05-0.1 %
With the vitamins and minerals it contains, and with its other characteristics, honey is a healthy food, as is emphasized in the Qur'an:
Your Lord revealed to the bees: "Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow." From inside them comes a drink of varying colors, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a sign in that for people who reflect. (Surat an-Nahl: 68-69)
One of honey's most important features is that it harbors no bacteria. Honey's high sugar content is great for absorbing moisture, which makes it difficult for bacteria to survive. Another blow for microorganisms is propolis, which is found in the nectar of some honey and can actually kill bacteria.146
For this reason, not only does honey not harbor bacteria, but it can be used as an anti-bacterial. For example, it has been established that the bacterium MRSA, which is resistant to antibiotics, is not resistant to honey.147
Using only honey, Dr. W. Sackett destroyed all the typhoid fever germs in 48 hours. Dysentery germs died within 10 hours.148
As can be seen from the above, honey is a most powerful health-giving food. This feature, only recently established for certain, was mentioned in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago. There is no doubt that this is one of the miracles revealed in the Qur'an by Almighty God.
Along with its minerals, sugars and many vitamins, honey also contains small quantities of various hormones, zinc, copper and iodine. The next page displays a chemical analysis of the contents of 100 grams of honey.
A Matchless Food: Bee Pollen
As already stated, bees do not directly use the pollen they collect from flowers, but turn it into another product known as "bee pollen." This transformation is carried out by adding nectar and various enzymes to the pollens collected.
This product made by bees contains every nutrient we humans need. Bee pollen consists of 25% vegetable protein. (18 amino-acids, of which 8 are basic amino-acids.) It also contains more than another dozen vitamins, 28 minerals, 11 enzymes and helper enzymes and 11 carbohydrates. This makes bee pollen far more than just another food.
Ever since the 1950s, there has been a lot of research on bee pollen, revealing-among other things-that it contains antibiotic substances effective against colon bacillius and some strains of Salmonella (a genus of bacteria), as well as providing nutritional and metabolic benefits.149
Nutritionist Dr. Paavo Airola is full of praise for bee pollen:
Multi-source bee pollen is the richest and most complete food in nature. It increases the body's resistance to stress and disease and also speeds up the healing process in most conditions of ill health . . . .150
The Russians have also attached great importance to the properties of bee pollen. Dr. Naum Petrovich Joirich, chief scientist at the Longevity Academy in Vladivostock, says:
Bee pollen is one of the original treasure houses of nutrition and medicine. Each grain contains every important substance necessary to life.151
The enhancement of physical performance has also been linked to bee pollen. Carlson Wade in his book Bee Pollen and Your Health and Lynda Lyngheim and Jack Scagnetti in their book Bee Pollen also refer to the way that this substance has strengthened athletes.152
Since royal jelly contains some very complex and as-yet undefined compounds, it has been impossible to manufacture it artificially. It is rich in natural hormones, minerals, Vitamin B, folic acid, fatty acids, acetylcholine (the lack of which in the body causes Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and other diseases of the nervous system), amino-acids, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It also contains aspartic acid, which plays an important role in the renewal and growth of soft tissues in the body.
Royal jelly possesses antibacterial, antiviral, nutritional and anti-aging properties, helping with cell renewal as people grow older. In addition, it also benefits the respiratory, skeletal, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, immune and cellular systems. It also stimulates hormone balance, regulates and normalizes hormonal and metabolic functions. Along with treating skin problems, it also protects skin color.
It helps the body regain strength in the wake of chronic fatigue, serious illnesses, operations and trauma, and also raises energy levels. It lowers cholesterol and fat levels and helps prevent hardening of the arteries. Research has also indicated that royal jelly is useful in protecting the liver, building bone and muscle, supporting bone growth and health, strengthening the memory, weight stabilization and the treatment of injuries.
Doctors in Germany carrying out research in a number of fields used royal jelly to feed malnourished and premature babies. Improvements in the weight and health of babies fed on royal jelly were observed.
In addition, it has been observed that patients with nervous and psychological problems given royal jelly achieved a normal weight, more resistant nervous systems and stronger physical and mental structures.
Doctors also advise the use of royal jelly to delay the effects of aging and menopause, to relieve malnourishment and illnesses such as joint infections, diseases of the arteries, peptic ulcers and liver problems, as well as for general health.153
Don't you see that everyone in the heavens and everyone on the Earth prostrates to God, and the sun and moon and stars and the mountains, trees and beasts and many of humanity? . . . (Surat al-Hajj: 18)
Throughout this book, we have examined a great many features of honeybees and answered the question of how the bees' perfect systems, their intelligent behavior, and such abilities as calculation, planning and construction came into being. We have also shown in some detail how the mechanisms proposed by evolutionists are invalid by citing examples from the life cycle of bees and the mechanisms they possess. Most important of all, a truth has again been revealed that everyone who uses common sense can clearly see.
In order to perceive this truth, let us try to find the answer to the question of how the first bee lived. Let us also see that it is impossible for evolutionists to provide a consistent answer on this subject.
As we know, evolutionists maintain that all living things are descended from one single ancestor as the result of chance. In fact, this claim has totally collapsed. (For details see the appendix "The Deception of Evolution".) However, let us for the moment assume that the first bee did in fact come into existence by chance. In order for this bee's line to survive there must have been a female-or to be more accurate, a queen. Yet the queen is unable to find her own food; as we know, the workers feed her with special royal jelly. That is the only way her ability to lay eggs comes about. That being so, any queen that's unable to feed herself or lay eggs will be unable to continue her line. Moreover, a queen by herself is not enough, she also needs a male to fertilize her.
In the same way, let us also assume that a queen bee and a male came into existence by chance-the chances of which are, in fact, zero. Imagine that the queen starts laying eggs after being fertilized. But the queen cannot make honeycombs, since she lacks that particular ability. She cannot lay her eggs just anywhere, because the larvae that hatch out cannot survive unprotected. Neither can the queen provide food for the larval bees, since she is unable to leave her nest to gather pollen or nectar and lacks the organs with which honey is generated. It is thus inevitable that the larvae will die soon after they hatch.
(Surah Maryam: 65)
From all the facts throughout this book, anyone possessed of reason and a conscience must draw this conclusion: God has infinite love and compassion for His servants. He is the sole Lord of all creatures and everything in the heavens and Earth. Every feature possessed by living things is a manifestation of His infinite wisdom and might.
All praise belongs to God, the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of the Earth, Lord of all the worlds. All greatness belongs to Him in the heavens and earth. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Jathiyya: 36-37)