To BEE or NOT to BEE a stinging blow to evolution!
Garner Ted Armstrong & Paul W Kroll
If evolution happened — HOW did it? When specific creatures are singled out, and we ask specific, intelligent questions concerning their "evolution," we find, time and again, that evolution is utterly IMPOSSIBLE! One of the most commonplace, yet truly marvelous little creatures around us is the bee. This article proves bees could not have evolved - and presents a sticky problem for evolution!
Bees are pretty common little creatures. Bees are found throughout history — from romantic writings to monument inscriptions- and are found fossilized — looking just like they look today. We speak of someone being "busy as a bee." Embarrassed fathers and mothers discuss the time when they must tell their children "about the birds and the bees," and we talk of something as "straight as a beeline." Much has been written of bees — and it's all a fascinating, marvelous story. But for the purpose of this article, we can list only a few of the seemingly miraculous abilities of the little honeybee. You could study bees all your life — and still be learning there is much you don't know about them.
LOADED CARGO "BASKET" — Legs laden with packed grains of pollen, a worker honeybee stops on a flower for a drink of nectar. Bee will return to hive where pollen is stored as bodybuilding protein for young bees. Nectar is "processed" into honey and stored as energy food for whole hive. Workers can carry a payload approaching their own weight — dwarfing the best modern aircraft, which do well to carry payloads 1/4 their own weight!
The Interdependency of Life
It is an absolute truth that NOTHING lives or dies unto itself! You live in an INTERdependent, complex world, where your very life depends on many other living creatures, and their lives depend in turn on other creatures, and so on. But few people realize to what a large extent their lives depend on bees! Without them, agriculture could simply not exist. And without growing crops, YOU could not exist. Bees handle up to 80 percent of all pollination done by insects — and some agriculturists estimate that each bee is worth about 100 dollars to American crop growers. Bees pollinate 50 different agricultural crops in the United States alone — worth about 3 billion dollars annually. Without plants and Rowers — bees could not exist. And without bees plants and flowers could not exist. Of course, there are some plants which can be pollinated either by the winds, or by other insects — but the broad majority are pollinated by bees — and in some cases in strange and bizarre ways! Without the plant kingdom, there would be no oxygen, and the earth could not be inhabited. Evolutionists say all this just "happened." Life, as we know it today, just "evolved" from NOTHING in the dismal, distant past. "One day," goes the tale, "a spark of life was struck." From that "first beginning" came all the myriad, complex, interdependent, breathtakingly beautiful, amazing life forms around us — so they say. Including human beings. But as we have asked in past articles — IF evolution happened — which it didn't — then HOW did it? Is it "playing fair" to ask specific questions of evolution about specific creatures? This we have done — fair or not. We found the archerfish could not have evolved; that the anableps could not have evolved — and we' found the same thing to be true of birds, the lungfish, moths, and ants! As a matter of fact, the more you learn about the life forms around you the more you become convinced evolution is utterly ridiculous! As you read this article, you may agree it's all a lot of beeswax.
The Marvelous Honeybee
When one observes or studies the bees, he can only marvel in jaw-dropping amazement at these little creatures. They are accomplished architects. Bees have a phenomenal memory for places. In a sense, bees are map makers and map readers — being expert at finding their way home through the use of landmarks. They can sense gravity. They possess a sophisticated guidance system and navigation equipment. Bees have a built-in clock by which they can tell the time of day. They have a unique method of air conditioning the hive. Bees possess a built-in perfume bottle. Through it, they let out a scent that will guide other bees to a certain spot. Coupled with that, they have excellent "noses" to tell the difference between smells. They are adept at distinguishing certain colors. Bees have a built-in polarizer and advanced orientation equipment in order to navigate from place to place.
World of the Honeybee
Today, four known species of the genus Apis, the honeybee, are found in the world. Three of these four species occur in the jungles and cultivated areas of Southern India, Ceylon and other parts of South Asia. These are called the Eastern honeybee (Apis indica), the Giant honeybee or Bombara (Apis dorsala ) and the Little honeybee (Apis florea). The fourth member of the genus is the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera). It is found In Europe, North America and possibly also in North Africa. Man has never domesticated the honeybee, although he has been able to induce colonies of mellifera and indica to build their homes in special hives where man can "rob" them of their honey. In the United States alone there are 5 million colonies producing about 250 million pounds of honey a year and 5 million pounds of beeswax.
A Beehive of Activity
Bees must exist in colonies. A honeybee cannot exist alone. As a matter of fact, It IS common to speak of a hive of bees as ONE organism. Each member of that hive is merely considered It part of the organism — which cannot exist unless ALL the bees cooperate in keeping the whole functioning. Otherwise, bees succumb to the old adage, " Either we all hang together or we'll hang separately." A fairly strong colony will contain from forty to seventy thousand bees, or even more — as many as a fair-sized city of humans. There are three types of bees — the queen, the drones and the workers. Each colony will have ONE bee that is distinguished from the rest of the hive's population. She is the only fully developed female in the colony, a veritable egg laying machine. Without her, the colony would soon perish. During a given spring season an efficient queen can lay up to fifteen hundred eggs in ONE DAY. Those fifteen hundred eggs may weigh from one to four times the weight of the queen herself. In a lifetime a queen may lay ONE MILLION eggs! Also, present in the hundreds are the drones — male bees. The drones have only one purpose — to fertilize the queen. And of the hundreds of drones in a hive only one or a few will ever mate with a queen. The mating and fertilizing of the queen occurs on her maiden flight. In this "courtship" the drone will play the active part. With h is superior eyes and possibly using the fragrance emitted by a virgin queen to guide him, he will find her. Whenever a drone mates with a queen, this spells the death of that drone. Science writers also say it signs the death warrant for his fellow drones. Until the mating, we are told, the drones are tolerated in the hive — in spite of their indolent ways. Immediately after the queen is fertilized, the drones are driven from the hive to perish. In actuality it is the food supply, not the time of mating, that determines when the drones are driven out. A third group of bees are the workers. They are the mainstays of the hive, females who are unable to lay eggs. These workers care for all the bee progeny by feeding and nursing the young, Worker bees also keep the hive clean, make sure the temperature is kept constant, remove waste matter, construct and maintain the cells, defend the hive, provide and distribute the food. The above-mentioned duties and others are divided among various groups of bees. It is a marvel of organization. Without a real leader — the queen merely being the egg-laying machine — each bee knows what the needs of the hive are. She does her duty on that basis.
The Wax Makers
Each worker bee is in effect a portable wax-producing machine. Bees exude wax from the underside of their abdomens. In chemical composition it is skin to fat. As the wax is exuded, the bee will remove the wax with its feet and knead it into a small lump. This wax is then used to build or repair the cells. Beeswax is a remarkable substance. It has the highest melting point of any known wax — approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that the combs will not melt when the hive reaches 110 degrees during summer heat. The cells are miracles of craftsmanship. The walls are only two thousandths of an inch thick — the same thickness as the diameter of the hairs on your head. Yet, one pound of comb will support at least 25 pounds of honey. Each cell has a slight downward tilt towards the central retaining wall. It is tilted just enough to prevent the viscous honey store from trickling out. Each of the side walls combine to form a regular hexagon. These are so remarkable, that Dr. Karl von Frisch, a recognized authority on bee behavior, remarked: "As we may easily discover by measurement, the hexagon has the smallest circumference and therefore requires the least amount of building material. "Moreover, hexagons are much better fitted to receive the roundish larvae which are to be reared in these little chambers than cells with triangular or square cross-sections could ever be. "The bees, with their hexagon cells, have in fact discovered the best and most economical plan conceivable. How they arrived at this, none of our learned men has so far been able to discover. Their writings and discussions on the subject are many, but they have not yet solved the riddle." (The Dancing Bees, Karl von Frisch, page 8.)
The Riddle of Wax Cells
Another famous naturalist, as much impressed with the bees' uncanny architecture, noted: "The bee, of course, has no knowledge
INSIDE THE HIVE — Close-up view of wax cells in hive. Darkest cells are uncapped honey cells. Copped cells at top ore filled with honey. Lower capped cells contain brood, from which young adults hatch after 2 or 3 weeks. Golden brown cells in center store pollen, the main source of protein in young bees' diet. Well, — Ambassador College (See PDF for Pictures)
of geometry nor any way of comparing the storage capacities of variously shaped containers. Then how did bees ever stumble upon the neat, hexagonal rows that make up their combs?... "A simple explanation cannot be found for the honeybees' adept architecture and it is NO EASIER to find explanations for many of the other structures that insects make. "In all probability, insect architecture evolved over immense stretches of time" (The Insects, Peter Farb, LIFE Nature Library, pages 77-78). Can you imagine? Here is a tiny creature — you could cover it with the tip of your finger — but you wouldn't dare! It, first of all, has glands to produce wax. Then it possesses tools by which to pull the scale from its pocket and pass it to the claws of the forelegs and to the mouth. In the mouth, as the wax is chewed, another chemical is mixed with it. What comes out of the mouth is an opaque, white ribbon. The jaws cut this ribbon and the pieces are applied like bricks to the cells. In that tiny head is a brain that has the programmed instinct to construct mathematically and engineeringly perfect cells. Evolutionists claim that "a simple explanation cannot be found for the honeybees' adept architecture." But it can be! You have to look for it in the right place.
About the Bees and the Flowers
Bees need two types of food. The one is protein in various forms for body-building. For bees, protein comes from pollen. Being living, active creatures, bees also need fuel for energy. This they find in nectar, rich in sugar. Both are found in Rowers. And here is where one of the most fascinating aspects of the INTERDEPENDENCE of life comes in. But before we discuss it, let's see some interesting facts about how bees collect nectar and pollen. As bees visit flowers, they slick up droplets of nectar. It passes through the long gullet into the honey sac. When the bee returns, it deposits this nectar into the honey cells. A droplet of nectar brought home by any bee is infinitesimally small. The bee's honey stomach, when empty, is only the size of a pinhead. It would take FIFTY full bee stomachs to fill a thimble. Not only that, a bee must visit between one thousand and fifteen hundred single florets of, say clover, just to fill her honey stomach ONCE! Yet, in some cases, a bee colony may be able to store more than two pounds of honey in a single DAY. We can be thankful for the bees. Who would have the patience to collect nectar and transform it into honey? A gallon of nectar, it has been estimated, may provide enough energy for a bee to cruise four million miles at 7 mph. Bees normally fly up to 15 mph.
Art of Pollen Collecting
Bees also need pollen. It is generally agreed that an average-sized colony of honeybees will need between 50 and 100 pounds of pollen per year. This means bees must harvest between two and four MILLION loads of pollen. For bees, pollen is very precious stuff. Worker bees feed their queens a predigested substance which is formed from pollen. It also may be a determining factor as to whether a larva becomes a worker or a queen. Bees do not swallow pollen as they collect it. Rather they mold it into a solid mass which is attached to the outer side of their hind legs. As the bee gathers this pollen, she also becomes completely dusted with it on her body. In its flight from flower to flower, the bee inevitably leaves some pollen on the stigma of the NEXT flower visited. This helps to pollinate it. Not only that, the plants are cross-pollinated. Now, anyone knows that strict inbreeding is harmful. Therefore, since pollen from one flower reaches another flower of the same species of plant — cross pollination and healthier progeny result. To show the importance of bees in pollinating, an experiment was performed. One branch of a pear tree was tied with gauze so that bees could NOT get to it. The branch did not yield one single fruit. Another branch, with an equal amount of blossoms, was exposed to bees. It produced thirty-three pears.
All By Chance?
As one author exclaimed, "A beautiful reciprocity, all the more to be marveled at as neither of the two partners has the SLIGHTEST IDEA of what they are doing." (The Dancing Bees, by Karl von Frisch, page 18.) But could such a partnership — where neither knows what he is doing — really evolve by blind chance? Evolutionists assure us that is what has happened. Notice one other statement: "This partnership between active insects and stationary plants is charming. Nobody knows for how many millions of years it has been going on. In the very beginning plants were fertilized by simple methods, either self- or cross-fertilized by the air or wind, water or passing animals, as are some plants STILL TODAY. "But when gay-coloured blossoms began to appear on the earth there was a progressive evolution of more and more complex arrangements of the vital reproductive organs of plants... side by side with them appeared insects adapted to take an active part in the transport of pollen from flower to flower." (Insects: Their Secret World, Evelyn Cheesman, page 81.) Let's stop and think. Does this really make sense? If some plants are still surviving, being pollinated as they were "in the beginning" then where was the motivation for evolution? If there was NO NEED to change, why change? And more important, it's quite easy to talk about gross changes in insect and plant anatomy. It's quite simple in two sentences to claim that bees and plants completely altered everything about them — simultaneously! But does it REALLY work that way? Or is it only in the imaginations of the authors? We come back to the questions of the mathematicians. Such order simply cannot come from random, unguided, blind "variation." How could flowers "gradually acquire" colors and scents which enable insects to recognize them? How would flowers survive as they "gradually" evolved increasingly efficient pollinating mechanisms? But scientists admit there are many plants and flowers which cannot exist without the bees. Said one author, "Actually it would be more appropriate to think of them first of all as the great pollinators, without whom many of the plants upon which mankind depends would "disappear from the earth" ("The Honeybee," Ronald Ribbands, Scientific American, August, 1955). And without the plants upon which man depends — mankind would disappear from the earth. Actually, bees are such a vital part of all we call "nature" that "nature" is to a great degree dependent upon the bees. Which came first? The plant needing to be pollinated by bees? Or the bees, needing to manufacture their life's source — honey — from the pollen of the plant? If the plants came first, then obviously they had to be the type of plants which do not require pollination from bees. But if they didn't require bees — then there was no "motivation" or "resident force" which led to bees evolving to fill the requirement — since the requirement didn't exist. If plants were "surviving" without bees (as some still are) then there was never a need for any other types of plants to develop certain "coloration" and smells to attract bees — since there were no bees to attract — and the plants could not "develop" such coloration if it was to perpetuate their pollination, since without immediate pollination in their very first blooming, they would die, and cease to exist. But they couldn't have existed in that form anyway — since they couldn't have been of the coloration and scent to attract bees, if there were no bees. And bees would not have "developed" if there were no nicely scented, beautiful flowers to somehow stimulate their "evolution." If all this seems a little confusing — stick around a while. It gets worse. Not only do bees exist in a completely interdependent COOPERATIVE community with many, many other life forms — including mankind — but they exist only as an harmonious organism into which each single bee fits, filling up a vitally essential place. A honeybee cannot exist alone, remember. It must be a member of from 40 to 70 thousand workers, a number of drones and one queen. But HOW did all this begin? Did one original "bee" evolve all by himself? Or does evolution argue that perhaps millions of "pre-bees" were going through various mutations and "gradual" changes which finally all arrived at once as a full-fledged colony of bees, with workers, drones and one queen? When you investigate the statements of evolutionists concerning the intricate, fathomless difficulties of any such "changes" occurring, you notice broad, sweeping generalities — and, usually, the use of "limitless time" to make the whole tale sound plausible. But let's get specific. How did the first "pre-bee" BECOME a "bee?" Try to go back — way, way back in time — clear to the imaginary time when a little thick-bodied insect of some sort was just about to begin some of the functions of bees. First: What sex was he? or she? or it? Was this little insect a drone? Well, hardly — since drones can't reproduce themselves without a queen. Well, then, was it the queen bee? But how could that be true, then, without a whole colony to feed and keep her alive, and drones with which to mate, the queen would not survive? A worker bee, then? Hardly — since the workers are sexless females, without any possibility of reproducing themselves. But quickly surmounting these insurmountable impossibilities, let's go on to the next important point. What does this little "pre-bee" eat? Pollen? If so, then how come modern bees don't? They manufacture their food. They do it by an elaborate process, already explained — including the most demanding engineering and construction, even to the secretions of body wax, and chemical mixtures in the mouth, and clipping by powerful mandibles into brick-like strips for the forming of perfect hexagonal cells with just the right degree of slant, lip, and the identical, monotonously similar appearance, Not to mention their fantastic strength, and extreme durability under vast temperature changes. Remember, bees exist in colonies today. Somewhere, somehow — there had to be that VERY FIRST bee colony. There had to be, sometime, somewhere, the very first honey-maker, wax manufacturer, pollen-gatherer, and hive builder. There had to be the very first bee stinger. And the very FIRST queen, drone, and worker. So here is "buzzy," sitting on the flowerless leaf of a banyan tree. He is all alone in the earth. No other "bees" exist — but, for that matter, neither does "buzzy," since he is neither male nor female, is not a queen, and, even if he (or she) were, couldn't reproduce. Nevertheless, "buzzy" still sits patiently on his banyan tree leaf. In the soft summer breezes, he smells a strange, new, savory odor. It is the smell of a pretty little morning glory. A flower! But flowers couldn't have existed yet — because there were no bees to pollinate them. And if they did exist without bees, which they didn't, then they could still be pollinated in the way they had always been. and no bees would be needed. Nevertheless, "buzzy" hops off his banyan tree leaf, and flies to the fragrant morning glory blossom. He lands on the petal of the flower, and begins smelling the sweet odors coming from the center of the bloom. He samples a bite of sepal. "AAAaaaagh!" "Nasty!" he says, and spits the bite out again. Then he flies back to his banyan tree, and slowly starves to death. Alas! He hadn't yet developed or mutated the body hairs to collect pollen, or the ability to pack it about his hind legs, further, he had no wax-making equipment. For that matter, he had no wax glands, and no chemicals in his mouth to mix it into the most durable wax known — able to withstand up to 140 degrees temperature. But then, he didn't have any sense of direction, and no hive to go to (what with no wax to build a hive out of, and no other bees around to help him, or any other bees around to reproduce, even if they could keep from starving to death) and there wasn't anything else around to eat. So he died. And bees don't exist. But they do exist — and in colonies, building hives, manufacturing wax, cooling and heating the hive, carefully controlling their sex and numbers, and engineering perfect storage cells of hexagonal shape for honey — without which they can't live. Perhaps you begin to see. Unless bees SPRANG INTO EXISTENCE SUDDENLY, in a colony — with their little computerized instincts causing them to do EXACTLY AS THEY ARE DOING — they COULD NOT have, by the wildest stretch of the most crassly uninformed, brutish, doltish guesswork, have EVOLVED GRADUALLY! With bees, colonies, wax and honey — and with flowers, pollen, and plants — it's either ALL or NOTHING at all. The difficulties for evolution are endless — just like buzzy without a stinger. They're the stickiest, most complex, stinging problems of all, when you consider the lives of bees in hives. What does all this prove? It proves evolution is IMPOSSIBLE to accept — unless you want to make of it a RELIGION and accept it WITHOUT PROOF, on EMPTY FAITH. Many evolutionists do — and it is freely admitted by some to be "an article of faith" that there was no special creation. But God Almighty DOES EXIST. He LIVES. He RULES over His creation — and you can PROVE His existence. What a sad travesty it is that our children are not taught to look into "nature's" marvels with the AWE OF GOD in their minds — taught to marvel at the humor, warmth, good cheer, and kindness of their Creator — instead of being duped into seeing mindlessness, purposelessness, senseless "evolution" where only order, harmony, beauty, interdependency, complexity, law-abiding things exist. Yes, the questions bees place before evolutionists are enough to make the most dauntless atheist break out in hives. A complete book would be required to reveal even the barest of essentials about bees. And at least two books could be filled with questions for evolutionists to answer concerning their supposed "gradual" development. But, putting a few questions simply, let's first ask, "Which came first, bees, or the flowers and plants which survive ONLY through pollination by bees' activities?"