Sep 30

Stockpile

By Andrew V. Ste. Marie

 

In the fall, many beehives can become rather defensive and harder for beekeepers to work with. Why would this be?

 

In the spring, the hive is mostly empty of food, and the bees are bringing in fresh nectar and pollen and are rearing brood at astounding rates. In the fall, an entire summer’s worth of work is stored up in the hive – potentially 100+ pounds of honey and stored pollen, the honey all having been painstakingly evaporated from nectar and covered with a thin wax seal.

 

All summer, tens of thousands of bees labored to gather and preserve what is now contained in the hive. To compare it to our own lives, think of the basement or pantry shelves, full of a summer’s worth of canning; or think of a barn full of hay and corn bins full of corn.

 

By fall, the bees have put an enormous investment into what is stored in the hive, and they are depending upon it to get through the winter. It is their reward for hard work in the past; it is their hope for a continued future.

 

Not only do bees have more goods stored up in the fall; enemies have also increased. Hungry creatures abound in the fall, eager to get a share of the bounty which the bees have stored and converted.  Hornets and wasps want to pick off members of the hive, or consume larvae.  Even bumblebees will wander into a hive to try to steal honey.

 

Bees have no eternal future; like ants, their future is here on earth. They have laid up treasure on earth, and once they have procured it, they must defend it.

 

Man has an eternal future. The less he has on earth, the less he has to worry about, to preserve, and to defend.  The more he sends before him, storing up treasure in heaven, the better his eternal future will be.

 

Let us learn from the bee. Like the ant, we can learn the values and rewards of hard work, diligence, and saving.  But we can also learn that earthly treasure brings earthly entanglement.  May our hard work, diligence, and saving be directed to the next world – to “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away” (I Peter 1:4).

 

Originally published in The Witness September 2016.

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