Monday, November 21, 2011

The Bee (HoneyBee) in Scripture

In our last Mecklenburg County Beekeepers Association newsletter  page 3 referred to the honeybee as being referred to in The Holy Qu'ran.  I have a friend that is familiar with The Holy Qu'ran and he referred me to Surah 16 entitled, "The Bee" or in Arabic "Al-Nahl".  The Holy Qu'ran is comprised of 114 Surahs/chapters.  Unlike The Holy Bible, it is organized from longest to shortest Surah.  It was completed around 632 AD and written in Arabic.  While we do not have the original document, those that are most familiar with it speak Arabic and state The Holy Qu'ran is accurate to the letter.

Below are some interesting facts as reported to me by my friend about The Bee in The Holy Qu'ran. 

hope you doing well, here is part one of the answer

“And thy Lord taught the Bee To build its cells in hills, On trees, and in (men’s) habitations; Then to eat of all The produce (of the earth), And find with skill the spacious Paths of its Lord.” [Al-Qur’aan 16:68-69]
Von-Frisch received the Nobel Prize in 1973 for his research on the behaviour and communication of the bees. The bee, after discovering any new garden or flower, goes back and tells its fellow bees the exact direction and map to get there, which is known as ‘bee dance’. The meanings of this insect’s movements that are intended to transmit information between worker bees have been discovered scientifically using photography and other methods. The Qur’aan mentions in the above verse how the bee finds with skill the spacious paths of its Lord.
The worker bee or the soldier bee is a female bee. In Soorah Al-Nahl chapter no. 16, verses 68 and 69 the gender used for the bee is the female gender (fa’sluk├« and kul├«), indicating that the bee that leaves its home for gathering food is a female bee. In other words the soldier or worker bee is a female bee. 
In fact, in Shakespeare’s play,“Henry the Fourth”, some of the characters speak about bees and mention that the bees are soldiers and that they have a king. That is what people thought in Shakespearean times. They thought that the worker bees are male bees and they go home and are answerable to a king bee. This, however, is not true. The worker bees are females and they do not report to a king bee but to a queen bee. But it took modern investigations in the last 300 years to discover this.

So I was curious.  What does is say about The Bee in The Holy Bible.  Turns out there is one reference to "The Bee" in The Holy Bible.

KJV Isaiah 7:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. (Isa 7:18 KJV)

The word for Bee in Hebrew is transliterated Devorah.  We have Anglicized the word to be the name, Deborah.  If you are a male beekeeper and in your youth you have been stung by a Deborah, now you know why.  Turns out that had old Shakespeare read and studied The Holy Bible or The Holy Qu'ran he would have learned that in Hebrew or Arabic, a Bee is feminine. 

Let me end lest I drone on.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winterizing Plan Bee

Hard to believe it is almost December on the Gregorian calendar.  This morning after a slow drive up to Plan Bee because of grass mowing on I85 I arrived to a bright sunny Plan Bee.  Near the beehives it is a balmy 70 degrees in the sun.  Bees are out flying and I noted they had drained the 2 gallons of sugar water I had left for them in the chicken waterers.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

When you are out in the open like we are on Plan Bee, you have to think like a Bee.  We are getting our property ready for winter in warm weather and shining sun.  We know cold freezing weather is just around the corner.  Now that we have water if it gets really cold, pipes can break, the well head can freeze.  If we have our well burst it could cost thousands of dollars to repair.  In speaking with local rednecks, we have come up with a very economical solution.

  A light bulb.  HA!

So I popped off the well cover and put in a light with a timer.  Checked the bulb from last year and it was burned out.  Thankfully I had a replacement ready since I thought it a high probability a bulb would go bad.  Just a lightbulb turned on under the well cover that is set to come on from dusk to dawn to come on protects the well from freezing.  

With the tested light and timer in place, I simply drop the well cover over the well head and again and we are in business. Done

Next Job - With cold weather we have taken off the Mann Lake hive top feeders.  Instead we now have a solid inner cover on all three hives. (Aleph, Gimmel & Dalet)  Much to the chagrin of other beekeepers, we have elected to do some open feeding.  When the weather is warm and the bees are hungry we set up 2 one  gallon chicken waterers.  You can get a five gallon version that is easy to refill from the Tractor Supply store. I refilled the one gallon chicken waterers with sugar syrup.  I get my sugar syrup for $8.00/ 5 gallon bucket.  Refilled them and replaced my bumblebee marbles in the waterers so my bees won't drown. Such an idiot. Ha

Turned on the water for my fruit trees. Yea. Used to haul water now just turn it on from my frost proof yard hydrants. With our drip irrigation system in place, as I work I water.  Well worth the money.  Next year will extend the drip irrigation to water the front nut trees. I recently planted 2  replacement pecan trees.

So I did a quick weedeating job around some property markers and in front of the beehives. With the sun out and warmer weather, our bees found the sugar water and are really enjoying their meal.  At a usually safe distance in our picnic shelter I am being buzzed.  Stepping away from a curious bee seems to work well.

With a setting sun and a beautiful happy day, I bid good bye to Plan Bee. Winterized and ready to go.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dear Mom, a Plan Bee update

From: David @ Allen & Associates of America, Inc.
Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2011 5:28 AM
To: JG
Subject: Visited Plan Bee yesterday.

Hey Mom,

Plan Bee is located near Liberty, North Carolina. On the way there I visited Julian Milling Company located in the one street town of Julian, NC. The store stocks seed and hardware much as another hardware store we remember your dad owned in Herrick, South Dakota.

The other picture is of chicken waterers that we filled with sugar water for our bees. This time of year is interesting for our bees. The bees are leaving the hive for cleansing flights but are behaving curiously. They are mildly interested in food other than honey. While over at our picnic shelter I noted that the bees were scouting our last year’s boxes filled with frames of built out comb. There were about 20 bees flying in and out and just plain sniffing around. Meanwhile back at the chicken watering devices filled with sugar water there appeared no interest. Maybe they haven’t found it yet. I did grab a bee and dropped her in the sugar water thinking she might go back and tell her friends. Alas, no luck. Oh well.

Last item of note on the chicken waterers. I filled the area where the water comes out with bumble bee marbles. The theory here is that when our bees finally find the sugar water they will not drown while loading up with the liquid. We had purchased the marbles in an attempt to be clever. There was an article in a bee journal about a beekeeper giving new beekeepers marbles and every time the new beekeeper made a mistake he would throw out a marble. When the new beekeeper had lost all of his marbles he would then be an experienced beekeeper. As with many of our ideas, the only ones that thought it was clever was Rayleen and me. Hopefully the bees will take advantage of the marbles to drink from unless they think it is a stupid idea as well.

Thought you might enjoy the pictures.

LOL, your son, aka, the bee boy.

***************************************************************************************************************** David A. Grim
Allen & Associates of America, Inc.
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