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’slukî and kulî), 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.

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