Sura (Chapter) 16 of the Quran is called “the
Bee.” Although the sura talks about many interesting matters, God
chose that name because of its importance. The bees are one of these miracles
of God. We should look at them, learn from them and remember to say, Subhana
Allah, God be Glorified, or Mashaa Allah, This is gift from
God. It is the will of God to give us these beautiful creatures to serve
It is interesting to note that the female bees, not the male bees are
the ones who build the hives. This information was not known when the
Quran was given to the Prophet Muhammad over 1400 years ago, but God knew.
God in the Quran used the words that mean the female bees are the ones
to build the hives.
Cross-pollination is that wonderful miracle of God by which pollen from
one flower combines with the underdeveloped seeds of another to produce
developed seeds that will grow into more flowers.
Bees are the chief engineers of cross-pollination. If it were not for
them, half of our most beautiful flowers would disappear. The honeybee,
which uses pollen as food for its young, does the most work and covers
the most territory. Also, she has better pollen baskets than the bumblebee.
These baskets consist of rows of stiff bristles on the hind legs. By packing
pollen moistened with honey between these hairs, the bee can accumulate
a ball of pollen sometimes as large as a quarter inch in diameter and
containing 100,000 grains.
Bees work at amazing speed. On the head of a thistle a honeybee, thrusting
her nose into one flower after another, can pollinate at the rate
of about 30 flowers per minute!
Usually bees gather from only one kind of
flower at a time. When two different flowers of the same dark purple
color grew side by side, bees were noted to nearly collide in air,
but never did a bee touch the pollen of the wrong flower.
Did you know...
• Bees maintain a temperature of 92-93 degrees Fahrenheit in their
central brood nest regardless of whether the outside temperature is 110
or -40 degrees.
• Honeybees produce beeswax from eight paired glands on the underside
of their abdomen.
• Honeybees must consume about 17-20 pounds of honey to be able
to biochemically produce each pound of beeswax.
• Honeybees can fly up to 14 kilometers from their nest in search
of food. Usually, however, they fly one or two miles away from their hive
to forage on flowers.
• Honeybees are entirely herbivorous when they forage for nectar
and pollen but can cannibalize their own brood when stressed.
• Worker honeybees live for about 4 weeks in the spring or summer
but up to 6 weeks during the winter.
• Honeybees are almost the only bees with hairy compound eyes.
• The queen may lay 600-800 or even
1,500 eggs each day during her 3 or 4-year lifetime. This daily egg production
may equal her own weight. She is constantly fed and groomed by attendant
• A populous colony may contain 40,000 to 60,000 bees during the
late spring or early summer.
• The brain of a worker honeybee is about a cubic millimeter but
has the densest neuropile tissue of any animal.
• Honey is 80% sugars and 20% water.
• Honey has been used for millennia as a topical dressing for wounds
since microbes cannot live in it. It also produces hydrogen peroxide.
Honey has even been used to embalm bodies such as that of Alexander the
• Fermented honey, known as Mead, is the most ancient fermented
beverage. The term "honey moon" originated with the Norse practice
of consuming large quantities of Mead during the first month of a marriage.
• Honeybees fly at 15 miles per hour.
• The queen may mate with up to 17 drones over a 1-2 day period
of mating flights.
• The queen stores the sperm from these matings in her spermatheca,
thus she has a lifetime supply and never mates again.
• A queen bee can control the flow of sperm to fertilize an egg
when she is about to lay an egg. Honeybees have an unusual genetic sex
determination system known as haplodiploidy.
• Worker bees are produced from fertilized eggs and have a full
(double) set of chromosomes. The males, or drones, develop from unfertilized
eggs and are thus haploid with only a single set of chromosomes.