Honeybee Evolution – An Impossibility

BriBlog, BriRants

Honeybees on a comb
Worker bees on a brood comb with their queen (right)

Sue and I recently attended a six-week introductory course on beekeeping. A number of fascinating characteristics of the individual honeybee and the honeybee colony were presented, some of which I already knew (or at least thought I knew), but many of which were totally new to me…

  1. A honeybee colony consists of about 50,000 individuals.
  2. With very rare exceptions, each bee colony has exactly one queen. The queen alone lays eggs.
  3. The vast majority of bees in each colony are non-laying females called workers.
  4. Unlike most other animals, the male honeybee – called a drone – has only half the compliment of chromosomes possessed by female honeybees, much like the gametes (sperm and eggs) of other animals.
  5. Drones fly out of the hive and congregate in an a specific area awaiting any queen which happens to fly through the area and is receptive to mating.
  6. The mature queen flies out of the hive and may fly through many drone congregation areas. During the mating flight, several drones may mate with her. She retains their sperm in her body for later use in fertilizing her eggs.
  7. The act of mating is fatal to the drones whose only purpose is to mate with a queen. They mate once, and die.
  8. The queen can lay about 1,500 eggs in one day. She can determine the gender of each egg individually. If she fertilizes an egg with the sperm retained in her body from a previous mating flight, it becomes a female. If she withholds sperm, the egg becomes a male.
  9. The queen deposits each egg she lays into its own cell within a honeycomb constructed with beeswax secreted by the workers.
  10. During early adult life, workers tend to the internal needs of the colony within the hive – e.g. building honeycomb and other structure, tending the queen, feeding the larvae, and assisting newly emerged adult queens and drones (which are significantly larger than workers) out of their maturation cells within the comb.
  11. Although the queen is the only member of the colony who survives to pass her genetic material to a new generation, and she largely controls the function of the colony, she is entirely dependent upon the ministrations of her housekeeper workers. Without them, she will die within a few hours.
  12. The remainder of a worker’s life (varying from 6 weeks in summer to 6 months in winter) is spent on foraging flights during which they gather water, nectar and pollen from flowers. Upon return to the hive, they deposit the materials they have gathered at the entrance to the hive from where it is brought inside by the younger “housekeeping” workers.
  13. If a worker discovers a particularly rich source of nectar, it enters the hive  and communicates the distance and direction of the source to the other workers in the colony through a complex series of movements (called a dance) which the other bees feel rather than seeing because the inside of the hive is dark.
  14. The workers also defend the colony with their stings. Only workers possess the barbed stinger which becomes embedded in the victim during the act of stinging. It is ripped out of the worker’s abdomen after stinging. The act of defending the colony with a sting is fatal to the worker which can only sting once.
  15. Drones do not sting. Instead of a stinger, they have the male reproductive organs which are ripped from their abdomens during the act of mating, killing the drone.
  16. The queen possesses a stinger, but it is not barbed. Thus the queen is capable of stinging multiple times without dying.
  17. Each bee larva must be fed by the workers. The carbohydrate need of the larvae is met with diluted honey (or plant nectar in times of rich nectar flow in the surrounding area). Each larva’s protein need is met with so-called “bee bread” made from pollen and honey.
  18. Early in their development, all the larvae also receive a specific amount of a secretion called royal jelly made by the workers in glands on their heads. The workers give selected larvae extra royal jelly. These larvae then become new queens which form new colonies.
  19. After a specific feeding period (that varies depending upon whether the larva is a queen, worker, or drone), the larva is sealed within its cell and becomes a pupa. Inside the cell with the pupa is an adequate supply of honey and bee bread to allow the pupa to develop into an adult.
  20. In winter, all of the drones are evicted from the colony and die. Yet the following spring, somehow all the new drones which are hatched know the location of the colony’s drone congregation area. No one knows how.

In the light of all these facts about bee anatomy and colony life, one thing struck me as the most important take-away from the course: There is absolutely no way this complex societal system could have evolved gradually. It must have been put into place in a single instantaneous act of creation by an intentional Creator. If “survival of the fittest” is the rule by which random selection drives evolution forward, how – for example – could a mutation in one honeybee which causes it to die in the act of mating possibly promote the survival of that species. The honeybee’s societal structure could not have come about piecemeal. It must have been put into place all at once. If any single part of it were missing, the whole system would collapse.

The more we learn about the details of God’s magnificent work of creation, the more we are forced to abandon the idea of evolution through a uniformitarian and disinterested collection of random processes. Yet the vast majority of us accept the idea of evolution by “survival of the fittest” as a proven fact. We unquestioningly allow our public education system to infuse our children’s minds with this poison.
The very idea of evolution in the absence of a Creator God is a lie from the enemy of our souls, implanted by him in the minds of some highly educated but gullible people in order to confuse everyone and turn them away from trust in Almighty God, the Creator of all things. The natural consequence of this vile deception is the rise of moral relativism with all its destructive effects upon the fabric of society.
But that’s a subject for another BriRant.

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