For many of us, when we see bees buzzing around it is time to take cover. While we certainly do not want to be met by the bee’s stinger, these small insects serve an important purpose, and I’m not just talking about honey.
As you read this column, please keep in mind that evolution teaches that all life forms do what they do either by trial and error, or else by getting it right the first time. Now lets examine the honeycomb and try to decide how bees ever figured out the mathematics behind their operation. It begins by worker bees eating honey, then excreting clumps of wax; other bees will gather the wax and mold it into columns of six-sided cells. In order for the wax to remain firm enough to hold but soft enough to work with, it must remain 95 degrees. By clustering together in the honeycomb, bees are able to keep the wax at the needed temperature. In order to make the classic honeycomb look, the cell walls must be at a 120-degree angle in relation to the other walls to make the hexagonal design, and each partition is less than .1 mm thick. The cells are tilted upward at 13 degrees, the exact dimension needed to keep the honey from dripping out. The bees then seal off the bottom of the columns by constructing three four-sided diamond shapes that meet in a point, thus interlocking and keeping the honey safely inside.
Mathematicians have tried other shapes, including curved sides on hexagons or mixtures of polygons, but have concluded that the bees’ method is the most economical. Do we attribute the bees’ incredible math and architectural skills to luckiness or trial and error? Did they get it exactly right the first time, or did they tinker with their hexagons until they had the perfect pattern? Why would the first bees ever have gathered up the wax secreted by other bees and decided to mold it into a honeycomb? How do all bees everywhere build identical combs?
Isn’t it easier to believe that an Intelligent Designer created the bees, and gave them the instinctive knowledge to build their honeycombs? Yes, bees give us honey, but they also point us to God, the maker of heaven and earth, and they serve as a stinging indictment against the lunacy of Darwinism.