How honey bees make honey

And it all happened as a result of random accidental genetic mutations that were naturally selected!

We read at Wikipedia:

Honey is laid down by bees as a food source. In cold weather or when food sources are scarce, bees use their stored honey as their source of energy…. In the hive there are three types of bee: the single queen bee, a seasonally variable number of drone bees to fertilize new queens, and some 20,000 to 40,000 worker bees. The worker bees raise larvae and collect the nectar that will become honey in the hive. They go out, collect the sugar-rich flower nectar, release Nasonov pheromones and return to the hive. These pheromones enable other bees to find their way to the site by smell. Honeybees also release Nasonov pheromones at the entrance to the hive, which enables returning bees to return to the proper hive. In the hive the bees use their “honey stomachs” to ingest and regurgitate the nectar a number of times until it is partially digested. The bees work together as a group with the regurgitation and digestion until the product reaches a desired quality. It is then stored in the honeycomb. Nectar is high in both water content and natural yeasts which, unchecked, would cause the sugars in the nectar to ferment. After the final regurgitation, the honeycomb is left unsealed. Bees inside the hive fan their wings, creating a strong draft across the honeycomb which enhances evaporation of much of the water from the nectar. The reduction in water content raises the sugar concentration and prevents fermentation. Ripe honey, as removed from the hive by the beekeeper, has a long shelf life and will not ferment.

I especially love that final step in which all the worker bees fan their wings to produce a wind that evaporates the water from the nectar (the nectar changes from 80 percent water to 19 percent water) and thus raises its sugar content, making it like the honey that we know as, uh, honey, and also preventing it from fermenting so that it can be stored long-term as a food supply for the honey bees and for humans.

You see, Darwin and his followers have explained it all. There was an earlier species of bee that had evolved through RANDOM MUTATIONS AND NATURAL SELECTION up to the point where the worker bees did all the preliminary steps described above—finding the nectar, bringing it back to the hive, sending out pheromones to help other workers find their way back to the right hive, then commencing the actual manufacturing process, consisting of repeatedly ingesting and regurgitating the nectar until it got close to the final honey product. And of course each of these steps, and all the thousands of parts of each of these steps, came into being as a result of RANDOM ACCIDENTAL MUTATIONS. But then these bee ancestors got stuck: the almost-honey product that they had produced had very high water content and so was not usable as honey. So all these bees died out, and today there are no honey bees on earth…. But wait, they didn’t die out, did they! In fact, just in the nick of time, the bees in one particular hive had an ACCIDENTAL RANDOM GENETIC MUTATION, shared by all the worker bees in the hive, that out of pure chance just happened to make all the worker bees fan their wings in unison in the same direction producing just the right wind effect that turned the almost-honey into non-fermenting, high-sugar-content, real honey. And so the bees in that one hive survived, while the bees in all the other hives died out because they hadn’t had that ACCIDENTAL RANDOM GENETIC MUTATION that made all the worker bees fan their wings in unison and create a wind blowing over the honey. But then again, how did ANY of the earlier bees survive before this great historic accidental event, since NONE of them had been producing usable honey, but only high-water-content, low-sugar-content, fermenting honey that could not be successfully stored and used as food? Well, don’t bother about that. You don’t have to know everything. As the great Richard Dawkins has told us, some things you just have to take on faith, especially those things pertaining to the ultimate truth of existence, namely evolutionary biology. Anyway, the point is that the hive that had the ACCIDENTAL RANDOM MUTATION that by pure chance made the workers fan their wings at the honey with an industrial precision and level of cooperation that the Germans and Japanese would admire out-reproduced and out-survived all the other bee hives, so that that genetic mutation became dominant in the bee species and that’s how we have today’s honey bees.

Just think of how confusing and senseless the world of living things would be without Darwinism!

- end of initial entry -

Ben W. writes:

Hey cut the Darwinians some slack. It took millions of years for evolution to work. It may take another million years to understand and explain the process. In the meantime let’s give the Darwinians a chance. It’s tough using reason to explain something that’s random…

LA replies:

“It took millions of years for evolution to work. It may take another million years to understand and explain the process.”

That is very funny.

Bruce B. writes:

The one that’s always puzzled me is animals that swallow stones to digest their food. Can you imagine a random mutation that causes such behavior and the resulting behavior enables them to survive better than the non-stone-eaters?

LA replies:

Yes, and the advantages of stone swallowing to survival and reproductive competitiveness would have to manifest instantly in order for the stone swallowing to be retained.

Off-hand, if we were to take an animal species and make it start swallowing stones, what would be the odds that this stone-swallowing would improve its health and longevity? Maybe, for the sake of argument, one out of a hundred. So not only did there have to be an accidental random genetic mutation that made a species start to swallow stones, but this accidental random genetic mutation had to occur at least 100 times in a hundred different species before it occurred in a species that the stone-swallowing actually helped instead of killed off!

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:

After your Ode to the Honey Bee :-), I cannot help but wonder if Darwinists ever look and marvel at the creatures they are assigning eternal random mutations to.

I’ve been looking at other creatures (birds mostly) in this manner. My purpose is less scientific, but more an attempt to study their colors, shapes and structures.

The simple wild flower Geranium pratense or the Meadow Cranesbill (it can also be cultivated) has a beautiful violet color with pinkish fluorescent highlights! Now, I tried to figure out where in the flower’s evolutionary line this fluorescent accidental random mutation occurred, and what survival purpose it served, but I will leave that to the Darwinists to figure out.

Still, the funny thing about Darwinists is that they are supreme believers in—miracles. Random, accidental mutations at the nick of time kept saving the honey bee from going extinct! That is their story of all life, magical (miraculous) perpetuation.

LA replies:

One of the great arguments against survival of the fittest that we haven’t discussed much at VFR is the sheer aesthetics of living things, the endless varieties and fine-tunings of color and shape that serve no discernible or even imaginable survival function. It’s so obvious, it’s all around us, that life is an aesthetic expression, not just a utilitarian machine driven by survival.

The nineteenth century was so great in so many ways, but oh, the materialist nonsense they imposed on us!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 05, 2008 07:58 AM | Send

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