Down to the Wire: Just $6,312 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

The Church and the Beehive

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 08, 2009

 As I opened up a hive yesterday, I had a burst of understanding as to why I take so much satisfaction from beekeeping. It's not just the honey-- much as I love it. It's about life.

We've had plenty of pets since we moved to our rural home: dogs and cats and rabbits and chickens and the miscellaneous lame birds and orphan squirrels adopted by our younger children. I love them all. (Well, maybe not the cats... but even they are useful, keeping away some less desirable critters.) I love having living things around our home, and within reason, the more the better. It's an affirmation of life. 

But when it comes to affirming life, none of those other pets can come close to a healthy colony of bees. Open up a hive, and you're always taken aback by the profusion of energy on display: the tens of thousands of busy little creatures. The frames are, as they say, "boiling over" with apian activity. It's a beautiful thing to see.

What's more, all the activity has a purpose. Every bee is doing something useful for the community. They're always busy, utterly dedicated. Instinct calls a bee to do something, and she does it: no shirking, no hesitation, no waiting for further instructions. If we Christians only answered our own vocations so diligently!

And there's another lesson to be learned from the honeybees. As they do their work, they aren't just taking care of their own community. They're also pollinating plants, so that other creatures (like us) will have plenty of flowers and fruits and vegetables. They're storing honey, that lovely substance with a wonderful sweet taste and an extraordinarily stable chemical composition. They're making wax, which might someday burn on an altar. 

Think about it: What other insect rates a mention in the liturgy of the Easter Vigil? 

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($55,552 to go):
$150,000.00 $94,448.13
37% 63%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The gift of orthodoxy: A mercy and a challenge to mercy 20 hours ago
Getting Marriage Right November 25
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. November 25
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg November 25
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said November 25

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25