Using Your Question Words Again

I’m stuck in traffic with an entomologist.

If you ever have to be stuck in traffic, I highly recommend finding an entomologist to help the time pass (especially an entomologist who studies honey bees).  Since she’s presenting lessons about bees to fifth graders, I learn about the kinds of questions fifth graders ask about bees.  It’s all back to the question words: Who? What? Where? When? How? Why?

1.  How fast do they fly?  (We wonder how you might motivate a honey bee to fly as fast as she could.)
2.  Who gets to be queen? (Once chosen, she lays up to 3,000 eggs a day.)
3.  How do they communicate?  (They dance!  A waggle dance!)
4.  Where do they carry the nectar to bring back to the hive? (In a special stomach.)
5.  Where do they put the pollen they collect? (In little pollen pouches behind their legs.)

Inspired by the children, I start asking my own questions.   My husband asks about how much honey a hive can produce, and I ask more about the selection process for queen.  As we talk about bees, I realize I could continue asking and learning about bees for hours.  

Just one topic–bees–can last for a whole traffic jam if you ask the right questions.  Living with flair means you think like a curious fifth-grader and become fascinated again with the mystery of creation.

Journal:  Did you know that all the worker bees in a hive are female?  I didn’t!


Loving the Thing You Hate

I walk outside, and hundreds of bees swarm around my ankles.  And I’m allergic!  I carry an epi-pen every day, and for me, these bees represent death.

I look closely, and I see dozens of nesting sites for bees.  They cover the side yard. I quickly call out for the girls to run inside to safety.

I phone my entomologist friend (everyone needs one of these) who comes over to help me.  Where did these bees come from?  Are they killer bees?

My friend examines the bees and proclaims how fortunate I am that they have chosen my yard.  Not only are these bees harmless and not aggressive, but in Pennsylvania, they are also considered the best early pollinators.

She picks one up, and she shows me how each female bee constructs an individual nest to lay eggs in.  I’m actually watching it happen right before my eyes.  Not one tries to sting, not one even flinches.  

I was ready to call the exterminator, and now I’m enamored with these harmless bees.   I lean down and see a mother in her little home, getting ready to lay her eggs. 

Far away, you can hardly see her, but close up, you can. 

I think about how much fear I had.  I think about how I was ready to exterminate.  But these little bees are gifts to my garden.  They are indispensable on the journey to produce fruit.

Living with flair means I stop and look more closely at the things in my life I want to exterminate.   This thing I hate, this thing that I’m running from, might be God’s gift to produce great fruit in me later.

And when you look deeper, you find yourself delighted by this terrible thing that actually looks really cute.   Look at that little bee!  I’m glad they came to my garden.

Journal:  Might I rejoice in these pesky things that God sends to produce fruit?