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The Female Honey Bee 

“And your Lord revealed to the bee saying: Make hives in the mountains and in the trees and in what they build: Then eat of all the fruits and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. There comes forth from within it a beverage of many colours, in which there is healing for mankind; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who reflect.” (16:68-69)

The Quran mentions that the female bee leaves its home to gather food. Now, a person might guess on that, saying, "The bee that you see flying around - it could be male, or it could be female.

But it also happens that it was not what most people believed at the time when the Quran was revealed. Can you tell the difference between a male and a female bee? Well, it takes a specialist to do that, but it has been discovered that the male bee never leaves his home to gather food.

However, in Shakespeare's play, Henry the Fourth, some of the characters discusses bees and mentions that the bees are soldiers and have a king. However, that is not true at all. The fact is that they are females, and they answer to a queen. Yet it took modern scientific investigations in the last 300 years to discover that this is the case.

Fon Frisch, who is a scientist, he got the Noble Prize in 1973, when he described the behavior of the animals, specially the communication method of the bee. And today we have come to know that when ever a worker bee finds a new flower or a new garden from where it can take nectar, it goes and tells its fellow bees, the exact direction and map of that new flower or garden by a way called as the ‘bee dance’. Only today by using high photographic method we have come to know about this communication. The gender used in the Holy Qur'an in these Verses is a female gender ‘Quli’, or ‘Fasluki’ which means for a ‘Female bee’. Imagine! Qur'an speaks about the gender of the worker bee 1400 years ago, which we have discovered today.

In the field of Medicine, it is recently we have come to know that the honey we have is derived from the bee. It is the bee which is responsible for the honey - We did not know about this before. And today we know honey has got high nutritive values. It is rich in vitamin K and Fructose, and it has got mild antiseptic properties. Any person suffering from an allergy of a particular plant - if honey produced from that plant is given, that person starts developing resistance to that allergy.

The bactericide (bacteria-killing) property of honey is named "the inhibition effect". Experiments conducted on honey show that its bactericide properties increase twofold when diluted with water. It is very interesting to note that newly born bees in the colony are nourished with diluted honey by the bees responsible for their supervision - as if they know this feature of the honey.

When a flower has already been visited, the honeybee can understand that another bee has earlier consumed the nectar of that flower, and leave the flower immediately. This way, it saves both time and energy. Well, how does the bee understand, without checking the flower, that the nectar has earlier been consumed? This is made possible because the bees which visited the flower earlier marked it by leaving a drop on it with a special scent. Whenever a new bee looks in on the same flower, it smells the scent and understands that the flower is of no use and so goes on towards another flower. Thus, bees do not waste time on the same flower.

We should not forget that it is impossible for this fact to have been known about the honey bees in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam). Yet, Allah has pointed at this fact and shown us yet another miracle of the Qur'an.


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"Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided."

Holy Qur’an 16:125

"Narrated Aishah (radhi-yallaahu 'anhaa): The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and receive good news because one's good deeds will not make him enter Paradise.” They asked, “Even you, O Allah's Messenger?” He said, “Even I, unless and until Allah protects me with His pardon and His Mercy."

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, Hadith No. 474