Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hissing For the Bee

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. Isaiah 7:18

"It is not rare to find 20,000 working bees in a hive...The opening of a...hive gives passage to 100 bees a minute, which makes...morning till...evening, 80,000 re-entrances, at 4 excursions per bee..." (Fighier, Louis. The Insect World. New York: Appleton and Company, 1872, p. 319-320)

Pinney indicates that as late as the middle part of this century at least, there were still swarms of wild bees in the region:

“..The wild bees of this region are especially noted for their ferocity in attack. The virulence of their venom increases in warm weather. They build their hives and nests on precipitous rocks or in hollow trees hard for man or animals to reach...”

Even today much of the honey in this region is collected from these wild bees...Some years ago the people of the region let a man down the face of the rocks by ropes. He wore protective clothing that completely shielded him from the attacks of the bees and gathered a large amount of honey. However, he was so intimidated by the great swarms of angry bees he could not be persuaded to repeat the adventure.

(from Pinney, Roy. The Animals in the Bible. Philadelphia: Chilton Books, 1964, p. 182-183)

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