More Wonders of Nature

INTRODUCTION-

The French physicist, Rene ­Antoine de Reaumur (1683-1757) was so impressed by the geometrical perfection of the hexagonal cells made by worker bees in their beehives, that he urged scientists throughout the world to adopt the cross-sectional measurement of this six-sided cell as the fundamental unit of measurement) So flawless, so perfect is this cell, and so uniform is it in size throughout the works, that de Reaumur declared it to be the ideal world­wide basis for measurement. There is nothing— anywhere on earth—that man makes, de Reaumur said, which has the consistency of dimension to be found in the cell of the bee.

What is this astounding creature that it is able to combine both complexity and perfection of design? Let us consider the bee:

BEE COLONY—Bees live in colonies, called a swarm, and may number from 10,000 to 60,000 or more individual bees. Considered singly or together, they are a masterpiece of creation.

Although they all came from eggs of the same queen, there are three different types of bees in the hive, and each knows exactly what its task is. There is the queen (female), the drones (males), and the workers (undeveloped females). Interestingly enough, the queen does not rule the colony) No one rules it! Each one does its job as if it had gone through a training school, graduated, and then had work supervisors to guide and keep it at its work. Yet the bees live and work with no schools, managers, or supervisors.

BEE STINGER— People fear being stabbed, so they leave the bee alone to go about its work. A bee’s stinger is a spear located on its rump. A bee’s stinger has nine barbs on each side and is split down the middle. The two halves slide back and forth on each other. This double spear is enclosed in a sheath worked by strong muscles. The two halves slide back and forth with a pumping action.

When the spear enters flesh, the barbs hold fast. A bee is so lightweight that it cannot get a good hold on that which it stings. But the stinger does it for the bee. It pumps itself in.

When the bee tries to pull away, it is fatally wounded. Bees are not anxious to sting people. They only do so when frightened or angry. (If you are stung by a bee, scrape the stinger off immediately, for it is attached to a muscle that continues pumping after it is in your skin. By acting quickly, you will reduce the amount of poison that enters the wound.)

BEE EYES —A bee has five eyes. There are three small ones in a triangle on top of its head, and a large compound eye is located on each side of its head. Each compound eye is a marvelous interconnected arrangement of thousands of single eyes placed close together. With their eyes, bees can distinguish blue, yellow, and ultraviolet.

The bee is largely guided by what is called “the polarity of light.” The eyes of the bee operate something like a compass, for they are sensitive to the polarity of sunlight. Waves of light, stream­ing from the sun in all directions, travel directly outward; each beam in a single direction. As the earth turns on its axis, each animal and insect views this direction of light from a constantly changing angle from sunrise to sunset. That tiny angle of each shaft of sunlight is analyzed by the eye and brain of the bee, telling him directional information: where the sun is, where the bee is, and where the hive is. Because of certain infor­mation given it back in the darkness of the hive, it also uses sunlight to tell it where its food is!

BEE WINGS—The bee has two pair of amazingly efficient, powerful wings that work too well to have occurred by chance. The bee has a large, bulky body with wings that seem too small to match it.

https://i2.wp.com/static.howstuffworks.com/gif/bee-wing-a.gif

Why are the wings so small? They are small because the bee has many duties to do inside the hive and it could not do them if it had wings that protruded out the back far enough to properly bear its weight in flight. As a result, scientists have concluded that the wings of a bee are too small for it to fly! Bees laugh at this, for they fly anyway —the equivalent of thousands of miles in their brief lifetime.

The solution to the aerodynamic design of the bee’s wings is this: The larger front wing on each side has a ridge on its trailing edge with a row of hooks on it. These hooks attach to the rear wing when in flight. In this way four small wings on the ground convert into the equivalent of two large wings when flying! Upon larding, the two wings are unhooked and again overlap, greatly reducing their size) How is that for wing design?

In addition, the honeybee wing beats a fabulous 200 times a second. This is extremely fast in view of its large size. The mosquito is 600 times a se­cond, but it is so much smaller than the bee. Some small beetles beat as fast as 55 beats per second, but that hardly compares with the honey­bee. Yet the Designer saw that the honeybee would need its larger size in order to carry so much special equipment around with it, while needing small wings for its many crowded duties inside the hive.

The wings, and muscles attached to them, have been so carefully planned that in flight the wings move in a figure eight design, which makes it pos­sible for the bee to go any direction—up, down, sideways, backwards, forwards, or any combination of those directions. It can remain motionless, hovering before a flower as a hummingbird does. It is all keyed to a figure eight wing motion, and when the shape of the figure eight is changed by the muscles which control the set of the wings) the wing beat changes from up, to down, to side­ways, etc.

This arrangement of muscles and wing structure is complicated in the extreme, yet the result is one of the most efficient flight systems on earth!

When the bee arrives at the flower, it is able to crawl inside. If it had fixed wings like a dragonfly, it could not do so. But instead, it has wings that quickly fold together—and into the flower it goes!

BEE ANTENNAEThere are two slender, jointed feelers which are attached to the head of the bee. Such exquisitely tiny things surely can­not fulfill any useful purpose. But wrong again! On the top of each of those little threads, which the bee uses to smell and touch with, are miniature sense organs. Down the center of the antennae a nerve passes from that detection device to the brain of the bee, relaying information.

Bees talk to each other by several methods, one of which is their antenna. They will touch them together and thus communicate. Special warnings of danger and other messages are communicated in this way.

BEE MOUTH —In front of its head are four struc­tures which are two jaws. In front and between them is a tongue. This tongue, or proboscis, is a flexible tube which the bee uses to suck up wa­ter, nectar, and honey into its mouth. It can be shortened, lengthened, and moved in all direc­tions. When not in use, it is curled up under the head.

https://i1.wp.com/www.bees-online.com/beexray.gif

The jaws are used as pliers to grip with. In ad­dition to holding onto leaves and petals, the jaws mainly work with wax and pollen.

Peer closely into the face of a bee as it works on clover blossoms, and wonder how those tiny mouth structures can do all that they have to do. Think of how perfectly they are designed, and the delicate nerves attached to them.

BEE LEGSThe bee has three legs on each side of its thorax. Each leg has five main joints, plus tiny segments that make up the foot. With five joints, each leg can twist, turn, and move in just about any direction needed. The very small parts of the foot are exactly suited for standing and walking in relation to the bee’s size and weight, even when fully loaded with pollen, nectar, honey, or wax.

The honey bee has sharp tips on its claws on each foot, to enable it to walk along on any rough surface. Between its claws it has a little pad or cushion called the pulvlllus that enables it to walk on smooth, slippery surfaces, such as glass. That is a well-designed foot!

The bee is continually using its legs and feet to clean off its body and work with pollen and wax. On two of its legs are “pollen baskets,” but more on that later.

When the bee inserts its head into flowers, the antennae frequently become coated with bee glue or other substances—It is very important that the bee have some way to clean its antennae. On the front legs is a movable piece of tough tissue, which can be raised like a lid, making an opening. On the edge of this opening are short, stiff hairs. The bee bends an antenna toward the left, opens the leg gate, inserts the antenna, closes the gate, and then draws the antenna back and forth between the stiff hairs. Quickly and simply, that antenna has been thoroughly cleaned! Then the other antenna is cleaned.

How did evolution produce the tiny, specialized equipment needed for that task, and then teach the bee how to go through the process?

HEAVY FREIGHT TRANSPORTThese little black-and-yellow balls of buzz are amazing creatures. A drop of honey is a high-octane fuel that gives the bee power to go from flower to flower. The bee must tank up with exactly the right amount of honey when it leaves the hive and travels to the flowers. If a mistake is made, it will not return alive. —More later on how it knows how much honey to take.

A bee is the only flying creature built to carry heavy freight. It has storage space and lifting power to transport syrup, pollen, and varnish. It easily manages heavy airborne cargoes. Every­thing else that flies—birds, bats, insects—carry only themselves through the air, except for relatively light mail, such as twigs and worms which birds carry in their beaks occasionally.

Men build small cargo planes and giant ones. Some carry passengers, while others carry heavy freight, such as jeeps and trucks. But all of them only carry a pay load of about 25 percent of their weight. In contrast, a bee can carry a cargo al­most equal to its own weight; an almost 100 per­cent pay load!

Man-made planes have powerful wings for lift­ing, but there is no power in those wings to move forward. They can lift only when engines drive the plane forward fast enough to make suction on their top surfaces. The bee has short wings on a fat body, but it can move up, down, sideways, or hover. It does not have to move forward for its wings to lift. It needs no propeller nor jet, for its wings provide both lift and power!

SCOUTS— Now it is time for our bee to go out and gather some honey. But where will it go? How does it know where the flowers are? It is vital that this information be obtained, for it needs to know how much honey to tank up on for the flight.

The bees do not leave the hive to bring back honey until they know the kind of flowers, and the direction and distance to those flowers. Some­body must give them flight instructions. This will not be the queen, for she never issues an order. Entirely preoccupied with laying eggs, she knows nothing about flowers, pollen, or nectar. She might spend an entire year in a hive, and yet go out into daylight only twice in her life. The job of gathering nectar and pollen belongs to the worker bees.

(The worker bee inherited all its knowledge from its mother, the queen. Yet she knows nothing about the abilities and duties of a worker bee.)

Bees are marvelous honey-gathering workers and they should not spend their valuable time looking for honey. So, instead, they send out a few of their number—the scouts—to survey the territory for miles in every direction. These scouts bring back immediate reports on the prospects for honey. Availability of nectar this morning will be different than yesterday afternoon—or later this morning or afternoon. Scouting continually goes on, and report are continually being brought back to the hive.

Perhaps a dozen bees will leave the hive and fly off in different directions. Scouting the countryside, they fly around in the vicinity of the hive in ever-widening circles. The honey may be near or some distance away. The scouts may have to search across miles of countryside. When one of these scouts returns, it will tell the others exactly what kind of flowers are open, and give them a compass bearing for the direction, and also announce the distance to the spot. Many other creatures can communicate, but few can tell it with the clarity of the bee.

Wait a minute! We are talking about insects with brains as big as pin heads! How can they learn such information-or impart it to others? How can all this knowledge of how to fly, clean antennae, make honey, bee bread, bee cells, and all the rest;—how can all that knowledge be in those tiny pinheads? How can they all work together, with no boss to organize and tell them what to do? This situation of the bees is becoming more impossible, the more we learn about it!

But it is so! The bees do all the above and much, much more. And they do it regularly, day after day, month after month, year after year.

BEE DANCEThe Austrian naturalist Karl von Frisch, spent most of his adult lifetime studying the bees. He learned so much that he is well known among scientists for his investigations.

Von Frisch placed dishes of nectar in certain locations. When the bees came to them, he would paint marks on their backs. Back at the hive, he would then study how the returning scouts “talked” to the other bees, in order to tell them where to go to find that honey!

From his experiments von Frisch learned that the bees could distinguish certain colors —including ultraviolet (but not red or infrared) —which they communicated with one another by means of a dance on the honeycombs. He discovered that the nature of this dance and the vigor with which it was done—told the direction and distance of the food dish, and even how plentiful or scarce was the food supply. It was von Frisch that discovered that it was polarized light in the sky that the bees used to tell directions. It was his research that opened up entirely new vistas of information in regard to the language of the bees.

As mentioned earlier, the bees do not go after the honey until they are first told the kind of flowers, direction, and distance to those flowers. How are they to learn that information? The bees are all descended from the queen, yet she knows nothing about gathering honey, having never done it. All she does is lay eggs. It is the worker bees that must locate and gather the nectar and pollen.

When a scout strikes it rich, the little bee fills its tank, packs its baskets, and returns with the news. Immediately, there is excitement among the waiting bees and they are anxious to learn what has been discovered. So anxious are they that they often crowd too near, and the bees closest to the scout have to push the others back to give the scout room to explain!

Now the time has come for the scout to tell what has been found:

Climbing onto the side of a comb, first, the scout begins with a weaving dance, veering to this side and then to that as it goes. By this the scout is telling the others, “There is plenty out there!” The amount of weaving back and forth reveals how much abundance is at that certain location. The direction of the weaving walk tells the angle of polarized light from the sun to that flowery location.

Seeing this weaving dance, the bees crowd up excitedly, touch the scout with their antennae to pick up the odor of the flowers they are to look for, and then fly off.

But if the treasure is a long way off, and if it is only a single tree or a small patch of flowers, —then the dance is different. The information must be much more carefully given since the bees might get lost searching for those flowers.

So the scout, instead of weaving, runs along a straight line, wagging its abdomen as it goes. At the end of the line (which is only an inch or so, since there is not much space cleared in the crowd), it turns left and walks a partial circle back to the starting point. Then it runs straight forward again along that same line, circling right this time back to the starting point —where it does it again!

Its dance communication forms a figure eight, with the cross points of the “eight” at the center. That gives the direction of the nectar in relation to the sun. As the bee dances on the wall of the honeycomb, the position of the sun is always down. If the bee moves up the comb wall at 19 degrees to the left of vertical, that means the honey source is located 19 degrees to the left of the sun. This information can be given even on a cloudy day, since the bees are able to see ultra­violet light, and UV light from the sun penetrates the clouds. Imagine that! This tiny creature can sense the slant of UV light on its body!

The straight line points directly at the flowers.

The speed with which the speaker circles tells the distance. The farther off the flowers are, the more slowly does the scout circle back. If it makes 10 circles in 15 seconds, the flowers are about 300 feet [914 dm] away. If it returns in slow motion (two circles in 15 seconds), the flowers are around four miles [6.4 km] away!

The wagging of the abdomen tells the amount of honey or pollen that is available at that specific location. If it shakes vigorously, the supply is abundant. If it shakes lazily, there is only a little, and just a few bees should go. In that case, the others will wait for another scout’s arrival.

So there is a round, weaving dance to indicate nearby nectar, and a tail-wagging figure-eight dance to indicate distant nectar. There is more to it than the simplified description given above, but this should be enough to afford you an idea of the bee dance.

And it is all done in the dark, for the scout gave them that information in the darkness of the hive, not outside in the sunlight!

Very specialized information about distance, quantity, exact location, and type of flower—is all given in the dark to bees who are obtaining those facts in the dark! Yet life and death to the bees and to the hive depends on their obtaining the correct information! Before departing, they must fill their honey bucket with just the right amount of fuel—not too much or too little. Yet how can they learn anything in the dark? There is no ordinary light, and no ultraviolet light in the hive, and they are not able to sense infrared light from the heat of the moving body of the bee weaving before them.

A 1990 Princeton research report disclosed that bees can detect tiny movements of air around their bodies. It is thought that, perhaps, by detecting air movement, bees are aided in “hearing” the bee dance as it is performed. It is thought they “hear” the sound movements with organs located at the base of each antenna. But more than air movements are needed for the bee to grasp the waggles, speed of walk, directional angle, and other factors involved in the complicated bee dances. So the mystery remains.

BEE DANCE The scout or messenger bee goes out and locates flowers with honey. He returns and excitedly tells a group of the others. The distance, direction, and size of the honey crop is all contained in an encoded message he shares with the other bees through special movements. Moving in a figure eight pattern, the angle at which the bee runs through the center part of this movement indicates the position of the food source in relation to the sun. The duration of abdominal flicks, a wiggles, it makes during the straight run central part of the run is proportional to the distance of the food from the hive. Before leaving the hive, the other bees sniff the messenger bee, and flying off to the specified location, only go to flowers that smell like the odor collected by the messenger bee. This keeps the honey collected from becoming mixed up with other types of honey.

NECTAR AND POLLEN– In order to properly understand the work of the honey bee at the flower and in the hive, we need to understand what it does with the nectar and pollen:

As it goes from flower to flower, the bee cross-pollinates the flowers. It somehow knows that, at any given time, it must only go to flowers of the same species. Why would it know to do that? Yet because it does, the flowers are cross-pollinated. If that one factor was missing, after several years there would be no more flowers for the bees to obtain nectar and pollen from.

In the chapter on plants we have discussed many of the ways in which plants put their pollen on bees and other insects. Bees and flowers must have been brought into existence at the same time. They could not live without one another.

Ants are not interested in pollen, but would like to have the nectar. Yet they do nothing to pollinate flowers. Ants cannot make pollen mush as can the bees, but they like nectar. They lick sweet juices off leaves, sap coming from a wound in a stem, and sweet syrup exuding from other insects. Ants would take nectar from flowers if they could, but the Designer of the flowers placed ant barriers to keep them off. Bristles will be erected which act like barbed-wire entanglement. Some flowers defend nectar with gummy places, for no insect can walk if its feet are stuck. Others dangle flowers from shaking, slippery stems, which knock off an ant before it can get to the flower. Ants are not concerned, for they have many other sources of food. Thus the nectar and pollen is saved for the bees and those other insects which do pollinate flowers.

In the iris, the bee must pass the projecting stigma and brush some pollen on it. After the bee has passed, the stigma springs back in place. Its weight pulls down the anther, thus giving the bee a shower of pollen onto its back, to carry to the next flower. In the mountain laurel, the anthers are held in pockets. When the bee enters, the anthers are released. The filament snaps upward, and it is showered with pollen.

The milkweeds have their pollen in masses shaped like saddlebags. When the bee arrives, its feet become tangled in it and part of it is carried about for hours, pollinating other milkweed flowers. The horse balm has four small petals and one larger one. The bee lands on the large petal and immediately slides off. Coming back in a second of stamens hanging from overhead, and pollen falls on the bee.

The lady’s slipper lets the bee enter, but once inside the bee is trapped, for the entrance door has closed. There is one way out: a small opening at the back. Crawling through it, the bee must brush against the pistil and then against the stamens.

The worker bee gathers not only nectar but pollen as well. There are bristle-like hairs all over its body to initially catch the pollen. (Drones are not hairy, since they have no need of a hairy coat to collect pollen.) Worker bees do not mix different kinds of pollen together. Each kind is stored separately. Bees that gather honey one day may gather pollen the next, but they do not mix their honey and pollen gathering. Flowers would not otherwise be properly pollinated.

The honey bee gathers pollen as well as nectar, for the pollen is part of its food. But how can it carry pollen back to the hive? Simple; the bee was given specially designed legs for this purpose!

This marvelous flying machine has three places for storing cargo. One is the tank inside its body, which it fills by sucking up nectar syrup through a long tube from the inside of the flower. The other two are baskets on its hind legs for carrying pollen. Who ever heard of a plane carrying freight on the landing gear? But the bee has been doing it for thousands of years.

The bee also carries freight in only one direction. Outward bound, it needs only a speck of honey for fuel, enough to reach the goal, where it can find plentiful stores of honey and refuel. Honey is so powerful that a pinhead-sized speck of it will whirl the bee’s wings for about a quarter of a mile.

At the flower, the little bee sucks in nectar and collects pollen. To collect honey, a bee dives into a flower, scrambles around, rolls over like a child playing in the surf. The splashing throws pollen grains all over its body, where they stick to feathered hairs.

But when the bee specifically is after pollen, it does not have to jump around inside the flower; its body picks up pollen just by brushing past the pollen boxes that are usually held out in front of the flower on long, thin stems.

After getting the nectar, pollen will cling to the hairs on its legs and body. Most of this, the bee transfers to its pollen baskets. Pollen baskets! Yes, pollen baskets. These “baskets” are composed of a peculiar arrangement of hairs surrounding a depression on the outer surface of the hind legs. Look at bees as they buzz from flower to flower, and you will see that some have a small yellow ball on the front of each hind leg, while others have a large ball.

In addition, the bee carries around with him several tools. There is a tool to put the pollen into the baskets. On the middle pair of legs at the knee is a short, projecting spur, used to pack pollen into the pollen baskets. On the inner part of the hind leg are a series of side combs used to scrape the body hairs of the bee—and gather together chunks of pollen. The combs are used to give final collection to the pollen and then put it into the baskets; the spurs are used to pack it down in!

So then, the worker bee has four different types of tools to help him stow away pollen into the pollen baskets: (1) Long hairs on the front pair of legs remove pollen from its mouth and head. (2) The middle pair of legs scrape pollen off the thorax and front legs. (3) The stiff comb hairs on the third (rear) legs comb the abdomen and also take the accumulated pollen off the middle legs, and then push it into the baskets. (4) Finally, the spurs go to work and pack it down tight.

In the process, the pollen is moistened by the bee in order keep it from blowing away or falling out in mid-air. It also has to be evenly balanced ­with the same amount of pollen in each basket.

This entire process had to be carefully thought out in advance, and structures had to be pre­designed, built into the bee, and knowledge given to that bee!

The legs of a honey bee provide a complete set of tools for collecting, shifting, packing, and storing heaps of pollen! Without that collected pollen, the bees could not live, for it is an important part of their diet.

GETTING A LOAD Watching the little worker, this is what you will see:

The bee leaves the flower, and, while hovering in mid-air, or swinging below the flower and hanging by one claw, it combs its face, the top of its head, and the back of its neck with its front legs. Even the bee’s eyes collect pollen, as hairs grow out of the eyeballs! The bee has a specially soft brush to remove that particular pollen.

A reverse gulp brings up a speck of honey from the honey tank to moisten the pollen. The middle legs scrape off the middle of the body, reach up over the back. Rapid combings and passings to the rear get the pollen onto the hind legs. The scrapings are caught in a comb with nine rows of bristles.

Immediately, the bee doubles up its legs, —and a huge rake passes through the rows of bristles, pulling the pollen into a press made by the knee joint. When the bee bends its knees, the jaws of the press open; when it straightens its leg, the jaws close, and the pollen is pressed and pushed up into the pollen basket—that shallow trough in the middle of the hind leg.

To hold the load securely, there are many curving hairs around the edges of the basket. There is also a single rigid hair in the center of the basket. This makes it possible to build twice as big a load.

As the pollen ball grows bigger and bigger, the curving hairs surrounding it are pushed apart, and the load mounts above them. The long, rigid hair in the center gives the load a solid core to build on. Farmers use the same principle when they put a pole in the center of a haystack so later winds will not knock it over.

If the nectar is flowing strong and anthers are bursting with pollen, a bee can suck up a load of syrup in a minute. It can build two big, bulging loads of pollen in the baskets on its hind legs in three minutes. Considering all the procedure the bee had to go through to do that,—that is fast!

Often it may carry water in its honey tank, if the hive is thirsty. It may scrape resin off sticky buds and twigs, especially, poplar, horse-chestnut, willow, and honeysuckle buds, and load this into the pollen baskets. This resin will be made into varnish to coat tree hollows, making all surfaces perfectly smooth, even at the points where the hive is attached. resin is used also to stop up cracks and crevices.

When it is finally loaded up, the honey bee will fly home at 14 miles [22.5 km] an hour with a tank of nectar inside, and two bulging bags of yellow pollen swung below.

When the worker is ready to return to the hive, fully loaded, it makes a “bee line” home! It goes in as straight a line as possible to the hive. This bee line proves that the bee is fully aware of directions at all time. Navigational information is continually being fed into its brain through its several eyes, just as, on a ship at sea, a sailor keeps checking the compass and using the sextant to get their bearings.

All this knowledge and equipment came from the DNA code placed by the queen bee in her eggs. Yet she is not passing on information that she does, for she never goes out and gathers any nectar and pollen, nor does she make any bee bread, wax, nor cells. Not once does she ever dance the honey dance or even bother to watch it being done. Yet she is the one that passes along all the coding for all the parts, processes, and accomplishments of all the bees in the hive.

Researchers at Princeton University thought they might be able to outsmart the bees, but how well and how long, they were not certain. After the bees learned where their food source was, the scientists moved it 50 meters (656 yd] farther away from the hive. They were surprised to find that it took the bees less than one minute to find the moved food. So they moved it again, this time a second precise 50 meters [656 yd] farther away. It still took the bees less than a minute to locate it!

But then the scientists discovered the bees were smarter than they were) The bees were apparently carrying on advance research into the re­search habits of researchers) When the researchers moved the honey source a third time,—the bees were waiting at the exact location it was to be moved to—before the researchers arrived with the food!

HONEY FACTORY Bees have two stomachs: They have a special “honey stomach” that is entirely separate from their own food-digesting stomach! Each bee carries the nectar gathered from the flowers in this honey stomach.

While the nectar is in a bee’s stomach, certain chemicals are added to it as the bee flies around! Arriving back in the hive, the bee places the nec­tar in honey storage cells. The water in the nec­tar evaporates and the chemicals change the nectar into honey. Workers then put wax caps on the honey-filled cells.

This honey contains levulose, dextrose, other sugars, dextrines, gums, vitamins, proteins, cal­cium, iron, copper, zinc, iodine, several enzymes, and other nutritional factors.

To prove that a bee never digests its food alone, but rather that the whole hive digests the food tog­ether, scientists fed radioactive honey to six bees in a hive of 24,500. After two days, all the bees in the hive were radioactive. That was the result of having passed honey from mouth to mouth for processing.

(Bees do not suck honey from flowers; they suck nectar. Nectar and honey are chemically distinct. Honey is much more concentrated, and is nectar, plus added chemicals from the worker bee’s stomach.)

GLUE FACTORY– Bees also make “bee glue.” This is called propolis. They obtain the raw materials from the sticky covering on special plant buds. There are certain things on which they place this bee glue. One is mice!

If a mouse gets into the hive, the bees sting him to death. But they do not drag him out of the hive for he is too heavy, so instead they coat him with bee glue. This forms an airtight sack around him so no odor or contamination will come from his decaying body.

The glue is something like a cement, and the bees normally use ft to repair cracks in the hive.

WAX FACTORY– Down on the abdomen of each worker bee, there are four little pockets. Here is where the wax is made! Wax! You mean that they make that, too? Yes, the little bees make everything they need, and almost the only raw materials for all their productions come from what they find in flowers!

When the bees decide to start making wax, they get hot! First, a cluster of bees gathers together in a large pendant mass, their wings buzzing rapidly. They hang vertically from one another, and this seems to stretch their bodies. After 24 hours, each one begins sweating wax! A white substance begins coming out of their pores. This is called “wax scales,” and each bee removes it with a special tool! This is a pair of pincers found on one knee joint on each side of its body.

Each bee generally makes eight flakes of wax at a time. This wax is taken off, and chewed in its jaws. It becomes a soft paste which can be easily molded into the six-sided cells. This wax is only made when the bees need wax to build a honey­comb.

Soon, wax scales litter the floor below the hanging bees, and other bees regard it as loads of stacked lumber: they pick it up and use it to make the comb and cells. Skilled chemists have never been able to match the quality of beeswax! This special wax contains a variety of special substances, and has a higher melting point (140°F [60°C]) than that of any other wax known in the world.

This high melting point enables the bee hive to withstand a lot of heat without softening and flowing, ruining all the cells.

As if that is not enough, the bees also make a second type of wax, with a different chemical formula. This very special wax is used to seal over the top of cells in which eggs have been placed by the queen. Why is a special “cap wax” needed? The cap wax permits air to pass through so the larva will not suffocate.

How long did it take for evolution to come up with cap wax? Before that time, all the bee larva died. As with all other plants and animals in the world, every little detail is crucial in the life of the bees.

BABY FOOD FACTORYBee bread is a highly nutritious food, made from pollen by the bees. Worker bees, upon emerging from the comb, must eat bee bread so their glands will produce food for the queen and the developing larvae. Older worker bees only need honey for their food.

What made the difference? Scientists decided there must be additional nutritional factors in the bee bread. After careful study, they better understood the bread-making process. As the bees collect the pollen, they add secretions from special glands to it-even while they are out in the field collecting pollen! They also add microorganisms which produce enzymes which release a number of important nutrients from the pollen. Other microbes are added to produce antibiotics and fatty acids in order to prevent spoilage. At the same time, unwanted microbes are removed. If you have ever made bread, you know it requires special attention. In addition to the other ingredients, the bees also add a little honey here and nectar there, and a little more honey and nectar ­so the bread will stick together just the right amount!

A sophisticated knowledge of microbiology, nutritional chemistry, as well as general biochemestry was needed, in addition to some high-tech equipment-all located inside the bee!

ROYAL JELLY FACTORYWhen it is decided to produce a queen instead of merely a worker bee, the bees have a way of doing ft.

Young worker bees make a special substance in their bodies which is called “royal jelly.” It is regularly fed to all their grubs for the first 48 hours after they hatch from eggs. Royal jelly is a creamy substance, rich in vitamins and proteins. It is formed in ductless glands in the heads of young worker nurse bees.

When a queen is desired, royal jelly is fed to a grub for five days instead of only two. In all other cases, royal jelly is fed to the grubs for only 48 hours, and then an exact (exact!) 50-50 mixture of honey and pollen (called “bee bread”) is fed to those grubs for an additional three days.

So a five-day diet of royal jelly is given to a grub which will later mature into a fully-developed female-a queen bee. But the two-day diet of royal jelly, followed by a three-day diet of bee bread, is given to the other grubs. They will later develop into an undeveloped female-a worker bee. (Worker bees are also called neutral bees.)

SILK FACTORY After the grub is sealed into its wax cell, the larva spins a silk cocoon for it­self. How does it know to do that? When it later emerges as a bee, it can never again make silk. That ability was only there while it was needed.

HIVE AND CELLS– There is also a hive and cell factory. That is also made by bees, using material from within the hive!

Out in the wild, the hive with its cells will be built in a hollow tree. But if the queen with her swarm of bees is placed in a man-made square beehive, they will produce honey for people.

Whether it be in a tree or in a square hive, the worker honey bees make some beeswax and shape it into a waterproof honeycomb. The honeycomb is a mass of six-sided compartments called cells. As soon as the workers have completed a few cells, the queen lays eggs in them. The workers keep making more honeycombs with their cells, and the queen keeps laying more eggs.

All the while, thousands of other bees are busy flying out of the hive, gathering nectar and pollen, and bring it back to the hive. This provides food for the adult bees and their babies. It also provides the raw materials with which the bees manufacture honey, glue, wax, royal jelly, bee bread, honeycombs, and cells.

The cells containing the eggs and developing bees are kept in the most protected part of the hive-near the center. That area is called the “brood nest.” Around it, more cells have been made and pollen has been stored in them. Above the pollen cells, more cells have been built, and nectar has been placed in them. Enzymes from the bees gradually change that nectar into honey.

Each six-sided cell is a work of perfect crafts­manship) The bees have no architects to help them, no drawing boards, no blueprints, no compasses, or rulers; but the job is well-measured, strongly made, and flawlessly executed.

Did you know that the wax structures in the bee­hive have been reinforced? Wax is reinforced by drawing long thin threads of varnish through it! The wax hardens around the threads, like concrete reinforced with wire.

Cell walls are only 1/350th of an inch [.007 cm] thick! This would make a sharp top cell edge, even for bees’ feet,-so the top edge is given a final extra coating of wax to thicken it, giving it a rounded coping, and bringing it up to 1/80th of an inch [.03 cm] in thickness.

Fluid materials pushed together from all directions form into six sides. That shape makes them cling the closest together without spaces between. Bees crawl into the cups and press them into shape-each one the size of an adult bee.

The structure of the honeycomb is astounding. Only three shapes could possibly be used: the triangle, the square, or the hexagon. Any other shape would leave wasteful open spaces between the cells. Testing out the three, we find that the hexagon holds more honey in the same space than the other two. It also uses less wax to construct, and the shared sides require even less wax. After calculus was invented by Isaac Newton, scientists discovered that the shape of the cell is still more marvelous: The cap at the end of each cell is a pyramid composed of three rhom­buses. Complex mathematics reveals that this shape requires less wax than any other, and it enables the cells to be butted up closely against one another, with no loss of space. So we have here a ten-sided prism.

AIR CONDITIONING Maintaining temperature control in the hive is equally amazing. The bees have air‑conditioned hives! They keep the hive at a constant 95°F [35°C]. When the weather is cold, the bees congregate at the center of the hive and generate extra heat by increasing their metabolism. How they do that? By breathing faster! Other bees collect all over the outer walls ­and provide insulation to the hive! If the weather remains cool, the bees in the center rotate with the bees on the walls.

When the weather becomes too warm, some of the bees go to the entrance and begin rapidly fanning their wings. This brings in cooler air from the outside into the hive. If the weather becomes still warmer, other bees fly out of the hive and bring back water‑and wet the inside of the outer walls of the hive! At that point, the fanning of the other bees rapidly cools the walls as the water evaporates.

What bee is smart enough to figure out all that?

QUEEN BEE– Yet another factory is the queen herself: she is an egg factory!

She walks around all day laying eggs. That is all, just laying eggs. Helper bees follow her, feed her (she works so hard, she must be fed constantly), go ahead of her to get empty cells ready, follow after and feed the grubs, and later cap grub cells when the feeding time expires and cocoons are to be formed.

If the queen is not in the hive, all the workers become excited and disorganized. When she leaves the hive, bees follow her out. More on that later. They have reason to be excited. Without her, the hive of bees will soon perish.

DRONEThis is the male honeybee. These are clumsy creatures and somewhat larger than workers. They sit around all day and are totally dependent on the workers, which even have to feed them!

Their most striking feature is their large eyes. They have 13,090 little eyes in each compound eye globe; which is more than twice as many as the 6,300 which worker bees have. Why do drones have such large eyes? One would think that the workers would reed them more; they do so much work. But a little thought reveals that worker bees have so many other functions which they must do, and so many chemicals which they must produce in their heads, they do not have space for larger eyes. In contrast, during the mating flight the drones must not lose track of the queen as she flies up into the sky.

Drones have no sting and do no work. Drones develop from unfertilized eggs. Their only task is to mate with a young queen. Before mating, that young queen can only lay drone eggs. The queen need only be fertilized one time-and she will be able to spend the rest of her life laying worker eggs which, with royal jelly, can be turned into queens.

If something happens to the laying queen, the workers can easily use diet (royal jelly) to change a baby worker into a queen, which will lay drone eggs until she has mated. The arrangement is a perfect one. It is perfect because it was carefully thought out before any bees existed.

WORKER BEESThe worker bees are well named. They work hard during their brief lives.

The youngest clean empty cells, care for the young, help build the comb, and take care of nectar.

When a worker is 10-14 days old, it begins flying to the fields where it collects nectar, pollen, and water for the young in the hive. The worker lives about 6 weeks during the busy summer, but several months during fall, winter, and spring when it has less work to do.

Several guard bees stand at the entrance. Any creature not belonging to the nest is not permit­ted entrance, with the exception of drones. The guard bees smell every bee that enters.

Ventilation bees stand at the entrance and fan air into the hive to aerate it. (In case of a grass or forest fire, all the bees fan their wings in an effort to save the hive.)

In the winter, the workers gather over the ho­ney cells and move their wings to produce heat. When the temperature reaches 50-60°F [10­15.5°C], they stop heating the hive till the tem­perature drops again. (In the summer, the brood area temperature will rise to about 93°F (33.8°C.)

EGG To LARVA Worker bees place a little royal jelly in the bottom of a cell. The queen then lays a pearly white egg in it. The egg is as big as a dot over an “i.” Three days later a small worm­like larva crawls out of the egg, but it remains in the cell. Worker nurses immediately begin feeding it: royal jelly for 48 hours; after that the 50-50 honey/pollen mixture called beebread. Scientists tell us that, while the nurses are feeding the lar­vae, each larva is fed over a thousand times a day! They eat and eat and grow rapidly.

Five days after the larva hatches, the workers place a wax cap over its cell. Inside the cell, the larva spins a cocoon and changes into a pupa, which then develops into an adult bee. A full, mysterious metamorphosis-with all its complicated chemical changes-takes place at that time in the body of the creature. (The larva and pupa stages of honeybees are collectively known as the

Twenty-one days after the egg was laid, the adult bee chews off its larval skin and bites its way out of the cell. (Twenty-one days: 3 as an egg, 6 as a larva, and 12 as a pupa.) It immediately begins work, without ever having been taught what to do.

I say “immediately begins work;” what do you think its first untaught duty is? As soon as the bee emerges from the cell, it turns around and cleans up that cell! Once done, the new member joins the colony in all its’ varied work. How does a newly-hatched bee know that its first duty is to clean up its cell and get it ready for the next generation? Where could that knowledge have come from? How can it know what to do after that?

Everywhere we turn in nature, we find the guiding hand of a super-powerful Intelligent Being. And throughout it all, we see so many evidences that that Being is kind and loving.

OCCUPATIONAL SELECTIONHow does a bee decide what it will do? There are a variety of different activities that worker bees are involved in; what determines the adult employment of each newborn worker bee? One researcher was very patient. He glued tiny, numbered, color-coded tags to the backs of 7,000 living honey bees! His objective was to figure out how the bees decided their lifetime work.

Typically, the queen bee mates with over a dozen mates before settling down to a year or two of continuous egg-laying. In one study, the queen was only allowed to mate with a “guard bee” and an “undertaker bee” (whose job was to dispose of dead bees). The discovery was made that, 8 times out of 10, bees do what their father did. So that aspect is another result of DNA coding. The mating with a variety of bees means that the queen will lay eggs for all types of worker occupations.

NEW QUEEN in some unknown way, the workers select certain larvae to become queens. The old queen is becoming feeble or disappears, or may have left with part of the hive. For this purpose, a larger cell is made to house the future queen.

About 5 1/2 days after hatching, the queen larva becomes a pupa, and 16 days after hatching, she emerges as an adult. But the workers ignore her as long as there is a laying queen in the hive. The young queen will fly away—swarm—with some of the bees, or will fight to the death with an older queen, or the older queen will swarm with part of the hive. (Just before swarming occurs, several worker bees will leave as scouts in the hope of finding a location for a new hive.)

When two queens fight, they are able to sting repeatedly. Only the queen has a smooth stinger, able to be used without injuring herself. (The worker bees have barbed stingers, so each sting brings death to the worker. The drones have no stinger.) When the fight begins, one or both queens will often sound a high, clear note as a battle cry. The sound is made in anger by forcing air through ten little holes in the side of the queen. The sound is a signal to the entire hive. Every­one stands back and waits for a single queen to emerge.

Often the older queen wisely leaves, taking part of the bees with her, as soon as she learns that a new queen is in the hive.

At swarming time, the hive becomes terribly excited. All work stops. Out of the hive shoots a terrifying ball of, say, 35,000 bees. After swirling around crazily, it heads off. Landing on a tree limb or the side of a tree, it waits while scouts search out a location for a new hive. Then it flies there, makes wax, and begins building the new hive. In the midst of such apparent confusion, why would the bees give any attention to what returning scout bees have to tell them? It truly seems impossible that returning scouts would even be noticed.

The new queen then has a mating flight with one or several drones, and, after fertilization, will return to the hive a half-hour later, ready to lay worker eggs for the rest of her life. She may live as long as 5 years, or as little as a year.

Every day she may lay 2,000 eggs (more than the weight of her own body!), more than 200,000 eggs each season, and up to a million eggs in a 5-year lifetime.

(The mating flight of the queen does not occur until the scouts return to the waiting bees, and the entire swarm has then moved to the new location. But while the swarm is waiting in a tree for the scouts to return, they can easily be persuaded to move into artificial quarters-such as a bee hive, -merely by shaking the swarm, with its queen, into the container.)

SOLITARY BEES– We have told you about the “social bees” which make beehives. There are also “solitary bees” which live alone. We will not take the time to describe these, but included among them are carpenter bees which build nests in dead twigs or branches, leaf-cutter bees which cut pieces of leaves and pack them into small nests in tunnels, miner bees which dig tunnels in the ground, mason bees which build clay nests in decaying wood, or on walls or boulders, and cuckoo bees which lay their eggs in other nests.

Each of these five types of solitary bees lead very unusual lives. For example, the female of one species living in the ground always builds an underground nest next to another female bee. Tunnels connecting the two are then made, so they can visit and socialize from time to time.

Sometimes they even lay their eggs near each other and raise their young together. Often one female bee will baby sit both sets of young while the other goes shopping for groceries.

ANATOMY LESSON-In review, consider some of the special parts of a worker bee:

https://i0.wp.com/www.geochembio.com/IMG/honeybee.png

(1) Compound eyes able to analyze polarized light for navigation and flower recognition. (2) Three additional eyes for navigation. (3) Two an­tennae for smell and touch. (4) Grooves on front legs to clean antennae. (5) Tube‑like proboscis to suck in nectar and water. When not in use, it curls back under the head. (6) Two jaws (mandibles) to hold, crush, and form wax. (7) Honey tank for temporary storage of nectar. (8) Enzymes in ho­ney tank which will ultimately change that nectar into honey. (9) Glands in abdomen produce bees­wax, which is secreted as scales on rear body segments. (10) Special long spines on middle legs which remove the wax scales from the body. (11) Five segmented legs which can turn in any needed direction. (12) Pronged claws on each foot to cling to flowers. (13) Glands in head make bee bread out of pollen. (14) Glands in head make royal jelly. (15) Glands in body make glue. (16) Hairs on head, thorax, and legs to collect pollen. (17) Pollen baskets on rear legs to collect pollen. (18) Several different structures to collect pollen. (19) Combs to provide final raking in of pollen. (20) Spurs to pack it down. (21) Row of hooks on trail­ing edges of front wings, which, hooking to rear wings in flight, provide better flying power. (22) Barbed poison sting to defend the bee and the hive. (23) An enormous library of inherited knowledge regarding: how to grow up; make hives and cells; nurse infants; aid queen bee; analyze, locate, and impart information on how to find the flowers; navigate by polarized and other light; collect materials in the field; guard the hive; detect and overcome enemies; -and lots more!

How can a honeycomb have walls which are only 1/350th of an inch [.007 cm] thick, yet be able to support 30 times their own weight?

How can a strong, healthy colony have 50,000 to 60,000 bees‑yet all are able to work together at a great variety of tasks without any instructors or supervisors?

How can a honey bee identify a flavor as sweet, sour, salty, or bitter? How can it correctly identify a flower species and only visit that species on each trip into the field-while passing up tasty opportunities of other species that it finds on route?

All these mysteries and more are found in the life of the bee. A honey bee averages 14 miles [25.5 km] per hour in flight, yet collects enough nectar in its lifetime to make about 1/10th of a pound [.045 kg] of honey. In order to make a pound of honey, a bee living close to clover fields would have to travel 13,000 mites [20,920 km], or about 4 times the distance from New York City to San Francisco)

NO EVOLUTION With all this high-tech equipment on each bee, surely it must have taken countless ages for the little bee to evolve every part of ft. Yet, not long ago, a very ancient bee was found encased in amber. Analyzing it, scientists decided that, although it dated back to the beginning of flowering plants, ft was just like modern bees! So, as far back in the past as we can go, we find that bees are just like bees today!

ONE FLAW In all the above, we find absolute perfection in design and execution. But there ap­pears to be one flaw: Why was the queen bee given a smooth stinger so she could sting repeatedly, while the worker bee was only given a barbed stinger-with which he can sting but once?

Evolutionists point to that “flaw” as evidence that there was no preplanning in the life and work of the honey bee.

But it is not a flaw. The queen can repeatedly sting so only one queen will emerge as the new queen. But the worker bee can only sting once when you come near his hive. Would it be wise planning to have each worker bee able to sting repeatedly? If you are stung by five bees, you can quickly remove the stingers and neutralize the wounds with mud or dampened charcoal. -But what if each of those five bees had stung you 10 or 15 times? You might die.

No flaws. When the Creator does something, He does it right.

2 THE PALOLO WORM

At random, we will select one of the hundred or more creatures briefly mentioned In an earlier design chapter, and give it a fuller discussion. The astounding fact Is that the startling information below on this tiny deep‑sea worm could be matched by extended write‑ups on any one of thousands of other living creatures.

The palolo worm is totally incredible. Random­ness could only rearrange; it could never produce something new. Neither natural selection nor mu­tations could invent the palolo worm.

Palolo worms live in coral reefs off the Samoan and Fijian Islands in the southern Pacific. Twice a year, with astounding regularity, half of this worm develops into another animal with its own set of eyes, floats to the surface on an exact two days in one or the other of two months in the year, and then spawns!

Yet these worms live in total darkness and iso­lation in coral holes deep within the ocean,. have no means of communicating with one another, nor of knowing time-not even whether it is night or day! How can they know when it is time to break apart for the spawning season? Here Is the story of the palolo worm:

The Palolo worm (Eunice vlrldis) measures about 16 inches (41 dm] long. It lives in billions in the coral reefs of Fiji and Samoa in the south- western Pacific. The head of an individual worm has several sensory tentacles and teeth in its pharynx. Males are reddish-brown and females are bluish-green. These worms go down into the ocean and chew their way, head-first, into deep coral atolls, and riddle ft with their tiny, isolated tubes. They also burrow under rocks and into crevices. Once settled into their new homes, these creatures catch passing food-small polyps ­with their “tails,” while their heads are buried in­side the coral or between rock.

The body of one of these worms is divided into segments, like an earthworm’s, and each con­tains a set of the organs necessary for life. But reproductive glands only develop in rear segments.

As the breeding season nears, the “brain” of the little worm, inside the coral, decides that the time has come for action. The back half of the palolo worm alters drastically. Muscles and other internal organs degenerate, and the reproductive organs in each segment grow rapidly. Then the palolo worm partially backs out of its tunnel, and the outer half breaks off. By that time, the outer half has grown its own set of eyes. Once separated from the rest of the worm, the broken-off half, swims to the surface. (Down below in the coral, the “other half” grows a new back half and continues on with life.)

On reaching the surface, the free-swimming halves break open and their eggs and sperm float in the water and fertilization occurs. The empty skins sink to the bottom, devoured by fish as they go. Soon, free-swimming larvae develop and, becoming full-grown palolo worms, they sink deep into the ocean and burrow into the reefs.

We have here a creature which stays at home, while sending off part of itself to a distant location to produce offspring. That is astounding enough. But the most amazing part is the clock­work involved in all this! The success of this tech­nique depends upon timing. If the worms are to achieve cross-fertilization, they all must detach their hind parts simultaneously. So all those worm segments are released by the palolo worms at exactly the same time each year!

Swarming occurs at exactly the neap tides which occur in October and November. (Some of the spawning occurs in October, but most in November.) It occurs at dawn on the day before and the day on which the moon is in its last quarter.

Suddenly, all the half-worms are released into the ocean. Swimming to the surface and bursting open, the sea briefly becomes a writhing mass of billions of worms and is milky with eggs and sperm.

The timing is exquisite.

People living in Samoa and Fiji watch closely as these dates approach. When the worms come to the surface, boats are sent out to catch vast numbers of them. They are shared around, festivals are held, and the worms are eaten raw or cooked. In Fiji, the scarlet aloals and the seasea flowers both bloom. This is the signal that the worms are about to rise to the surface!

Then, each morning, the natives watch for the moon to be on the horizon just as day breaks. Ten days after this-exactly ten days-the palolo worms will spawn. The first swarm is called Mbalolo lailai (little palolo), and the second is Mbalolo levu (large palolo). On the island of Savaii, the swarming is predicted by the land crabs. Exactly three days before the palolo worms come to the surface, all the land crabs on the island mass migrate down to the sea to spawn.

Throughout those islands, the natives know to arise early on the right day. An hour or so before dawn, some will begin wading in darkness, searching the water with torches for evidence of what will begin within an hour. Even before the night pales into dawn, green wriggling strings will begin to appear in the black water. Flashlights reveal them vertically wriggling upward toward the surface. Shouts are raised; the palolo worms have been seen!

People who have been sleeping on the beaches awake. Gathering up their nets, scoops, and pails, they wade out into the water. Dawn quickly follows, and now the number of worms increases astronomically! Billions of worms have risen and are floating on large expanses of the ocean’s surface. The sea actually becomes curded several inches deep with these tiny creatures,-yet only a half hour before there were hardly any, and absolutely none before that for nearly a year. The people ladle them into buckets, as large fish swim in and excitedly take their share.

People and fish must work fast; an hour before there were none,—and already the worms are breaking to pieces. As their thin body walls rupture, eggs and sperm come out and give a milky hue to the blue-green ocean. Quickly, the empty worm bodies fall downward into the ocean and disappear.

Within half-an-hour after the worms first appear, they are gone,-and only eggs and sperm remain.

Scientists have tried to figure out how the palolo worm calculates the time of spawning so accurately. But there is just no answer. The worms cannot watch the phases of the moon from their burrows. They are too far down in the ocean to see light or darkness, or note the flow of the tides. The only solution appears to be some kind of internal “clock”!

But wait, how can that be? An internal clock would require that the action be triggered every 365 days, but this cannot be, since the moon’s movements are not synchronized with our day­night cycle, the movements of the sun, nor with our calendar. As a result, the moon’s third quarter in October arrives ten or eleven days earlier each year, until it slips back a month.

Nor can it be that the worms in their holes are somehow able to judge the phase of the moon by its light, for they spawn whether the sky is clear or completely overcast.

Well then, it must be that the worms send signals to each other through the water! But that can­not be, for palolo worms on the reefs of Samoa split apart at exactly the same time as the worms at Fiji-which are 600 miles away! If some kind of signal could indeed be sent over such a vast stretch of the ocean, it would take weeks to arrive.

Indeed, the timing appears to have been pre­decided for the worm. There is no celestial or oceanic logic to ft. The Pacific palolo spawns at the beginning of the third quarter in October or November, whereas the Atlantic palolo -near Bermuda and the West Indies- also spawns at the third quarter; but always in June or July in­stead of October! (Far away from both, a third pololo worm also spawns yearly at the beginning of the third quarter in October or November.)

At any rate, the advantages are obvious. All the eggs and sperm are together for a few hours, and a new generation is produced. Some other sedentary sea creatures also reproduce within narrowed time limits. This includes oysters, sea urchins, and a variety of other marine animals. But, with the exception of the California coast grunion, none do it within such narrowed, exacting time limits as the palolo worm.

3 PORTRAIT FROG

For our third exhibit in this chapter, we will review a living creature discussed In an earlier design chapter: the false‑eyed frog, also called the portrait frog.

First, we will reprint our earlier writeup on this humble creature, and then we will consider the implications:

FALSE-EYED FROG– The South American false-eyed frog is an interesting creature. Generally about 3 inches [7.62 cm] long, it is brown, black, blue, gray, and white! Drops of each color are on its skin, and it can suddenly change from one of these colors to the others, simply by masking out certain color spots.

The change-color effect that this frog regular produces is totally amazing, and completely un­explainable by any kind of evolutionary theory.

The frog will be sitting in the jungle minding its own business, when an enemy, such as a snake or rat, will come along.

Instantly, that frog will jump and turn around, so that its back is now facing the intruder. In that same instant, the frog changed its colors!

Now the enemy sees a big head, nose, mouth, and two black and blue eyes!

All of this looks so real-with even a black pupil with a blue iris around it. Yet the frog cannot see any of this, for the very intelligently-designed markings are on its back!

The normal sitting position of this frog is head high and back low. But when the predator comes, he quickly turns around so that his back faces the predator. In addition, the frog puts its head low to the ground, and raises hind parts high. In this position, to the enemy viewing him, he appears to be a large rat’s head! In just the right location is that face, and those eyes staring at you!

The frog’s hind legs are tucked together under­neath his eyes-and they look like a large mouth! As he moves his hind legs, the mouth appears to move! The part of the frogs body that once was a tadpole’s tail-now looks like a perfectly formed nose, and it is in just the right location!

To the side of the fake face, there appear long claws! These are the frog’s toes! As the frog tucks his legs to the side of his body, he purposely lifts up two toes from each hind foot-and curls them out so they look like a couple of weird hooks.

And the frog does all of this in one second!

At this, the predator leaves, feeling quite defeated. But that which it left behind is a tasty, de­fenseless, weak frog which can turn around quickly, but cannot hop away very fast.

The frog will never see that face on itself, so it did not put the face there. Someone very intelligent put that face there! And the face was put there by being programmed into its genes.

Well, there it is. And it is truly incredible. How could that small, ignorant frog, with hardly enough brains to cover your little fingernail, do that?

Could that frog possibly be intelligent enough to draw a portrait on the ground beneath it? No it could not. Could it do it in living color? No!

Then how could ft do it on its own back?

There is no human being in the world smart enough-unaided and without mirrors-to draw anything worthwhile on his own back. How then could a frog do it?

It cannot see its back, just as you cannot see yours. The task is an impossible one. And, to make matters more impossible, it does it without hands! Could you, unaided by devices or others, accurately draw a picture on your back? No. Could you do it simply by willing colors to emerge on the skin? A thousand times, No.

“Portrait frog”! This is the motion-picture frog! And the entire process occurs on its back where it will never see what is happening! And it would not have the brains to design or pre­pare this full-color, action pantomime even if it could see it.

Someone will comment that frogs learn this by watching the backs of other frogs. But the picture is only formed amid the desperate crisis of encountering an enemy about to leap upon it. Only the enemy sees the picture; at no other time is the picture formed.

All scientists will agree that this frog does not do these things because of intelligence, but as a result of coding within its DNA. How did that coding get there? It requires intelligence to produce a code. Random codes are meaningless and worthless. Codes producing ordered structures and designs never arise through random ac­tivity. They require intelligent planning. Genetic codes within living creatures are the most complicated of all, and are far above the mental capacities of humans to devise and fabricate.

The facts are clear: God made that frog, and He made all other living creatures also. Only His careful thought could produce and implant those codes and the physical systems they call for.

There can be no other answer.

Remember the honey bee and all its technology, equipment, and know-how. Consider the palolo worm and its astonishing ways. View the portrait frog, which not only can produce the image of a large rat’s head, but even move its body in such a way to simulate motion by the rat!

Yet the frog can see nothing of what it is doing. A man can never learn a skill if he can never see whether he is succeeding in utilizing the skill properly. The term for this is educational feedback. The little frog never has any feedback. Yet it executes the function perfectly each time. And it does it on but a moment’s notice. Instantly, the fully-formed picture is there, and it is set in motion.

God made the honey bee, the palolo worm, the portrait frog- and everything else in our world. May we acknowledge Him, honor Him, and serve Him all the days of our life. He deserves our truest, our deepest worship and service, for He Is worthy.

He is our Creator.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Evolution Cruncher

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: