If you examine a honeybee hive, you will notice that there are a number of larger, wider-bodied bees, always buzzing, going in and out of the hive, even being fed by the smaller, worker bees, but doing no apparent work. These non-productive bees are called drones. They are male bees, maybe not quite as long as the queen bee, but wider, and considerably bigger than the worker bees. There are usually about 100 per hive. Their only function is to fertilize a queen and then die.
While waiting around for a new queen to emerge, the drones spend their time visiting one hive after another. But, they do no work: they make no honey; they build no comb; they don’t guard the hive; they don’t help feed the larvae; they can’t even sting! And they’re noisy! You should hear them buzz, but it’s all bluff.
For awhile drones are privileged characters, living off their honeybee society, but in late summer or early fall, when the honey flow slackens, the worker bees either kill or kick out every drone! You will see them hanging on corn stalks in your garden, kicked out of the hive to die. Not a single drone lives through the winter. The hive is an all-female society during the winter! The time of reckoning came and the drones were denied the reward of the workers.
When the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to his understudy, Timothy, he warned about people who are active in the wrong kinds of activities—going from house to house as busybodies, stirring up trouble: “And at the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention” (I Tim. 5:13).
Paul addressed a similar problem in the church in Thessalonica. He wrote: “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither let him eat. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame” (II Thes. 3:10-14).
It seems that there are always a number of people who drift from church to church, making a lot of noise, often sowing discord and causing trouble, but never getting involved and being productive. They want to be “fed” but don’t give back. Conspicuous by its absence is the “fruit of the Spirit” in their lives. Don’t be a drone if you want to share in the heavenly treasures reserved for the faithful Christians. God’s house should be a hive for workers—not a nest for drones!