One of the most crucial roles of the worker bees is the relaying of directions to find the nectar source. Since the bees take only enough honey for fuel to get to the source and back to the hive, the message must be relayed accurately or the other workers may not make it back to the hive. Just how is that information conveyed? Scientists say it’s all about the “waggle dance” performed by a worker bee returning to the hive with a load of nectar and pollen. This theory was regarded with skepticism when it was first proposed by Nobel Prize-winning zoologist Karl van Frisch in the 1960’s; but now, researchers in the United Kingdom have used tiny radar responders attached to worker bees that have indeed supported Frish’s theory. They confirmed that the bee orients its body toward the food source and uses the intensity of its “waggle dance” to signal the distance to other bees. When the worker bee returns to the hive it cavorts excitedly in small circles to attract attention. The pattern and duration of these dances vary, and the dancer occasionally stops to give out samples of nectar. The spectators continually touch her with their antennae, their organs of smell. This “joy dance” conveys precise information about how far away the flowers are, and in what direction. It seems the total number of wiggling motions gives a clue as to the distance of the nectar. For instance, in the researchers’ study, they found that a wiggling of 1.2 seconds duration indicated 3,000 feet.
The ability of the worker honeybee to share the good news of a nectar source with the other bees in a reliable fashion reminds me of the story recorded by the Apostle John about Jesus’ visit with the woman at the well in Samaria (Jn. 4:27-36). The woman, an outcast among her own people, had gone to the well to get drinking water, but there discovered “living water” (Jn. 10:10), which sprang up to “eternal life” (v. 14). The woman left her water pot and returned to the city to share with others what she had discovered. John records that “from that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman …” (v. 39), while others went out to hear Jesus for themselves (vv. 30,40,41), and many of those also believed unto eternal life. Obviously the Samaritan woman, though she didn’t know a lot about Jesus yet, was still a reliable messenger, able to tell others where to find the source of eternal life.
If you have discovered, as the Samaritan woman, the source of “living water” and have received eternal life, you are now an “ambassador for Christ”(II Cor. 5:20) and are to accurately share with others how they too can find eternal life in Christ. Their lives depend on our being a reliable messenger. We need to share the true Gospel about the Jesus of the Bible who, as the God-man, paid in full the penalty of our sins through His death on our behalf and was raised again and ascended back into heaven. Salvation is by grace through faith, totally apart from the works of the law (Eph. 2:8,9; Gal. 2:16; Ro. 3:20). To share any other gospel or to speak of any other “Jesus” than God-incarnate dying for sin, would be to give an unreliable message and would deceive people into believing something that would leave them under the condemnation of sin. There are many who go door-to-door and preach a different gospel about a different Jesus. Let’s be sure we are reliable messengers so that others also can find eternal life in the “Living Water.”
When honeybees find a good source of nectar, they act really excited when they return to the hive and convey that in their “waggle dance.” If they get excited about a good nectar source, how much more should we be excited about discovering the source of eternal life through faith in Christ. Do we convey that to others in our “waggle dance”?