A friend recently commented on the neatly drilled holes and small piles of sawdust found on the ground below the holes in the side of a log structure being inspected and wondered what purpose they might serve. Closer examination showed that the holes were indeed neatly produced, all precisely three-eights to seven-sixteenths of an inch in diameter on the inside and perfectly round. The sawdust was not the spiral cuttings of a drill bit, but a fine powder, and, where it could fall directly onto the ground, was stacked in a perfect little mound. These holes and sawdust were spread randomly around the building with no apparent purpose other than the production of perfect little holes.
Well, the producer of these holes had no desire to make them for any purposes of mankind but for her own function and the Lord's glory. The holes are the work of a marvelously designed creature, the Carpenter Bee. Let's take a look at the ability God has given this creature and marvel at the genius that went into the design for this solitary bee.
The Carpenter Bee is one of about seven species that occurs in the United States. They are unlike many bees in that they do not have a hive structure but live solitary lives. The adults are about one-half to one inch in length and somewhat resemble bumble bees. They are a little larger and have a shiny abdomen that is mostly bare of any hairs; whereas, the bumble bee will have a hairy abdomen.
It is the female carpenter bee that does the marvelous "drilling" process. This is done by chewing the wood in a large piece of wood that is easily accessible. The female's strong jaws will begin chewing upward into the heavy piece of wood. The entrance will be perfectly round, as if drilled with a precision tool, and is marked by the small pile of fine sawdust shavings below the hole where she drops them.
Inside, the tunnel will turn to the left or the right and will run for six inches or so and end in a gallery where the egg will be laid. Then, another side gallery will be dug and so on until this tunnel might be four feet long with many side chambers. The mother will bring food of pollen in after laying the egg and then will seal the chamber with a mixture of chewed wood and saliva to insure her young develops properly. The grub will develop from the egg and feed on the pollen ball. These grubs are the tasty treat that many woodpeckers are after, and they will open the chambers by digging another hole in the wood, thereby further damaging the structure.
These bees are relatively harmless to humans. The male bees will spend a great deal of time flying around outside the hole and will hover around someone who gets near to the entrance, but they are harmless, having no stinger. The females can and will sting when in danger but have no real aggressive tendency.
The tunnels will be used by many different females - some of the original occupant's offspring - and each tunnel might have six to eight females laying eggs. This, over time, can hollow out the wood to the point where destruction to the structure is almost complete.
So, we can see that the perfect circle machine is, indeed, an amazing creature that is fulfilling God's design for it in the overall plan for our world. We can marvel at the greatness of God's design ability as we work to protect our structures from this perfect circle producer. Rt 1 Box 116A, Belington, WV 26250.
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