Have you ever seen a birdhouse that has no room for a nest because it’s crammed full with hollow reeds? Many garden centers carry them. These are homes for blue orchard mason bees. Unlike honeybees, mason bees don’t live in big hives or make beeswax or honey. Honeybees are famous and universally recognized for what they do in their big hives. But orchard bees work on their own to lay eggs in the reeds and fill them with pollen for the babies to eat. In doing so they pollinate the fruit trees that provide us with apples, peaches, and plums. In fact, they are 120 times more efficient at pollinating than the honeybee.

This week I put up the mason bee houses in my little orchard. The bees will go about their solitary work laying eggs, gathering pollen, and then will die before the 4th of July. By then the fruit will be growing and the babies will be snug and secure in their homes until next spring—and I will be giving thanks for the work of these underappreciated bees. 

Why share this little entomology story? Because I think there is a lesson in it for us Christians. Sometimes we look at our lives and feel very small and not of much use. We see others who have thousands of friends around them like the honeybee. Or we wish we had great power like the honeybee queen who controls the hive. We may even wish we could produce something amazing like honey. But instead, we go about our ordinary lives and wonder if we even matter.

The lesson from the blue orchard bee is that every individual Christian has an impact even if they don’t live flashy lives or get a lot of attention. Everyone knows the honeybee, but the overlooked mason bee has a 120 times greater impact on bearing fruit. Everyone may not know you, but the life you live in Christ has an impact. And the fruit your life produces will bless others and bring glory to God. 

Pastor Mark

“Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” – Colossians 1:10