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For Everything Has a Purpose, Even Hornets

Did you know that it is a fact that a swarm of fewer than 30 Japanese Giant Hornets have the ability to kill a hive of 30,000 Japanese Honeybees in just less than 3 hours!  See at 4x the size of the Honeybee, its larger cousin the Giant Hornet is its greatest enemy.  The Hornet kills the Bees so they can feed on their larvae to provide for their own offspring.

You may be thinking to yourself, why is Lela telling me this? Well, I was born and spent most of my life in New York City; an urban metropolis where much of our green space is regulated to well sculpted public parks.  I have also lived in apartment buildings for just as long.  Though most of the buildings I grew up in had courtyards, they were filled with cement or deemed not safe for kids to play in; especially unsupervised.  With my recent move to Texas I have been confronted with so much green space that at times it leaves me in complete awe.

I love all of God’s creation in nature; the many different colors and textures that can appear in a landscape; the animals that make the great outdoors their home.  I must stress however that I said the animals making the great outdoors their home and not my home theirs!

baldfaced-hornetRecently when I was doing research on the pollination process done by bees, wasps and hornets, I learned something very interesting.  See, the husband and I have planted three young citrus trees in our backyard; a tangerine, an orange and a lemon.  These three trees have attracted pollinating insects.  The lemon tree, the most because it has begun to flower and bear fruit.  Before I extended the all out war I begun when I relocated on bugs staying out of my home to that of the surrounding perimeter (otherwise known as the backyard), I wanted to understand their purpose first before I began spraying.

In my finding I learned so much including the difference between bees, wasps and hornets and how they all serve in the greater scheme of things.  To my dismay we have wasps and hornets and not bees.  So I will be keeping a safe distance from my painfully stinging flying neighbors.  Like me, it may come as a shock to some; that their purpose is not to sting people to death as I refer to the wasps and hornets.

All kidding aside and getting back to explaining the process of pollination; Wikipedia defines it as follows…”Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in the reproduction of plants, thereby enabling fertilization and sexual reproduction.”

In laymen terms, without the aid of this family of insects, much of the flora foods we eat would not be able to reproduce. No bees (and their near cousins) no fruit.  I happen to love fruit and vegetables and so, I and my tiny winged friends must learn how to co-exist with each other.

Another interesting fact I learned about the Japanese Honeybee is that if the hive sense a Giant Hornet is attempting to invade or scout their home; they will allow it in.  However, upon entry they will surround it and suffocate it to death.  They have adapted this defense technique over time.  It is understood that some of them may die in the process.  However the ultimate goal is to save the colony from impending destruction.

I read one account about farmers wishing to introduce European Honeybees to the Asian terrain and the Honeybees being slaughtered because unlike the native Japanese Honeybees the European ones did not have the same evolved defensive skills.

In closing, as I shared, the hornets and wasps that are in my backyard that seem to have been molesting my young citrus trees really do have a purpose.  Without them, my trees would not be able to bear fruit.

Now, the fire ants out there that is whole another story…

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 New King James Version (NKJV)

Everything Has Its Time

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

If you found this article to be helpful, please feel free to comment below or share it.

© 2013, Lela Jefferson Fagan. All rights reserved.

Lela Fagan (Jefferson) is the author of the book “Poetry of a Black Girl: The Darkness and the Light” and lead blogger at “Memoirs of a Black Girl”. Lela is an avid reader “A Real Bookworm” of all things in print. She finds joy in sharing socially and blogging about topics that matter the most to her. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Lela now lives in Houston, TX with her husband Oji, an educator and Football Coach. @LelaJefferson - See more at:

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