Bee bread is a highly nutritional food made by bees from the pollen they gather. Young worker bees must eat bee bread in order for their glands to properly produce food needed by the queen and developing larvae. Older worker bees can live on honey alone.

Scientists have discovered that even as bees collect pollen, they begin to work on the bee bread recipe. First they mix secretions from special glands with specific microorganisms, which in turn make enzymes known to release a number of important nutrients from the pollen. Other microbes are added to make antibiotics and fatty acids which keep the “bread” from spoiling. At the same time unwanted microbes are being removed, the bees are adding honey as a binder to hold it all together.

The bees' recipe for bee bread involves the sophisticated use of three areas of science–microbiology, nutritional chemistry, and biochemistry. Does logic allow the conclusion that bees evolved by blind chance and all of these independent processes just fell into place?

From A Closer Look at the Evidence by Kleiss, August 15.

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