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Discovery Magazine 9/1/1991

The Beewolf—a Skillful Hunter

What is a "beewolf"? Well, it is not a wolf, and it is not a bee. Actually, a beewolf is a type of wasp. This little insect is called a "wolf" because it hunts its prey like a wolf—and that prey is the "bee." The story of how God designed this creature to provide for its babies is very fascinating.

In the late spring or early summer, the female beewolf digs a tunnel in the ground. When the tunnel is completed, the wasp goes hunting for bees. When she finds one, she stings it. The sting does not kill the bee, but it paralyzes it. The beewolf will then drag her victim into her burrow. Again, she goes hunting for other bees. She may collect from 4 to 20, depending upon their size. When she has gathered a sufficient number, Mrs. Beewolf will build a room at the end of her tunnel. There she will deposit her bees. Remember these bees are still alive—they are in a state of "suspended animation."

The beewolf lays an egg on one of the paralyzed bees. She then leaves the room and seals it off with a door. She will then hunt for other bees and build additional rooms. When the eggs hatch, each baby beewolf (called a larva) has a fresh food supply upon which to feed as it grows.

Where did this tiny wasp learn how to build the tunnels and rooms? Who gave the beewolf this special chemical that only paralyzes the bee, so that its babies can have fresh food to eat? The answer is simple. God did. This amazing design could never have happened by chance. The beewolves would all have died long before they could have developed this skill accidentally.

There is another lesson that we can learn from the life of the beewolf. God has designed nature so that there is balance. By this we mean that the Lord intended for all of His creatures to share the same Earth. He did not intend for one group to crowd out other groups. The Lord, therefore, designed some animals to live off of others. This does not mean that nature is cruel. It does suggest that there is a balance in nature that is good for all kinds of plants and animals. This balance is an evidence of our Creator's wisdom.

Copyright © 1991 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

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