Posted in Book

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I’m snuggled under a blanket with my feet before the fire as I watch the snow falling. I’m settled in and warm and I’m not going out today. But I thought it’s an appropriate time to share an excerpt from my book, Life Lessons from the Hive, to give you something to read in case you’re snowed in too. Enjoy:

“Folks often ask me ‘What do the bees do in the winter? Do they hibernate like bears or are they just sleeping?’ The answer is, ‘No, they’re not sleeping. They’re still working, we just can’t see it.’ When temperatures drop and the days get shorter, the queen lays fewer and fewer eggs and may even stop laying for a while.

Instead of raising more brood, the bees shift into a survival mode. They form a tight cluster around the queen and any unhatched brood and they begin to vibrate their little bodies. This movement raises the temperature in the cluster to around 93 degrees which keeps the brood alive and everyone else warm. Even if it’s five degrees below zero outside, the bees stay toasty in their self-made sauna.

The bees on the outside of the cluster act as insulators. When they get cold, they move deeper into the bee ball while those in the center take their turn on the outer edge. With the exception of the queen, there’s a constant rotation of bees in the cluster. So, even though I may not see any activity outside the hive, I know the bees are still busy.

And, likewise, when my relationship with God gets quiet, I know He’s not idle either. Sometimes the ministry slows down and the opportunities to serve dry up. Other times it’s hard just to read the Bible daily, and often my prayer life seems to turn into “sounds of silence.” That’s when I learn to trust God the most, believing He’s preparing me for something I can’t see further down the road.

The Bible calls it “walking by faith and not by sight.”


M. J. Miller has served as a missionary and teacher both internationally in Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and locally in conferences, lectures and study groups. She is also a beekeeper and incorporates her experiences with the bees into her teaching, and now her book, Life Lessons from the Hive. She currently resides in Tennessee. Visit my website:

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