Daily Devotional – May 17
Did you know vanilla comes from an orchid, the vanilla planifolia plant? This orchid grows up trees as a vine. Unlike most orchids, this one blooms only one morning each year and only for a few hours and then it wilts. While it is blooming, it needs to be pollinated, otherwise no vanilla bean will develop. God has created this plant to be pollinated by a small flea-sized bee called the Mexican Melipona bee. It is the only insect capable of pollinating this orchid.
After landing on the flower, the bee lifts up the hood, collects the pollen and flies to another vanilla orchid. Once pollinated, a vanilla bean will be produced. Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador who caused the fall of the Aztecs in Mexico, loved vanilla and brought back the vanilla orchid to Europe. For 300 years, Europeans grew the plant from cuttings, but no vanilla beans were produced! Then in 1836, a Frenchman went to Mexico and sat and watched the vanilla orchid. He heard the buzzing sound of the Mexican Melipona bee as it pollinated the orchid. The secret to vanilla beans was discovered! This bee knew how to lift the hood and go in; no other insect can do this! This bee is made for this orchid, and this orchid is made for this bee. They were made for each other. How do evolutionists explain this? If it did not work the first time, the first generation of the vanilla plants would have become extinct. So as you enjoy that delicious vanilla ice cream, thank God for a little bee and a vanilla orchid.
Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
~ Isaiah 12:5
Source: "Pearls in Paradise" by authors Bruce Malone and Jule Von Vett
References for this devotional.