Why Honeybees Love The Hexagon
Nature loves the number 6, and bees love hexagons.
Is it possible that bees are mathematical geniuses? Somewhere along the way, perhaps in ancient times, they figured out what shape gives them the most space to store their honey while requiring the least amount of precious beeswax to line the cells. I say precious because it takes bees 8 ounces of honey to produce 1 ounce of beeswax. That makes bees pretty intelligent, and beeswax a pretty costly commodity.
The six-sided hexagon, where each angle is 120 degrees, is the most efficient geometric shape for the bees' needs.
Bees always build beautiful compact honeycombs that are masterpieces of engineering that would make any architect proud. There is no wasted space between the cells, unlike circles. This is just another manifestation of the bee’s intelligence and ‘waste not want not’ attitude. They know how to pack it in and maximize output.
The bee's eyes are made up of many thousands of hexagonal lenses, so the hexagon is encoded into their essence on some level. Is this where their hexagon consciousness originates?
This inspiring Ted Ed video about why honeybees love hexagons is by Zack Patterson and Andy Peterson. It is just under 4 minutes long and has been viewed by millions of people.
There are other amazing hexagons in nature. Snowflakes and many quartz crystals are hexagonal. When lava cools, cracks and turns into basalt columns like those in the Devil's Postpile, California and The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, it takes on a hexagonal shape.
And then there's the mysterious giant hexagonal cloud covering the north pole of Saturn.
If you've got something to contribute about bees and hexagons, please share it with us on our Facebook page!