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Why Is Honeycomb in Hexagonal Shape?


Image credit: Zack Patterson and Andy Peterson.

It is widely believed that bees are very intelligent, because they can not only learn how to step over obstacles by themselves, but also learn it by observing others . As clever mathematicians, bees are capable of engaging in kind of waggle dance, by which they could make use of directionality and speed for communicating the location of resources in regard to their present position and the Sun.

During the period of the long evolutionary history, bees have become well-experienced in terms of storing the most amount of honey by utilizing the least amount of resources. The secret illustrating their efficient honeycombs lies in the hexagonal shape they choose.

As for bees, it is a quite expensive process to produce beeswax, because they could only every one ounce of wax by consumption of eight ounces of honey. For this reason, they should ensure that they would not waste resources when building the structures in which nectar and honey that would be stored. Hence, the geometry of the structures is much attributed to such secret.

In order to know more about why bees choose the hexagon as the perfect shape rather than circles, triangles, or squares, you had better watch the following video by Zack Patterson and Andy Peterson.

Source: TED-Ed