• Natural Hexagons: Honeybee’s Pursuit of Perfection and Revered Mystery

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      https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/026/03/0399-0413

    • Keywords

       

      Honeybee’s architecture, rounded hexagon, beeswax, von Mises stress

    • Abstract

       

      The absolute perfection with which honeybees construct their hexagonal comb cells has astonished human beings since an-cient times. The deep mystery is not why hexagons, but how such a perfect geometrical shape is fabricated, without any geometrical portrait or tools. Do they possess divine intelligence? Recent studies shed light on this revered mystery and show beyond doubt that it is the thermo-mechanical properties of beeswax and the knitting mechanism of bees that remould fresh circular cells into rounded hexagonal shape. How does this remoulding happen? In this article, we describe the inner mechanism involved in such spontaneous transformation of shapes, and explore the hidden mystery behind honeybee’s architecture.

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