Why do bees build hexagons? First, hexagons are a model of efficiency. Hexagons are one of only three shapes that can provide regular tessellation, which refers to the covering of a surface with a repeating pattern of a shape that provides for no overlaps or gaps. (The other two are the equilateral triangle and the square.) Of these three, hexagons require the least total length in walls. Simply put, hexagons provide the most storage space per inch while using the least amount of building material. Further, hexagons can cover a curved surface with minimal wasting of material. And, though our goal is to provide a space for our bees to build straight comb, bees are going to attempt to use the space in an efficient manner; and in the wild that often means sheets of comb that twist and curve. Darwin, in his Origin of Species, put it best. He wrote that the comb of honey bees is "absolutely perfect in economising labour and wax."
From Tara of Two Hives Honey's soon-to-be-released book on beekeeping!.
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Tara Chapman -
Two Hives Honey