The hexagonal shape of the honey bee cells has attracted the attention of humans for centuries. It is now accepted that bees build cylindrical cells that later transform into hexagonal prisms through a process that it is still debated. The early explanations involving the geometers' skills of bees have been abandoned in favor of new hypotheses involving the action of physical forces, but recent data suggest that mechanical shaping by bees plays a role. However, the observed geometry can arise only if isodiametric cells are previously arranged in a way that each one is surrounded by six other similar cells; here I suggest that this is a consequence of the building program adopted by bees and propose a possible behavioral rule ultimately accounting for the hexagonal shape of bee cells.

The hexagonal shape of the honeycomb cells depends on the construction behavior of bees

NAZZI, Francesco
2016

Abstract

The hexagonal shape of the honey bee cells has attracted the attention of humans for centuries. It is now accepted that bees build cylindrical cells that later transform into hexagonal prisms through a process that it is still debated. The early explanations involving the geometers' skills of bees have been abandoned in favor of new hypotheses involving the action of physical forces, but recent data suggest that mechanical shaping by bees plays a role. However, the observed geometry can arise only if isodiametric cells are previously arranged in a way that each one is surrounded by six other similar cells; here I suggest that this is a consequence of the building program adopted by bees and propose a possible behavioral rule ultimately accounting for the hexagonal shape of bee cells.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1105704
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