Formfinding of nature
For a long time it was believed that bees had an ingenious genetic construction program in their heads that led them to produce the hexagonal cells. Not only do hexagons offer a relatively large amount of interior space, they can also be joined together in a comparatively small space. In addition, the structures are stable: honeycomb meshes withstand external pressure because their structure absorbs the forces well.
The advantages of this construction method are undisputed, but the structures simply emerge automatically. Partly because of the malleable beeswax that the honeycombs are made of. As the workers build side by side, the cell walls come into contact, and the physical pressure from all sides causes the originally round beeswax cell to take on the most stable shape – that of the hexagon. The walls are then only seven hundredths of a millimeter thick; 20 grams of beeswax can hold two kilograms of honey – unbelievable!
Source: Geo Magazin 03/14