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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7edkFs8Vu1E

Quick 5 minute explanation of why that is optimal. Just in case of any interest!
Bees have no idea what hexagon is, don't care about the hexagons, and don't really build hexagons as commonly believed.
They just build cylindrical cells that fit around their own bodies as best as possible (hence the small bees build smaller cells), and arrange them as tightly as possible. Like on this picture when they build combs naturally:
RoundBeeCells..jpg
RoundBeeCells2.jpg

It is the properties of fresh wax that deform the cells to approach the hex shape (similar to round soap bubbles changing the shapes from spheres to prisms when many of them are together).

Material physics.
A good read on subject.
Honeybee combs: how the circular cells transform into rounded hexagons
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3730681/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Possibly, and that's a great article. Though he's a fairly high powered professor I don't think the articles are mutually exclusive -he's not suggesting bee engineering departments re "bees have no idea what hexagon is"! :) Indeed a key comment is they have competence without comprehension.
Just thought it might be of interest to some that it is the optimal way of maximizing cells into a given space.
 

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He doesn't address the 3 dimensional aspect of honeycomb that I have always found intriguing and is a primary key to its strength. That is how the intersection of 3 walls on one side becomes the centerpoint of a cell on the opposite side of the comb. Also the fact that a honeycomb, though hexagonal (some debate this point) on the top, tapers to a rounded base. A wonder of nature certainly.
 

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I think mathematicians often have a tendency to put the cart before the horse - in that they fail to recognise that their way of viewing and understanding the world is based upon human interpretations of natural events, and not - as they so frequently appear to suggest - nature obeying human-determined mathematical structures.

Korzybski's 'Science and Sanity' makes for a very interesting read for anyone who's a 'staunch believer' in mathematical dogma.
LJ
 

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He doesn't address the 3 dimensional aspect of honeycomb that I have always found intriguing and is a primary key to its strength. That is how the intersection of 3 walls on one side becomes the centerpoint of a cell on the opposite side of the comb. Also the fact that a honeycomb, though hexagonal (some debate this point) on the top, tapers to a rounded base. A wonder of nature certainly.
I find the inclination of the cells equally intriguing - how do they know - beforehand - the uses to which those cells will be employed ? Such amazing structures created by the tiniest of brains ...

Also - we humans view these combs as an overall structure, and in the light - but during construction, each bee is hard up against 'the coal-face' (as it were) working without any overall guidance ... and usually in the pitch dark. :)
LJ
 

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......... during construction, each bee is hard up against 'the coal-face' (as it were) working without any overall guidance ... and usually in the pitch dark. :)
LJ
But really, all you have to do - build a cylinder around your own body and heat it to +45C.
The next bee builds right next to you in the same way and so on.
That is the entire and very simple method and requires no vision.
The wax physical properties take care of the "magic".

Now, why no one is talking how paper wasps and yellow jackets are making their near hexagonal combs from wood pulp.
Unsure if the pulp cylinders will deform into the hex shape upon heating.
But maybe they do. Who knows.
THIS is an interesting subject as for me.

Mathematicians need to grow some potatoes for a change.
Or maybe grow apples - there is some fascinating geometry involved in those tree formations no one is talking about (just as cool; I think actually cooler than these silly, trivial combs).
Really, digging in the dirt gets you thinking in fresh ways.
 

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..........-he's not suggesting bee engineering departments re "bees have no idea what hexagon is"! :)...
He is not - agreed.
But why the excessive fascination (almost religious)?
Sit in a bath tab and make some soapy foam while in it.
Watch how it works.
That is the same principles of surface tension that exists all around us (except that the bubble walls are already "soft" enough and require no heating).

From that article I hang up - you can emulate the bee comb building by many plastic straws packed together and heating them just to the melting point - they will transform into a "honey comb" due to the same surface tension physics.
 

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He is not - agreed.
But why the excessive fascination (almost religious)?
Sit in a bath tab and make some soapy foam while in it.
Watch how it works.
That is the same principles of surface tension that exists all around us (except that the bubble walls are already "soft" enough and require no heating).

From that article I hang up - you can emulate the bee comb building by many plastic straws packed together and heating them just to the melting point - they will transform into a "honey comb" due to the same surface tension physics.
LOL You seem to want to belabor a point that you may or may not have an explanation for, and disregard other intriguing portions of the comb, such as the point of the Y and the slope of the "tubes" as mentioned. Hexagons in other nests you pointed out would either have to be formed by the same occurrence as you state or it's possible there is some other reason common to this family of insects. In the garden I like the design of a stalk of brussels sprouts.
 

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I think mathematicians often have a tendency to put the cart before the horse - in that they fail to recognise that their way of viewing and understanding the world is based upon human interpretations of natural events, and not - as they so frequently appear to suggest - nature obeying human-determined mathematical structures.
I sort of agree, but often it is the reporting of the mathematician's or scientist's work where the message gets jumbled. Researchers I know are keenly aware they are modeling the real world. A model is proposed, flaws are found, the model is patched, and the cycle repeats; science works. In my view it is often poor science reporting that gives a false impression of the strength of researcher's conclusions. Their published work states "our data indicate.... suggesting that...." and somehow that turns into "scientists say Y is caused by X". Ummm.... no they don't. And also they aren't "baffled" when new data doesn't fit their existing model. :)
 

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If the shape of the cell is the result of the properties of fresh wax then I wonder how it could be that wasps can build the same shape with paper in the horizontal position. I wouldn't think that fresh paper would have the same properties as fresh wax.

wasp.jpg
 

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If the shape of the cell is the result of the properties of fresh wax then I wonder how it could be that wasps can build the same shape with paper in the horizontal position. I wouldn't think that fresh paper would have the same properties as fresh wax.

View attachment 46011
Google says:
They are very good at this, far better than honeybees which by comparison are slipshod in their building.
https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com...05/25/mike-riter-hornets-environment/9456687/

Take away that artificial foundation attached to a perfectly straight artificial top bar from the honey bees.
You get this (sample of my own natural comb; circles and hexagons imposed for comparison):
20190209_173913_Mod.jpg
 

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......... disregard other intriguing portions of the comb, such as the point of the Y and the slope of the "tubes" as mentioned. .........
While I can see the slop of the cell is predominantly upwards (only predominant), the "Y" theory is a total BS.

All you have to do - let the bees build what they want - you get this (red "Y"s are inserted to show what is going on in the cells of this natural comb).
In nature the bees build and rebuild, producing a perfect mess - how it works and is normal.
20180708_162102_Mod.jpg
 

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Take away that artificial foundation attached to a perfectly straight artificial top bar from the honey bees.
You get this (sample of my own natural comb; circles and hexagons imposed for comparison):
View attachment 46013 [/QUOTE]


Since there is no support for the comb couldn't it be possible that the bees are building hexagons and the shape is being distorted to circles due to heat or fresh wax?
 

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MJC417 said:
Since there is no support for the comb couldn't it be possible that the bees are building hexagons and the shape is being distorted to circles due to heat or fresh wax?
Everything is possible.

Large free hanging combs have to be reinforced - that is potentially causing much thicker cell walls - those, in turn, much harder to warm to the melting point - that in turn results in rounded cells.
Kind of like these:
20190209_173652.jpg
20190209_173806.jpg

I do have a suggestion - everyone should run at least a single hive 100% natural comb on deep, large frames.
Purely for observations.

Surprisingly, there will be many discoveries contrary to common teachings.
 
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