156046_846325632052151_2224689885290038091_nThe perfect hexagonal array of bees’ honeycombs, admired for millennia as an example of natural pattern formation, owes more to simple physical forces than to the skill of bees, according to a new study.

Engineer Bhushan Karihaloo at the University of Cardiff, UK, and his co-workers say that bees simply make cells that are circular in cross section and are packed together like a layer of bubbles. According to their research, which appears in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the wax, softened by the heat of the bees’ bodies, then gets pulled into hexagonal cells by surface tension at the junctions where three walls meet.

For more see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/17/honeycombs-build-themselves-physics-bees_n_3611825.html