Nature Loves Hexagons – Want To Know Why?

You might have heard about the Fibonacci sequence that nature follows to create patterns and structures in the environment. Be it in the spiral of leaves or in the features on our face. The golden ratio or Fibonacci sequence can be observed everywhere. But nature has another mathematical obsession. It’s the obsession with the Hexagon. If you look carefully hexagons have found their way in a lot of architectural marvels because of its special and efficient characteristics.

hexagon and beehives

So what exactly is so special about the Hexagon? Let’s find out.

Hexagons are Efficient

A Hexagon is closed plane figure that has six sides and six vertices. An ideal example is a regular hexagonal which is a special case having where all the sides are equal hence all the internal angles are the same, that is 120 degrees.

hexagon and beehives

The most standout property about hexagons is that they align perfectly with one another without leaving any gaps and is the largest possible polygon to do so. This gives it

the advantage of packing circles and triangles together in the most efficient manner. Though triangles and quadrilaterals too perfectly align they use more units in boundary length and provide lesser space.

Also, the hexagonal structure is considered to be very strong. The mathematical ratio that allows it to form a compact structure also lets it maximise its cellular strength. This makes it one of the strongest shapes for the amount of material used.

hexagon and beehives

Honeybee Hives

A simple observation of the honeybee’s hive will help you understand the above theory. Honeybees are indeed great mathematicians who have perfected the structure of their hives. The hives serve the purpose of storing the nectar they collect from the flowers. The bees build small storage cells and choose to make these cells in a hexagonal shape as it takes gives maximum storage space with zero space wastage. It also takes up the least amount of beeswax to be made.

Check out this video by TedEd to understand more: