Friday coffee break: Honeycombs, peer review, and better state birds

New Honey Today

From Sarah: Why are honeycombs hexagonal, anyway?

From Devin: How many papers have you reviewed in the past year? And, more important, how many review requests have you turned down?

From Jeremy: Most U.S. states have pretty lousy state birds. (Everyone who picked Northern Cardinal, I’m looking at you.) Here are suggestions for much better ones.

4 comments on “Friday coffee break: Honeycombs, peer review, and better state birds

  1. jeffollerton says:

    The hexagonal honeycomb link was interesting and seem, to make mathematical sense. But it doesn’t explain why honeybees are the only social bees (of many different species) that produce hexagonal cells. Bumble bees, for instance, have irregular globular cells. What makes Apis so different?

  2. waltjess says:

    This article was very interesting. I liked reading everyone’s comments within in the article. Everyone is debating why the hexagonal shape is better then the other two options, a triangle and a square. My first thought was a hexagon was more complicated and wondered why a triangle wasn’t used. But when thinking about how all the bees are working together, the edges will always meet up on any side. This seems more efficient than say a triangle. Interesting how it is mentioned on the previous comment that other types of bees have irregular globular cells. What makes the honeycomb hexagonal vs bumble bees with irregular globular cells? Are the bees deciding to form these shapes or is it the way they form the honeycomb that they just end up in that shape?

    • Hird says:

      I really liked reading the comments too! I never would have thought of so many alternate explanations – thanks Internet Hive-Mind!

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