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Honeybee combs: how the circular cells transform into rounded hexagons

Karihaloo, Bhushan Lai, Zhang, Kai and Wang, Jianxiang 2013. Honeybee combs: how the circular cells transform into rounded hexagons. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 10 (86) , 20130299. 10.1098/rsif.2013.0299

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We report that the cells in a natural honeybee comb have a circular shape at ‘birth’ but quickly transform into the familiar rounded hexagonal shape, while the comb is being built. The mechanism for this transformation is the flow of molten visco-elastic wax near the triple junction between the neighbouring circular cells. The flow may be unconstrained or constrained by the unmolten wax away from the junction. The heat for melting the wax is provided by the ‘hot’ worker bees.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: honeycomb; circular cell at birth; rounded hexagonal cell
Publisher: The Royal Society
ISSN: 1742-5689
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 15:16

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