Did you know that honeybees are born master engineers and mathematicians? Bees make perfect hexagons – a six-sided figure – in their hives to hold the queen bee’s eggs, and store pollen and honey brought in by the worker bees.
1. Cut your paper into strips that are 1 inch wide and 6 inches long. Use your ruler to make sure the measurements are right.
2. On each strip of paper, make a mark every 1 inch down the whole length. You should have 5 marks.
3. At every mark, fold and crease the paper strip. Do this for each strip of paper.
4. For each strip, tape the ends together to make a hexagon. Do this for each strip of paper.
5. Once you have all of your hexagons, match up the sides and tape them together to form a honeycomb shape. See how they all fit together with no gaps.
What’s happening? Why do bees choose hexagons? Why not circles, squares or triangles? A hexagon uses the least amount of wax to hold the most weight and leaves no gaps between each one. The strength of this structure is important to hold the weight of the honey and protect it during the winter.
Building a honeycomb takes a lot of work for the bees. The wax comes from glands on the bees’ bellies or abdomens. Bees need a lot of energy to do another important job of carrying pollen from flower to flower. Pollenating flowers allows fruits, vegetables, and nuts to grow for our food. This is why it is important to protect honeybees.
What are some ways you can help protect honeybees?
1. Learn more about bees.
2. Plant bee-friendly flowers, fruits, and vegetables in your garden (Bees favorite colors are purple, blue, white, and yellow flowers).