Why Nature Prefers Hexagons

The geometric rules behind fly eyes, honeycombs, and soap bubbles

Photo: Thanongsuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

By Philip Ball

How do bees do it? The honeycombs in which they store their amber nectar are marvels of precision engineering, an array of prism-shaped cells with a perfectly hexagonal cross-section. The wax walls are made with a very precise thickness, the cells are gently tilted…