holldobler & wilson



local chaos programs the algorithms
   of global orders

there are no architects, no blueprints
  only genetic codes   rules & feedback loops
  disciplining the final form
  guiding each construction

bees are mechanics   & heat engineers
   warming thermoplastic wax   into structures

   that grow, flow & expand
   around the builders

configuring a form that contains   the most angles
   to hold the most honey
   for the least comb

   in wax vats with a cant
   to prevent any spilling out

the rare fabric   of hexagonal cells
   bears weight & stress
   with an equality that relates
   to the bees themselves



a parabola
      & mathematics


a tradition
   a rite
      of fabrication

W. Eric Kelsey, The Spell of the Honey-Bee

laws of equilibrium
advantages of economy

there is no bee expertise
only physical laws :

cells are circles
which   like bubbles

become hexes
when they touch

all things being
equal   & mutual

deviations from true form

although bees strive for
perfect symmetrical cells

perfect symmetrical cells
are few & far between

T. W. Cowan, The Honey Bee


Bert Hölldobler & Edward O. Wilson, The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies; D'Arcy Thomson, On Growth and Form; Pappus the Alexandrine; Jeremy Taylor