Beautiful pictures of honeycomb formation

I am enchanted by these images of the process of honeycomb formation. An enterprising apiculturist put a glass bell over a hole in the top of a hive and took a series of photos as the bees extended their residence into the new atrium.

There’s been quite a bit of research on the self-organizing behaviors that result in these architectual patterns. For example, this paper by Belić, et al. describes how the workers build parallel combs hanging from the roof of an empty hive. It’s interesting to observe how the cylindrical chamber alters these dynamics, with the comb strands distributed relatively equally around the circumference.

Visit’s Curiosities for the full series.