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Why do honeybees love hexagons? - Zack Patterson and Andy Peterson

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Honeybees are some of nature’s finest mathematicians. Not only can they calculate angles and comprehend the roundness of the earth, these smart insects build and live in one of the most mathematically efficient architectural designs around: the beehive. Zack Patterson and Andy Peterson delve into the very smart geometry behind the honeybee’s home.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Zack Patterson, Andy Peterson
  • Director Biljana Labovic
  • Animation Artist Lisa LaBracio
  • Narrator Michelle Snow
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Really dig into some mathematical calculations that the honeybees do naturally using the lesson found at: www.hungryteacher.com. Lesson title: “Mind Your own Beeswax.”

Check out this awesome Krulwich Wonders article about bees and hexagons.

Find all the TED-Ed Lessons about math in this series titled Math in Real Life.

In the past decade, the US honeybee population has been decreasing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. While this is obviously bad news for honeypots everywhere, bees also help feed us in a bigger way -- by pollinating our nation's crops. Emma Bryce investigates potential causes for this widespread colony collapse disorder.

Bees have been rapidly and mysteriously disappearing from rural areas, with grave implications for agriculture. But bees seem to flourish in urban environments -- and cities need their help, too. Noah Wilson-Rich suggests that urban beekeeping might play a role in revitalizing both a city and a species. (Filmed at TEDxBoston.)

Both honeybees and humans originated in East Africa, and the connection between us has survived the ages. Some of your favorite delicacies -- coffee, chocolate, mangoes -- have the honeybee to thank for their hard work of pollination. Dino Martins encourages us to remember how much we owe to these magnificent insects.
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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Zack Patterson, Andy Peterson
  • Director Biljana Labovic
  • Animation Artist Lisa LaBracio
  • Narrator Michelle Snow