STEM & Maker Activity 34

Honeycomb Math
Supplies, instructions, resources, and worksheets are below!

Bees and Hexagons

Project Description
For thousands of years, nature knew the most efficient shape to make a honeycomb was the hexagon. The hexagon is the best shape to divide a surface into regions of equal area with the least total perimeter. Why would this be important to honey bees? In this STEM project, you learn about the efficiency of the hexagon shape, and it’s importance to bees and their honeycomb.

Activity Time
1 Day

Supplies Recommended
Investigative Worksheet
1 piece of brown construction paper
1-2 piece of yellow construction paper
1 piece of black construction paper
2 clear plastic spoons (or use paper for the wings)
fine tip black marker
glue stick

Learning Objectives
Understand the efficiency of shapes
Understand how bees make honeycombs

Vocabulary Terms to Understand
Look up each word and write the definition on the back of the Lined Paper.
regular hexagon
irregular hexagon

Instructional Videos

1. Print the Investigative Worksheet.
2. Watch the instructional videos above to learn about hexagons and why this shape is used to create honeycombs.
3. Read through the resources below to learn more about hexagons.
4. Use the Investigative Worksheet to research how honey bees make honeycombs and write the definitions to the vocabulary words above.
5. Make the honeycomb craft project shown in the first video.

Why is the hexagon shape more efficient than another shape for a honeycomb?
What is the sum of all the interior angles of a regular hexagon?
What is the degree of all interior angles of a regular hexagon?
How does temperature involved in the process of building a honeycomb?

Why Are Honeycomb Cells Hexagonal?
What is it about Bees and Hexagons?
The Honeycomb Conjecture
Wiki: Hexagon
Math Is Fun: Hexagon
Polygons: Hexagons
Why is the Hexagon Everwhere: All About this Seemingly Common Shape
Wiki: Honeycomb
Wiki: Honeycomb Structure
Hexagons for a Reason: Innovative Engineering Using a Honeycomb

Dance of the Honey Bee (Short Documentary)