An engineer asks: Why do honeybees love hexagons

No they actually didn’t. News reports have used the ‘new organ’ language. The actual paper is here:

And the scientists who wrote the paper are hesitant to call it a new ‘organ.’

“It is fair to say that histologists [and] pathologists have long known that there is an interstitial space and that it contains fluid,” Anirban Maitra, a pathologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center who did not participate in the work, writes in an email to The Scientist . “The claim that it is a hitherto undiscovered organ, and the largest one ever at that, seems a stretch,” he cautions.

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Given I am currently wearing a CGM that measures the glucose in my interstitial fluid I would say it has been known for a long time. Even if it wasn’t called an “organ”.


Since a lot of blood vessels run through it, would it be a “pipe organ?”


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Welcome back, Martin! I hope you find the answers you’re curious about in dialogue here.

It’s funny, I saw “An engineer asks” and before I even saw the little icons to show the participants I thought, “Oh! Martin’s back!” :slight_smile: At least nobody can fault you for not being consistent, my friend.

Peace to you, brother. Hope you’re enjoying a lovely Advent season as we celebrate our Creator and the incarnation of Jesus together.

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hey, nice to see you again.

unfortunately, i am being abused by some mentally ill guy (nick name: pevaquark)

Let’s try this again. Is that how you want to write your final posts at Biologos?

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again, do you understand my english? I am not native…

Are you mentally ill or something? It is a simple question…

Alright well we will close this thread down. @martin_r shall feel vindicated. And we will all ponder about hexagons.


One may wonder why this thread has appeared again. And the answer is not Martin, but rather cookies. Yes cookies. So how do cookies relate to hexagonal beehives?

Here are my two daughters and wife making cookies:

Pay attention to the pattern they laid the cookies on before heating. And then after heating:

Hexagons!!! To me this truly is a Christmas miracle- they made approximate circles and hexagons came out.


Those cookies look intelligently designed to me. And now I’m hungry. :smiley:


Hmmm … those look like some pretty irregular hexagons there.

But on the other hand, if one scrunches their eyes up real good … is that Mary’s face I can almost imagine seeing? Maybe you should publish your address here, and the hours during which your house would be open for pilgrimages.


Very, very cool.

I think your youngest one looks a little apprehensive about the safety of her creations. Uber cute.

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It turns out that Bees are even more of a wonder in that they solve counting tasks utilizing minimal brain power- perhaps this could help my students do their physics homework with less brainpower too:


So why can’t fundamentalists handle an old earth? Can’t they count past 6000?

I do know that if you want to change the world, you should think like a bee:

Aren’t we sort of seeing “trial and error” in action with climate change? I mean we are in an mass extinction now. The animals that are going extinct are the “errors” in a manner of speaking.

Some times though a trait is not really lost but is just not expressed because of the allele being recessive. We had a chapter in Ecology and Evolution that studied fish which when in clear water had armor but when in murky water did not. The change was rapid because the alleles were still there. I doubt that bees have other comb shaped alleles at this point but I was reminded of that lesson when reading the now closed plant thread. Successful populations adapt and often quickly so, thus again-not really leaving “errors” to be found; except as fossils.

At least this is my limited understanding as an Bio student still early in her studies.


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