Note 052
From Chapter 52 of the Decline & Fall

See their curious architecture in Reaumur (Hist. des Insectes, tom. v. Memoire viii). These hexagons are closed by a pyramid; the angles of the three sides of a similar pyramid, such as would accomplish the given end with the smallest quantity possible of materials, were determined by a mathematician, at 109 degrees 26 minutes for the larger, 70 degrees 34 minutes for the smaller. The actual measure is 109 degrees 28 minutes, 70 degrees 32 minutes. Yet this perfect harmony raises the work at the expense of the artist: the bees are not masters of transcendent geometry.

« LAST » Note « NEXT »