The "sagacity of the bees"  in choosing tesselating hexagonal prisms as their storage architecture  has been known for thousands of years. Pappus  writing some sixteen hundred years ago  wrote:
However, the question of whether a tesselating pattern of hexagons was indeed the optimal way of covering the plane with a fixed tile of a given area, while minimising the length of the edges was only resolved recently  in June 1999  when Thomas C. Hales found a proof [available here] of what had come to be known as the honeycomb conjecture.
