The Lucrative Life of Bees

The lessons we learn from nature's most co-operative and co-ordinated worker.


The lucrative honeybee
The lucrative honeybee.

Few would argue sincerely that human overconfidence has not lead directly to problems such as the degradation of natural environments.

This is why contemporary science and technology tries to shed some of its hubris and look to nature for examples of how to solve technological problems efficiently.

The engineering term for this is Biomimicry and no organism is as inspiring in this field as the humble honey bee. Honey bees are the heroes of biomimicry and bio-process engineering because they are both useful tools and admirable role models.

A bee possesses a sense of smell keener than that of a sniffer dog which is why bees are employed to detect the scent of chemicals used in the production of explosives, detect landmines in Cambodia, for airport security, and in biomedicine (where they assist in detecting cancer cells by smell).

Bees are also responsible for pollinating 80 percent of the world's flowering crops. That is a third of everything we eat. Without bees we would no longer have access to staples such as apples, broccoli, strawberries, nuts, asparagus, blueberries and cucumbers. A study at Cornell University estimated that honeybees annually pollinate 14 billion dollars worth of seeds and crops in the U.S.A.

Not to mention they provide honey and beeswax.

But aside from how we actually utilize bees' incredible capabilities, we also do our best to mimic, or copy, them. Research is being conducted by car manufacturer, Nissan, into how bees swarm side-by-side, at high speeds, while avoiding collision.

This knowledge could help in the creation of cars that automatically and intelligently avoid obstacles.

The way bees distribute their workload has been used to apply "swarm logic" to things like electricity and internet use so that electricity and web traffic can be spread evenly.

But these amazing creatures are also the inspiration for the financial branch of Hexagonal.org; which is an appropriate name considering that bees use hexagons in the production of their hives.

Why bees love hexagons
Bees love hexagons (Ted Talk Video).

It's not just the bees' architectural tastes that got the Hexagonal developers thinking.

Bees possess a multitude of traits that are sought after in corporations and companies. Firstly, Bees work together. Their communitarian nature ensures that they have safety and success in numbers. But how do they manage to co-operate rather than being in disarray? How do they ensure that despite their numbers, they aren't in chaos?

Biology has yet to provide us with an answer but in a business context the key to co-operation is communication.

Keeping in mind that one of the grandest challenges businesses face as they grow is communicating effectively amongst their parts, the Hexagonal.org team began to build a platform for businesses to use that could ensure perfect communication between departments and between people.

The average corporation uses a different programme for every different process. their websites, invoice generators, email accounts, ledgers and stockists are disparate. This mean that there are people in those businesses involved in the constant struggle of trying to reconcile these separate parts. This places a frustrating and uneconomical burden on employees who are trying to stay in the loop.

So, how can a company get the benefits of a software system that functions like a hive?

Honeycomb is a model that facilitates the financial side of your business (from entering, editing and keeping track of stock to invoicing, recurring billing and statements).

The functionality of Hexagonal.org's Honeycomb Application

Honeycomb was developed closely with the University of Cape Town Information Systems Department and is a response to detailed analysis into what is missing from the status quo in terms of the tools available to small to medium sized businesses. Obviously there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to companies, so Hexagonal has opted to make it's software as editable and flexible as possible.

Honeycomb has various functions that respond to it's users and are intuitively easy to understand.

While most accounting systems are "offline", Honeycomb is constantly live from your private server (the foundational aspect of all Hexagonal services).

Being an online accounting system means that Honeycomb surmounts the problem that most business owners have; they work separately from their bookkeepers. When using Honeycomb, managers can see what is happening in their business from minute to minute. This vital component ensures that you as a business owner can keep a constant eye on the quality and quantity of work being done.

All information that being worked on is saved and backed up automatically, so there there is no risk of losing work if a computer crashes or someone forgets to click "save".

Honeycomb updates you with reports whenever you want them.

It also generates and sends statements and invoices in PDF format - at the click of a button. Your invoices can be beautifully styled too, to align and reinforce your branding.

Honeycomb also boasts a payment gateway system that ensures that the flow of capital to and from your business are secure and efficiently orchestrated. This function includes a built in Recurring Billing System, that allows businesses to streamline and edit the debt orders that they send and receive. This is an especially powerful tool for businesses with with subscription payment models.

Honeycomb is built to interface automatically with banks and credit card companies - making it a complete payment gateway solution.


To find out more about Honeycomb contact hello@hexagonal.org.