We all know that people make things up on the internet, right? Some might say internet points are kind of what the internet is there for and not the whole “being able to easily access any piece of information in seconds” thing. Well, there’s one specific image of a honeycomb that repeatedly goes viral partially because it has an interesting heart shape but mostly because humans think that everything revolves around them.
Maybe they’re right– those bees made honey into a heart because they knew it would be a perfect thing to put in your email forward! Perhaps this was some kind of bee prom-posal! This could be their Pablo bee-casa! Truth is, we can’t interview bees to get to the bottom of this, but we can just find the guy who designed it in the first place, which is probably more productive anyway.
1. The image going viral once again as recently as June 2020.
2. Before that, it went viral in 2013. People love a feel-good bee story.
3. Folklorist Steve Byrne had enough of the blasphemy.
4. He went digging for some answers.
5. Even large pages were sharing the image as their own.
6. The replies are full of people saying “Mother Nature is the best artist.”
And other crap like that.
7. The original was actually taken by Brian Fanner, who shared the image on Facebook.
8. He was ready to clear things up.
Fanner told Byrne the real story of the image, which as you may have guessed, was not because bees wanted to make something pretty for humans to look at.
Fanner also explained that “The lines are slots into which a foundation wax with the comb pattern on it can be placed…secured with melted beeswax. Normally…a sheet…to guide the bees as to where to build. So they just come across this weird pattern of foundation strip and start building onto it.”
9. It was actually a gift for his wife!
Placing the photo of the mold and the comb on top of one another, Byrne could see that this was the original mold. The original hive maker also mentioned that he had seen the image on numerous websites claiming it was their own hive and that this design “increases airflow.”
10. He put a stop to it.
11. Turns out this is actually called “Cross Combing.”
Cross comb is a result of bees extending comb horizontally and the comb encroaching into the space of the adjacent beehive frame. It usually results in the comb of two frames joining.