Dec 27

The Mathematics Behind Pouring Honey


Pouring Honey


Fluid dynamics was something I didn’t have to deal with as an electrical engineering student in college.  This is probably ok as the average beekeeper doesn’t need to know much more than it makes a sticky mess when you miss the bottle.

However, I did find this high speed video of pouring honey and it’s mathematical explanation pretty interesting.   I’ve been fascinated by the intricate patterns honey makes as you fill jars.   While I’m at a loss as to what the practical applications of understanding the exact physics of pouring honey may be, they have explained three different modes of pouring honey… Viscous, Gravitational and Inertial Regimes.  These have relatively simple explanations and equations.   The forth mode ‘Inertia-Gravitational’ is yet to be described mathematically (and may be the key to obtaining enlightenment, or not) and the best ‘guess’ is described as ’17th-order nonlinear two-point boundary value problem with two free parameters and 19 boundary conditions’.   Or in layman’s terms, ‘really, really complex’.

So until this mathematical problem can be solved, virtual reality beekeeping may have to wait.  It’s still a cool video.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/blog/beekeeping/the-mathematics-behind-pouring-honey/

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