Andrew Stacey: I have a confession to make that would probably get me thrown out of every respectable Mathematics Society – were I to belong to one.
I am not a fan of the Fibonacci sequence.
Neither am I keen on the golden ratio. It’s not even transcendental.
It’s not really their fault, it’s just that they get levered in everywhere whether they belong there or not. Particularly in discussions of nature and beauty, and this is exemplified by that ridiculous origin story. We’ve been subjected to a variety of bizarre origin stories over the years (cough radioactive spider cough) but the rabbit story is another level of bizarre.
So I was intrigued, and then delighted, when one of my students, who is a bee enthusiast, told me about a genuinely natural occurrence of the Fibonacci sequence in the ancestry of bees.
I’ll let her take up the story.