Bees are sensitive insects, and require specialized tools to effectively gather and maintain them. There are several tools that every aspiring apiarist should be aware of.
Once you have found a hive in the world, you will require a Scoop to collect any bees that may live within. Any other tool will cause the bees to escape, and you will be left honeyless. The scoop is a very simple tool crafted in any 3×3 crafting grid using six sticks and one piece of wool.
Each scoop is fairly simple and can only be used so many times before its delicate touch wears off and the tool breaks.
During the course of your beekeeping career, it will quickly become apparent that many more bees are produced than you will know what to do with. Since only identical drones will stack with each other, and this occurs rarely, you will soon find your conventional chests full to bursting with bees. Luckily, those who have come before have developed the perfect technology to deal with the overflow of insects.
- 1 x Glass (any)
- 5 x Comb (any)
- 1 x Chest
- 1 x Apiarist's Chest
The Apiarist's Chest is a storage device for up to 125 individual bees, with 25 slots spread over 5 pages, and a pane that displays overall statistics for species discovered, princess collected, queens bred and drones produced. The chest itself is crafted using five honeycombs of any variety, a piece of glass and a wooden chest.
After placing bees of a particular species into the chest, the left-hand side will change in appearance slightly:
The chest displays the bee's primary species on top, and below it several Question Marks (?). Each question mark represents a possible mutation when the species is crossed with another, while the colour of the mark denotes how rare the mutation is. Green have the highest chance of a mutation occurring when two species cross, while yellow and red marks represent uncommon and rarer mutations. Once a mutation is discovered, the question mark changes to an Exclamation Point (!) and an icon representing the other species will appear beneath.
If a bee is not a purebred and has been analyzed, the secondary species will appear as well, with its own set of mutation markers.
While the Apiarist's Chest is handy for storing bees in one location, sometimes it is handy to be able to store many bees and take them with you. Luckily, there is a way to make an Apiarist's Chest more mobile - the Apiarist's Backpack.
- 4 x String
- 2 x Wool (any)
- 2 x Stick
- 1 x Apiarist's Chest
- 1 x Apiarist's Backpack
Like the other Forestry Backpacks, the Apiarist's Backpack will pull items that you pick up from the world into its internal inventory. In this case, its capacity is identical to the Chest's - 125 individual bees, whether they are Queens, Princesses or Drones. It's arguably more useful than the chests, as these can be placed inside normal chests while still holding their bees.
To open your backpack, place it on the hotbar, select it and right-click. Its interface is identical to the Apiarist's Chest's interface.
The most important tool in your beekeeping arsenal is, by leaps and bounds, the Beealyzer. It has complex and sophisticated technology to harmlessly scan the genetic makeup and traits of any bee placed into it. Using this information, beekeepers are able to determine the best pairs to breed for certain qualities. To craft a Beealyzer, insert items into the carpenter in this pattern and quantities:
With Beealyzer firmly in hand, place it in the hotbar and right-click with it active. It will bring up an interface that will appear very similarly to this:
The Beealyzer GUI is divided into 3 main sections:
I. Information Area
Will show you detailed information about each bee you place in the Beealyzer.
II. Input Area
Each analysis requires 1 drop of either honey or honeydew, which will pacify the bee and allow the Beealyzer to make an accurate determination of the bee's genome. The Beealyzer will retain any honey or honeydew placed into the top slot. The second slot is where the bee to be analyzed is placed. The bee will be analyzed automatically (Note: Some versions of Forestry do not automatically analyze the bee. If this occurs, click on the slot below the arrow to force the process.)
III. Analysis Slots
Consists of 5 slots into which analyzed bees are placed to read out specific information. The first two readouts are divided into two columns, one for the Active genome, and the other for the Inactive genome. Traits in the Active column are the ones currently active, while the Inactive traits are still part of the bee's genome, but will not impact the current generation of bees. The Active traits on a Princess determine which conditions the bees will be able to work in, while the Inactive traits on a Princess and both sets on a Drone will only come into play during the reproduction phase of beekeeping.
The information available in each readout is as follows:
- Slot I - General Information:
- Species - type Forest, Meadows, etc
- Lifespan - how long a Queen will live/work before producing the next generation
- Speed - how quickly she will produce combs or other goods
- Pollin. (Pollination) - how quickly the bees will encourage their particular flower to grow, and also how quickly the bees will affect nearby trees for Arborculture
- Flowers - The accepted variety of “flowers” the bees require to work. Most bees will use the red or yellow flowers found in Minecraft, though other types may use Cacti, or other types of plants…
- Fertility - How many Drones the Queen will spawn when reproducing (1 Princess is always produced)
- Area - X, Y and Z dimensions, centred on the apiary or alveary, of the bees' territory. They will search only their territory for flowers, and may have an effect within it.
- Effect - What effect (if any) the bees produce within their territory.
- Slot II - Additional Information:
- Climate - What temperature the bee will be able to work in.
- Temp.Tol (Temperature Tolerance) - The difference from its preferred Climate a bee will be able to work in.
- Humidity - The bee's preferred humidity
- Humid.Tol (Humidity Tolerance) - The difference from its preferred Humidity a bee will be able to work in.
- Nocturnal - Whether or not the bee will work during nighttime (in addition to during the day).
- Flyer - Whether or not the bee will be able to work during rain or snow.
- Cave - Whether or not the bee's housing (apiary or alveary) must be exposed to the sky for the bee to work.
- Origin Type - Either Natural Origin (the bee was dropped from a hive or is descended from one that was) or Artificial Origin (the bee was produced by a swarmer or is descended from one that was)
- Generations in Captivity - The number of generations since the original princess that was dropped from a hive. Bees with Artificial Origin may die out from genetic exhaustion after some generations. Natural Origin bees will last indefinitely.
- Slot III - Produce: This page has two lists: Possible Produce lists all the items the bee will produce in the normal course of its life. Possible Specialty lists all the items the bees may produce if certain conditions are met (usually having to do with matching their prefered climate and humidity).
- Slot IV - Mutations: This slot outlines graphically the possible and discovered mutations of a bee. (TODO: Explain more.)
- Slot V - Classification & Description: This slot contains other information about the bees that are not directly related to their function. A scientific classification is available for each bee in addition to a short description. Some of the descriptions may contain useful information about the bee species, a hint on what to cross them with to get a mutation, or an amusing quotation. (Your mileage may vary on what you find amusing.) In general, this slot has little to no impact on the breeding mechanics.
The Analyzer is a variant of the Beealyzer, which will automatically analyze bees using Liquid Honey. While they are not able to provide specifics of the bee's genome to an apiarist, they add the possibility for automation to your beekeeping system.