Welcome to Moron's guide to bees! There are much better guides to bee breeding out there. This primer is intended to guide first time apiarists just enough that they can get past the start.
The best time to find bee hives in the wild is during the twilight periods of dawn/dusk, or at night. Hives put out light, and are easily visible. Some gather surface hives by using a copter jetpack to hover over an area, marking the bee hive locations, and returning during the day.
Rock hives are pretty frequent in stone, and you'll find plenty during vein-searching and clearing.
Some hives are only found deep underground under certain biomes. Search deep rock in magical forest or other biomes for them. (note: add list of hives found underground and which biomes have them) If you happen to run into redstone ore or glowstone, there might be a hive located in the center.
Tropical hives can be difficult to locate since vanilla jungle biomes aren't included. Use a Natura Compass to examine biomes, and try to select biomes that are tagged as JUNGLE in Biomes o Plenty
Your local biome's temperature and humidity is reported in the apiary window, top right. If you want to know the temp/humidity in a biome that you are standing in and don't have/don't want to carry a habitat locator, you can use NEI to look up the habitat locator, as it reports your current climate and humidity in it's tooltip.
To create a queen, one princess and one drone have to be inserted into some sort of bee housing. A queen produces species-dependent produce while alive and offspring upon death.
When a queen dies, it produces either one or zero princesses:
- Ignoble princesses will breed fine for a hundred times, after which they have a small chance of producing no princesses. This chance can be reduced with frames (lower genetic decay = better).
- Pristine princesses always produce one princess.
Pristine princesses are obviously preferred (And all rock princesses are pristine princesses, so definitely harvest all rock hives), but that doesn't mean ignoble princesses are worthless. It only takes about 10 generations to change the species of a princess, and ignoble princesses do not decay until at least 100 generations have passed. This makes them useful for crossbreeding since you can quickly expand the number of princesses you have trying for a mutation.
When a queen dies it produces an amount of drones equal to it's fertility stat. Most bee species have a fertility of 2.
Homes for your bees
Bee Houses are the tier 0 bee breeding machines. They do not attach to pipes of any kind, they do not allow the use of frames, and they do not allow mutations of the bees inside them.
Apiaries are the tier 1 bee breeding machines. They allow pipes to be connected to collect inputs and output, allowed for automation. Apiaries also for mutations, making them the best block to progress down the bee breeding trees. Apiaries accept frames which modify bee breeding behaviors in various ways.
Tools for the beekeeper
Machines for the beekeeper
Basic bee genetics
Advanced bee genetics
- Some bees do not allow certain traits. For example, lich queens will never have diurnal, and will only work at night.