Bee Breeding Guide

From GT New Horizons

1 Introduction

Bees are a powerful way of generating resources in Gregtech: New Horizons.

Bee breeding and bee keeping are deep, complex systems spanning many mods.

Both the the resource types you get from bees and the tools available to get the most out of them scale as you progress through the pack.

This means you can start bees at any time, and it will get easier the more tech and magic progression you have, but the resources available from bees are useful starting from pretty early on.

Most basic ores, from copper, tin, and iron to naquadah, tungsten, and titanium have bees.

Even some ultra late game resources such as neutronium and infinity have bees.

Extracting useful materials from higher tier bees will require higher tier materials and power.

For example, Xenon combs need an IV fluid extractor, and Osmium combs need an IV chemical reactor with phthalic acid and some of the osmium related parts of the platinum line to process. On the other hand, Iron combs just need to be centrifuged.

If you like passive resource generation or minmax-able systems with tons of numbers, you'll probably enjoy bees.

The amount of time required to get every bee is quite high, even with good tools and knowledge. Fortunately, most of the work can be done in the background, and bees do not require constant attention like crops.

If you want a real challenge, you could even try automating large parts of the breeding process with opencomputers!

Just getting to the alveary, a critical beekeeping tool that greatly increases production and eases breeding, can be done in under ten hours once you know what to do. There are ways to speed it up even more if you have enough tech or blood magic progress.

This is a long and in depth guide to forestry bees with as little nonsense as possible. I will attempt to give step by step progression info on various processes including breeding up to the alveary, breeding after the alveary, and "duplicating" bees. I will also offer some numbers for how fast different bee setups will work. This guide was primarily written and researched by hacatu#3606 in the discord, with help from Rosenlied#3858.

1.1 Prerequisites

To get started, you will need several things. I recommend being in late LV, but some of the more advanced things require early HV. Each of these will be explored in more detail in sections 2 and 3.

1.1.1 Bee Gathering Tools
  1. Many basic scoops, or an unbreakable scoop such as
    • Scooporator mx200 turbo (late MV)
    • Manasteel scoop (late MV)
    • Void scoop (mid LV): If you don't want to do a lot of warping research, void ingots and void swords very rarely come from Twilight Lich Tower chests and crimson cultists respectively.
    • Wand focus: excavation (mid LV): if you want to use a wand focus, equal trade is more useful outside of gathering hives.
    • Wand focus: equal trade (mid LV)
    • quarries such as arcane bores (late MV) or the ender quarry (late LuV)
  2. Chests, Diamond Chests, Apiarist Chests, Filing Cabinets, Storage Drawers, etc to hold all of your bees and bee products.
    • Only identical drones can stack, princesses and queens can never stack even if they have the exact same traits.
    • Chests can hold 27 stacks (54 for a double chest), sky stone chests 36, iron 54, gold 81, diamond 108, apiarist 125, and compressed 300.
    • Apiarist Chests keep their contents on 5 separate pages.
    • Filing cabinets can hold 270 stacks, but you can only put one type of item in them. Fortunately, all drones are considered the same type of item, so this is a good choice. Beware that these can be laggy and placing too many can corrupt your chunks.
    • Advanced filing cabinets can hold 540 stacks, but can only hold items that don't normally stack. Fortunately, this includes princesses. Identical princesses will stack here, although even princesses with the same traits can be different due to having different number of generations in captivity and so on.
    • Drawers and Barrels are good for storing any comb or other product you produce a huge amount of.
    • Apiarist backpacks are good for storing bees you gather while exploring, although the regular backpacks will do as well.

Hives will give you at least 1 princess and possibly some drones and combs. See #Appendix: Hive Spawns and Drops. You want probably 10-20 pristine princesses before you get started.

Princesses can be either pristine or ignoble. Most hive types have a little under 70% chance to give an ignoble princess, but some always give pristine. Ignoble princesses will die after you use them for a long time so I don't really like them, but they have their place.

You will want many, many pristine princesses. Got a chest full? You'll eventually want more, although you don't need THAT many to get started.

Besides exploring normally or buying hives, looking underwater for water hives is a very good way to get a lot of pristine bees if you run out. You can also fly around the end and pick up ender hives, or rocky hives while mining.

It's worth noting that while rocky and water hives always give pristine princesses, these species are fertility 1, which may be annoying in some applications.

Nether and Oblivion hives also always give pristine princesses, but they are harder to find.

If you don't have a scoop or inventory space when you find a hive, you might want to set a waypoint there.

Forestry hives emit light, so they are easy to spot at night if you aren't afraid of the monsters, or on JourneyMap night mode.

1.1.2 Beekeeping Tools
  1. Get a field kit and beealyzer. The field kit is optional if you can afford the beealyzer, but definitely consider it before you have the alveary. It saves a lot of honey. Love yourself: don't use the gregtech scanner. Also don't bother with the Apiarist Database: it is intended for base forestry where info bees is hidden until you discover it; NEI provides all of the useful information more easily.
  2. Progress through thaumcraft enough to get a Thaumic Restorer. This is optional when getting started, but once you get some more expensive frames it is basically required. This can repair frames (besides GT++), the field kit (which can be used to cheese infinite paper), and many tools. Another notable use only tangentially related to bees is repairing blood magic flight potions. This can help find hives more easily, especially ender hives. The flight potions can be made without any blood magic - just put a chicken trophy in an assembler, which you can in turn get as a reward from the botania soarlander if you don't fancy your luck killing chickens.
  3. Get some apiaries from villages, buy from questbook, or craft. You really cannot get enough of these.
  4. Get ender io item conduits to automate apiaries. Hoppers and gregtech item pipes or apiarist pipes are a couple other options.
  5. Get some good frames.
    • The oblivion frame is ridiculously helpful for breeding, but its crafting recipe is ridiculously harmful to the human psyche. You can get it from advanced bee loot bags or stronghold chests, and maybe other dungeon chests. This isn't required, but it's one of the top two bee breeding tools along with the mutatron, and it's the most powerful way to reduce lifespan (get to the next generation faster)
    • Chocolate, restraint, soul, and necrotic frames reduce lifespan
    • Soul and metabolic frames increase mutation chance
    • Metabolic and Necrotic frames are basically loot bag only
    • Chocolate, restraint, and soul can be crafted without bee breeding, and chocolate can even be bought in the questbook
    • GT++ frames CANNOT be repaired by the thaumic repairer, so only consider them if you are starting bees late and have a lot of resources. Most of them are outclassed by other frames, but there are a couple good ones.
    • Somewhat recently, three new blood magic related frames got added. The basic Blood Frame has a niche as a good production enhancing frame, and the Maddening Frame of Frenzy is a super buffed version of the oblivion frame that also gives a 10x mutation boost. If you get a magic frame from a loot bag, reaching tier 3 blood magic and crafting three frames of frenzy is HIGHLY recommended because it will save you dozens or possibly hundreds of hours of work. Remember to BIND these to yourself by right clicking while holding them (their description should then say "Current Owner: ...") so that they can actually use your LP instead of breaking.
    See #Appendix: Frames.
  6. Get an escritoire. This block lets you play a minigame that gives two optional but very valuable benefits, especially pre-alveary
    • You get a research note for a random mutation of the species of drone you place in the center. You can only use a research note once per mutation, and it permanently boosts your chances of getting that mutation by 1.5x but only by up to 5 percentage points.
    • You get some products from the bee's list of products. This is a great way to increase comb yield early on.
    The escritoire is discussed in more detail in the Alveary section
  7. Get a lot of seed oil. You don't need this to start bees, but seed oil is needed in MASSIVE quantities for the alveary, so set up some kind of farm as early as you can. The alveary takes 64800 mb. This will be less of a problem if you go for frenzy frames, since you won't need the alveary to breed things.
    • Pam's sesame seeds/peanuts are the easiest way to get seed oil in the necessary quantities. They don't require any ic2 crop or forestry tree breeding, and they give more seed oil than most basic seeds. To automate them, an ender io farming station, unbreakable mattock (search the questbook for the "animal farms" quest and complete it to get one for free), and openblocks sprinklers work well. Each one gives 36 mb seed oil, so you need 1800. Remember to give the Peanut/Sesame Seed item to the farming station, do NOT craft it into Peanut Seeds/Sesame Seed Seeds, since the farming station cannot automatically re-plant these correctly.
    • Pam's pistachio/cashew/cherry/walnut/pecan/almond give 45 mb each so you would only need 1440. However, these literally grow on trees, which despite the idiom is a bad thing for Pam's harvestcraft foods since they are slower and harder to automate
    • IC2 rape crop. This will require you to get into ic2 crop breeding. It gives 125 mb each so you would only need 480, but each plant is slow growing especially with bad stats and they are tedious to duplicate. If you plan to use this for biodiesel then this is an option, but it is not worth setting up just for bees.
    • Nutdew give 200 mb each. These come from "Farmed" bees, which will require 3 extra breeding steps pre-alveary if you decide to go this route. 324 seedy combs are needed to get the nutdew necessary.
    • Extra Trees Coconuts give 300 mb each, so only 216 are needed, but these require tree breeding. I don't know anything about tree breeding so I can't recommend this option.
    Look at the Alveary section for a thorough breakdown of its costs, especially if you want to use Farmed bees.

2 Bee overview

2.1 Hive Bees/Breeding only

There are 461+ species of bee in the pack. Some of them cannot be obtained, generally because they have been replaced by a greggified version, and about 21 kinds only come from hives/loot chests/villager trading. These are typically called "hive bees" or "wild bees". You can buy them or their hives in the questbook for coins. The rest of the bees you will have to breed for.

All bee species that are available from hives should be listed in the Appendix: Hive Spawning and Drops.

There are three special bee species that come from in world sources rather than breeding besides those:

  1. Valiant bees have about a 1-3% chance of dropping from most hives instead of the default species. The chance is effectively a bit higher for princesses because there's almost no chance of not getting a princess. This is the only way to get Valiant bees.
  2. Steadfast come from various loot chests, some bee loot bags, the questbook coin shop, or a couple rarer types of hives in leu of Valiant (Infernal and Oblivion). If you can't find any Steadfast bees, consider buying the Infernal and Oblivion hives a couple times before buying the Steadfast drone. They have a way lower chance of giving a Steadfast bee than just buying the drone, but they cost half as many coins and have a 50% and 100% chance to give pristine princesses respectively. Bee coins are renewable thanks to the "Hey is that a friendly bumblebee" quest (kill 10 wasps), so don't worry too much.
  3. Monastic can be bought from villagers or the questbook. The coin quest is pretty cheap.

2.2 Bee behavior

To use bees, put a princess and drone in any bee housing (bee house, apiary, magic apiary, alveary, industrial apiary, or the giant hive multiblock in new versions). They will combine to form a queen, which will work in the housing for some number of bee ticks and then produce offspring.

The queen will have the exact same primary and secondary stats as the princess, but when she produces offspring they will also inherit traits from the drone or even have a mutation. This is explained in #2.2.2 Producing Offspring: Basics and #2.2.4 Producing Offspring: In Depth.

In addition to princesses, drones, and queens, there are larvae (singular larva) which are only used in the Genetics mod. These can only be made in the Alveary with a Hatchery, see #Genetics: Gendustry lite.

Comparison of Bee Housings
Housing Max Upgrades I/O Bee/Comb[1] I/O Frames WA[2] Climate Control[3] Base Prod.[4] 5% combs/hour 50% combs/hour Power Tier Cycle Cost[5]
Bee House 0 no n/a yes no -0.75 9.0 29.9 0 St 0
Apiary 3 yes no yes no -0.9 5.6-47.5 18.5-157.4 0 LV 0
Magic Apiary 3+ yes no yes no -0.1-+0.8 17.5-54.0 58.2-178.9 mana/centivis (optional) MV 16
Alveary 17 yes yes no yes +0 18.5-81.0 61.4-241.1 almost 0 MV 8-12
Industrial Apiary 4 yes n/a upgrade upgrade 2 61.4-99.4 203.5-266.1 37-2129220 HV 8-12
Mega Apiary variable[6] yes n/a no yes 8[7] ??? ??? 32768 per bee late UV 8-12
  1. Can be automated with logistics.
  2. Housing types that can be World Accelerated (tile entity mode).
  3. The temperature and humidity can be changed to better suit the working Queen. Only Industrial Apiaries & Mega Apiary can actually simulate climates in a way that satisfies jubilence and allows specialty produce.
  4. Base production rate. This is used to calculate outputs along with the bee's base rate and any modifiers.
  5. Cost for breeding
  6. Optional Royal Jelly consumption gives +5% bonus per Queen, up to a maximum of +200%
  7. The Mega Apiary has a base production modifier of x8 and outputs x64 for each Queen every five seconds.

These numbers are for comparison only. Calculations are for version 2.4.0. The first number for each production column is combs/hour with no upgrades, the second number is max production upgrades.

  • For Apiaries, max production is +5.1 (three +2 frames).
  • For Magic Apiaries, max production is +6.8 (three +2 frames + boosted).
  • For Alvearies, max production is +16 (6 diamond electron tubes and 2 iron).

For Industrial Apiary, max production is +17.2, but they also have a tier value of 8 instead of 1 like the first three which makes them a lot faster. It is safe to exceed +16 in the Industrial Apiary (it will not make bees ignoble).

2.2.1 Doing work

Every bee tick (27.5 seconds), the queen has a chance to produce the various products on her list. If the queen cannot tolerate the current environment (climate, time of day, weather, surrounding flowers, blocks above housing, etc), she will not do anything that bee tick, not even tick down her lifetime. See #2.2.3 Bee Traits for how to determine if a bee can tolerate an environment.

The queen also runs her effect continuously. Some effects are helpful, most are annoying or useless.

Helpful effects include

  • Empowering, which adds random aspects to nearby thaumcraft nodes
  • Magnifying, which increases nodes from fading to pale to normal to bright
  • Beatific, which heals players in range
  • Explorer, which gives players in range XP

Harmful ones include

  • Poisonous, which poisons living creatures in range
  • Ends, which deals large amounts of damage to creatures in range
  • Radioact., which deals large amounts of damage and breaks blocks

See #Appendix: Effects for a full list.

If you wear a the full Apiarist's Suit (or EnderIO armor with apiarist upgrades) you will be immune to all bee effects, positive and negative, although they will still affect any other players or creatures they normally would. High tier armors like quantum/primordial/draconic/bound also let you effectively ignore most bee effects. Hazmat protection is *not* effective against bees by itself!

Finally, the queen will pollinate trees and spread flowers, depending on her preferred flower type. The complete list of flower types is in the #Appendix: Traits.

Only forestry and extra trees trees are pollinated, but pollination is undesirable outside of tree breeding because checking for the trees is a small source of lag.

If trees to pollinate are actually found, this process will also spam butterflies, so a pest killer is highly recommended in case you decide to do that. Tree Breeding / butterfly breeding is outside of the scope of this guide.

In order to make any products in the second row, her "specialty" products, her jubilance condition NEEDS to be met. This means that both the primary and (in the case of a hybrid queen) secondary species must be in their preferred climate, and any other conditions of each species must be met.

Remember, the queen's traits are exactly the same as the princess: the drone's traits don't factor in until creating offspring. (Notice that this means some hybrids cannot be jubilant, but you only encounter hybrids while breeding unless you are doing mad science.) Some (irrelevant) species require there to be no entities in range, and some require a particular block under their housing or can only be jubilant in the mega apiary.

2.2.2 Producing Offspring: Basics

Once the queen's lifespan is over, she will produce 0-1 princesses and 1-4 drones. The number of drones is equal to the queen's Fertility value. Pristine queens always make a princess, while Ignoble queens have a chance of not producing a new princess if their generation exceeds one hundred (+2% base chance of no princess per generation >100.) Each bee in the new generation will get two genes for each trait, one from each parent. An identical princess/drone pair will produce identical offspring, while bees with mixed genetics will likely produce new bees that are all different mixes from each other.

With a large stack of identical drones (or even just 7-10 a lot of the time), it's possible to repeatedly breed with a hive/wild princess to turn it into a genetic copy of the drones, effectively cloning the previous stock or a working hive onto a new lineage. This is how multiple queens are acquired that have identical stats for mass production or further mutations.

2.2.3 Bee Traits
  • Each bee has fifteen distinct traits.
  • Each trait has a primary and secondary value ("allele").
  • Almost all traits are separately heritable.

Preferred temperature and humidity are the exceptions: these depend on the species and cannot be changed. The appearance, name, further mutations, and produce are also tied to the species. For every other trait (including species itself), they arise in one of three ways:

  1. For bees you get from hives, chests, villagers, questbook, Hivecynth, etc, all of their alleles in all of their traits are set to the default value.
  2. When you breed a princess with a drone, the offspring bees (princess and all drones) have one allele in each trait randomly taken from each parent. For example, if you breed Forest-Meadows with Meadows-Meadows, each offspring will be either Forest-Meadows or Meadows-Meadows (or Meadows-Forest since order is random too).
  3. Finally, if a mutation happens, one or both of the Active/Inactive sides is completely replaced with a default genes for the mutated species.
    • The chance and conditions (if any) can be seen in NEI. There are two relevant nei pages: the "bee breeding tree", and "bee breeding".
      • "Bee breeding tree" is good if you want to get an overview of all the steps needed to get a species
      • "Bee breeding" should be preferred though because it is easier to see special requirements, and it does a better job listing all possible mutations that result in a given bee when there are multiple.
    • Each offspring is calculated independently, meaning in particular that each one has a separate opportunity to get a mutation.

All bees that have some trait or all the possible values for a trait can be found by looking at the Gendustry Gene Sample items in NEI. For example, to see all production speeds, search "production", and to see all bees that give blinding, look at recipes for the gene for "blinding". When searching for genes be aware that Forestry saplings, flowers, and butterflies also have genetics and make sure to pick the item that says "Taken from a Bee".

Most traits for a species can be viewed in its shift tooltip in NEI, and all of them by looking at its uses in the Gendustry Genetic Extractor NEI page.

Some methods directly modify an existing bee/larva's stats, but (besides the creative only Imprinter) these are not from Forestry and are explained in their own section, mainly Genetics and Gendustry.

If both slots (primary and secondary) for a trait are the same, we say it is "homogeneous" or "purebred", otherwise, we say it is "heterogeneous" or "hybrid". Heterogeneous traits are bad because identical drones stack but every heterogeneous trait increases the number of possible offspring drones. Heterogeneous traits also mean that dominant/recessive traits affect how the bee will actually behave with respect to that trait.

Dominant/recessive traits will sometimes make breeding slightly harder, because a bee with one good allele and one bad allele in a trait might exhibit the behavior of the bad allele with probability 100% rather than 50% or 0% if it is dominant and the good allele is recessive. For the sake of truly staggering completeness, recessive alleles show in blue in the beealyzer and dominant alleles in red. If both are dominant or both are recessive, the first is used.

For breeding, Fertility is the most important since additional drones make breeding exponentially easier. Each addtional offspring produced is another chance to get the offspring you want. With a fertility of 1, you have two chances (princess and drone) to get the offspring you want. With a fertility of 4, you have five chances.

Another way of looking at this is that with a higher fertility, there is a lower chance that none of the offspring will have some trait you want that is only in one of the parent slots.

For example, breeding Meadows-Common with Meadows-Forest has a 1/4 chance of not passing Common down to any offspring if the princess has fertility 1, but only a 1/32 chance if her fertility is 4.

Temperature/Humidity tolerance can also be nice for breeding, although you can usually work around them with alveary climate control or by changing biomes. The others largely don't matter for breeding.

Lifespan is important if you don't have good frames/stimulators, since bees with longer lifespans take longer to produce offspring so you can move on to the next breeding cycle. That's why lifespan reducing frames like the oblivion frame are so good.

Once you get into production, the production speed trait is the most important, but don't worry about it too much for now.

You will have to breed many species of bees whose products you don't need to get to the useful ones, and you won't be able to get to bees that naturally have the best traits until later on. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to breed bees with a new species together with bees with good stats to get bees that have both. The post alveary section has more information on breeding for stats. You can also ignore breeding for stats almost entirely and use the genetics mod if you find the process tedious. Gendustry is even simpler but gated behind LuV and a lot of bee breeding.

All traits and their mechanics and values are listed in the Appendix: Traits.

2.2.4 Producing Offspring: In Depth

When making each offspring, forestry does the following:

  1. For each parent (ie the original princess and drone that formed the queen), there is a 50% chance to look for a mutation between its primary species and the secondary species of the other parent, and a 50% chance to look for a mutation between its secondary species and the primary species of the other parent.
    • Notice that this means you cannot get a mutation between the primary species or the secondary species.
    • Forestry goes over all possible mutations for the pair of species selected
      1. For each such possible mutation, if its conditions are not met, go on to the next mutation
      2. If its conditions are met, find the adjusted probability, generate a random number between 0 and 1, and if the number is smaller than the adjusted probability, replace the current parent with the default bee for the mutated species.
      3. Otherwise, the mutation failed due to random chance. Continue to the next mutation.
      4. If none of the possible mutations succeeds (including when there aren't any possible mutations), don't replace the parent.
    • Repeat for the other parent.
    • Now we have two parents, each of which is either one of the original parents or a purebred mutation.
    • For each trait, pick a random allele from each parent and assign these as the alleles for this offspring in a random order.

Some notes on the mutation procedure:

  • Yes, this means it is impossible to get a mutation between the two primary species or the two secondary species of the parents. Mutations are only possible between one primary and one secondary species. This probably is unintended,
  • If a mutation says it requires some kind of biome like a Forest Biome or a Nether Biome, it means it needs a biome with that tag, not that name. For example, The Undergarden is a Nether biome. For a list of biomes including tags, see [the biome sheet on the gtnh game data doc]. Note that this includes all biomes, even those which don't generate.
  • The list of mutations is not shuffled, so if more than one is possible, getting any besides the first is only possible if the first isn't guaranteed
  • The order of the species doesn't matter for mutations, eg Meadows + Forest or Forest + Meadows both have the same chance to mutate into Common.

2.3 Stone Age (and later) Bee Automation

Ender io item conduits with self feed enabled are my favorite way to automate apiaries. You can put one apiary on top and two on different sides of a single conduit, and then connect chests to the bottom and final two faces. Use a different conduit color for each apiary+chest pair, and set the chest to lower priority. If you're even less organized than me (unlikely), you can put apiaries on all five conduit sides besides the bottom and put a diamond chest on the bottom, but this has the drawback of mixing up where the drones and princesses go so it only works if you want five apiaries with the same species and already have almost five stacks of drones.

Before you have conduits, the best approach is to put a sideways hopper under each apiary and connect a gregtech item pipe to it. Then bring the pipe up one block to connect to the apiary, and up a second block to connect to storage. Make sure that you don't put opaque blocks over the apiary or your bee will slack off; check it does not complain about not being able to see the sky. This is only a concern for bees that don't have the "Cave Dwelling" trait.

Yet another option is apiarist pipes. These have some nice bee filtering options that let you do slightly more advanced bee automation.

You should set up an automated apiary for every bee species you make until reaching the alveary and just let them run. It's only 8-12 species. Once you have the alveary you can stop the automation for the useless ones, and only set up automation for any species with remotely useful drops or interesting stats.

You should at least get 10-14 drones of each species you breed. This lets you easily take some drone and create a princesses with the same species and, if they have the same stats, with those too.

You can't automate frames in apiaries unfortunately, but you can in frame housings in alvearies. Before that you can still create a timer or counter to trigger an alarm or stop your apiaries before the frames break if you want to repair them.

2.4 Beealyzer and Information

Similar to crops, bees don't show you most of their information until you scan them. Also similar to crops, there are several ways to do so and the gregtech scanner is the worst one.

You should make the field kit, beealyzer, and Thaumic Restorer. You only really need the field kit OR beealyzer depending on your tech level, and the thaumic restorer is optional until you have expensive frames, but all three are useful so make sure you understand the tradeoffs.

The field kit lets you scan bees at the cost of paper and time. However, while the stack of paper in its gui is real and you can add or remove paper that way, it's simply tied to its durability so you can also just repair it in the thaumic restorer. This is a fun and cool way to cheese paper, since you can just pull paper out of the field kit, repair it, and then pull more paper out.

The field kit will fully scan the bee, but only show its active traits. This is similar to the tooltip of a scanned bee, which shows some of its active traits (and also both of its species if it is a hybrid). That's where the beealyzer comes in. You can place a bee in the slot labeled "I" or "II" to see both its primary and secondary traits for everything. The III slot shows possible products of the bee, but once you know what species it is this information is already known (hybrids can produce any product from the primary species, and primary products of the secondary species if there are any). The IV slot is for lore/flavortext.

You can also use the beealyzer to scan bees at the cost of (regular) honey drops or honeydew. However, if you are doing this pre-alveary, I recommend reviewing the cost of the alveary before considering this. It is instant and doesn't require switching inventories as much, so it's totally fair to just use it.

The gregtech scanner is mostly the worst of both worlds, with the added inconvenience of being immobile and not giving you infinite paper. It combines the slow scanning speed and failure to display inactive traits of the field kit with the honey sucking tendencies of the beealyzer. Its sole advantage is that it uses liquid honey instead of (regular) honey drops or honeydew, so it can use other kinds of honey including yellow tinted drops from the saffron bee. It will also fully scan the bee so the beealyzer can show advanced info without consuming more honey.

See #Appendix: Traits for a list of traits, but for now you mainly care about species and fertility, so you only need to use the beealyzer to check the inactive speed trait, since if the active and inactive species trait differ, the scanned tooltip will show that as a hybrid.

3 Grinding to the Alveary

What is this alveary and what is it good for?

In the table in section 2, you already saw that the alveary can hold way more upgrades than the apiary, makes combs much faster, has climate control, and many other advantages.

Its upgrades are much more varied than frames.

In the apiary, you can use up to 3 frames and a World Accelerator (tile entity mode).

This means you are forced to choose between high production, low lifetime, or high mutation chance.

With the alveary, you don't need to choose. You can easily minimize lifetime and maximize mutation chance at the same time, and still have upgrade slots left over to make the alveary simulate the ideal environment for your bees.

Thus it makes breeding easier because you can mutate faster and more reliably and have to move around less to chase the environment your bees need.

It also has a base production modifier of +0 instead of -0.9 for the apiary, and you can easily get to the cap of +16.

Finally, the alveary is needed to get into the Genetics mod, and it offers a couple tools for dealing with the drawbacks of ignoble bees.

There's just one catch, its cost is extremely high. We'll go over how much it costs and how to best save up for it in section 3, and then explain all of its features in detail in section 4, so feel free to read that section first.

Once again, I highly recommend going for frenzy frames (Maddening Frame of Frenzy) because they trivialize breeding at the cost of needing to do blood magic.

If you are late game, using a high tier World Accelerator (tile entity mode) will also greatly speed up the grind, although not nearly as much as the Frenzy Frames.

3.1 The Absolute Expense of the Alveary

The alveary is a decadently expensive multiblock. The main costs are 108 buckets of honey, 216 royal jelly, 216 pollen, and 32400 mb seed oil (900 peanuts). Unfortunately for you, hapless victim, apiaries have much worse production than alvearies, but with frames it's not as big of a difference.

Time to Produce 216 Royal Jelly (in apiary-hours)
Bee Speed Frames Time
Faster +0 24.826
Faster +3 4.163
Faster +6 2.928
Fastest +0 23.105
Fastest +3 3.874
Fastest +6 2.725

+0 Frames means no frames, +3 means three frames that each give +1, and +6 means three that each give +2. The times are given for 1 apiary, so if you have 3 apiaries it would only take 1/3rd as long. You can also world accelerate (WA) apiaries in tile entity mode. Technically this could be as much as 8x speed at HV, but it takes a tremendous amount of power early game so it's more useful if you're getting a late start on bees.

Also, after 2.4, I have improved the Waila display for apiaries and friends to show the effective production modifier, so you don't need to do the math yourself anymore.

That's the waiting time to get royal jelly. Pollen is the same, but for honey you need 10 drops per bucket so you need 1080 honey drops if you're getting it that way. There are a couple other ways to get it:

  1. SOME biomes o plenty wasp hives in the nether have honey in them. The wasps also give you beekeeper coins for killing them as a repeatable quest reward, but they might beat you up if you are weak.
  2. You get a few combs from breaking hives in world, but not that many.
  3. The escritoire can crank out combs as fast as you can play its little memory game, at the cost of a decent number of drones.
  4. Finally, tinted honey drops give 2x the honey when melted so you can breed saffron bees.

Majestic bees have a 30% base chance to make dripping combs, worth 0.14 buckets of honey, but Saffron bees have a 75% base chance to make a honey comb worth 0.09 PLUS 25% specialty to make a yellow tinted comb worth 0.28.

Time to Produce 108 buckets of Honey (in apiary-hours)
Species Frames Time
Saffron +0 27.313
Saffron +3 4.580
Saffron +6 3.221
Majestic +0 57.547
Majestic +3 9.650
Majestic +6 6.787

All of these times are for 2.4 with "fastest" production speed bees.

You will already have some combs from breeding, breaking hives, getting the pollen/royal jelly, and getting nutdew if you go with Farmed bees for seed oil.

Assuming you don't have magic frames but you do bother breeding for Saffron and Light Blue for Fastest, 3 apiaries and 9 proven frames will be sufficient to get all the resources in 4.580 hours and none of the frames will break so you don't need to check on them to replace/thaumic restore. Remember you can buy them in the questbook. I haven't found a way to automatically insert frames, including robot arms. Proven last for 5.5 hours each (720 durability * 27.5 seconds per bee tick).

If you don't want to breed Saffron, you'll want a second apiary for Majestic, for a total of 4 apiaries and 12 proven frames. That would take 4.825 hours.

If you don't want to breed Saffron or Light Blue, you may even want a third apiary for Majestic: it would take 5.184 hours without it and 4.163 hours with it.

On the other hand, if you really love bee breeding, magic apiaries offer a slight advantage. With 3 +2 frames, they reach a production modifier of +5.9 or +6.8 when boosted, vs +5.1 for the apiary.

Don't even think about using slower/slowest, these would be 2 or 2.5x slower.

3.2 The Industrious/Imperial March

Only 8 species *must* be bred to get the alveary, but I'll mention 4 more you can also get to improve your production.

3.3.1 Common

If you take any two hive species and cross breed them, you have a 15% base chance to get Common. I recommend forest/attuned/sorcerous princess + wintry drone. These are pretty easy to find, and will get you started off right with 4x fertility from wintry bees. Forest, attuned, and sorcerous have 3x fertility, making it easier to get there.

The only downside is if your princess becomes wintry, you'll have to let it run in a cold biome for at least one lifespan.

If you don't want to run back and forth to a cold biome all the time, then do forest + attuned/sorcerous instead. You will only have 3x fertility, but majestic bees also have 4x fertility so you can pick up the trait from them instead of wintry.

Since this is your first mutation, I'll go into agonizing detail about it.

First, make an escritoire and research the wintry drone until you get a research note for forest/attuned/sorcerous + wintry -> common (or forest + attuned/sorcerous -> common if you want to avoid climate hopping).

Research notes boost the mutation chance by 1.5x, BUT only by 5 percentage points at most AND applied after other mutation boosts. Then, get yourself 3 soul frames. These give a 3.375x mutation boost.

You might think that this gives an effective chance per mutation attempt of 55.625%, but you would be wrong, because I haven't told you about the BEEKEEPING MODE yet.

I swear, it simply wouldn't be possible for me to make this Calvinball system up. The beekeeping mode is an almost invisible set of global modifiers in forestry. It has five settings, ranging from "EASY" to "INSANE". GTNH has it at "HARD", the middle one.

This means that ALL base mutation chances are multiplied by 0.75 BEFORE any other modifiers are applied, and ALL bee lifetimes (in bee ticks) are multiplied by 1.5 BEFORE any other modifiers are applied. Other things can be affected in higher or lower beekeeping modes, but if you decide to change it then you're agreeing to understanding the implications on your own.

The upshot of that is that the effective chance per mutation attempt is ~42.968% instead.

Mutations are extremely complicated, and I explain them in detail in their own section, but for now I'll go over some cases assuming you followed my advice and used the escritoire and soul frames. There's 2 mutation attempts per offspring: 1 per parent.

If you're breeding Forest-Forest (FF) x Wintry-Wintry (WW) or WWxFF, hoping to get Common (C), the possibilities for each offspring are:

  • CC: ~18.463% (p²)
  • CW, WC, FC, or CF: ~49.011% (2p(1-p))
  • FW or WF: ~32.526% ((1-p)²)

Possibilities on the same line are equally likely, eg, there's about a 15% chance of getting FW and there's also about a 15% chance of getting WF, which add to the line total 32.526%.

If the queen has a fertility of 4, this means there will be 5 offspring including the princess and you will have a 99.635% chance to get at least 1 of the resulting 10 species slots to be Common. If the queen only has a fertility of 3, this is "only" 98.880%.

What happens if you don't use soul frames? Well obviously you would never do that because I told you to use soul frames, but

  • with no frames, no note, and 3x fertility, you get a 61.510% chance for at least one mutation.
  • with no frames, a note, and 4x fertility, you get an 83.023% chance.

Then, if you have necrotic frames from loot bags or you haven't made the Thaumic Restorer (the more damaged your rare frames get, the more you need the thaumic restorer) but do have chocolate frames, you can switch out your soul frames and start trying to get a purebred Common bee with 4x fertility.

Switching away from mutation boosting frames while stat breeding is important because it lets you lower lifetime instead, and also makes you less likely to get the next mutation in the chain (Cultivated in this case) before you have a stable stock of purebred Common bees.

Getting the next mutation immediately would be great, except that oftentimes you need a stock of the first mutation (Common in this case) for other mutations down the line, and you need a purebred Common princess to complete the quest. The advanced bee loot bags give good loot, so losing out on all of it because you got out of sync with the questbook would be unfortunate.

If you get unlucky and run out of bees with the new species after getting a mutation, you'll have to switch back to mutation boosting frames and try again. You won't need another escritoire note though.

If you get lucky and get the next mutation ahead of schedule, put it away for now, and continue trying to breed a purebred of the first mutation. Or just go with it, if you don't care about possibly needing to breed the first mutation again in the future or de-syncing with the questbook.

I generally try to get a purebred of the new species with good stats as follows:

  1. if the princess isn't 4x4 (both slots 4 fertility), breed it with your supply of 4x4 drones until it is.
  2. keep all bees you get with Common, until you get a purebred princess and a purebred drone. Then chuck those two together in an apiary and throw the rest in a junk chest, to be fed to the escritoire or beegonia.
  3. right now, you only care about 4 slots: the two species slots and the two fertility slots. Always breed your princess with the drone that matches the most of these until you get the purebred pair you want. For example, a 4x2 Common-Wintry drone matches two slots, but a 4x4 Common-Forest drone matches 3. Among drones that match two slots, you can consider one that matches one of each (eg 4x3 Common-Forest) as better than one that matches both of one (eg 4x4 Forest-Wintry).

This really emphasizes why getting a 100% mutation chance, like 3 frenzy frames gives you, is so good: you don't have to analyze your bees or mess around with trying to breed the stats you want onto them most of the time when breeding for species, you just breed two purebred bees that have a mutation together and you always get a purebred bee with both the primary and secondary slots mutated, every single time. Then as long as it isn't fertility 1, you just breed it with itself a couple times to get a very small stack of drones like say 4, and then you steamroll onto the next mutation. It doesn't really offer any advantage for breeding for stats over the Oblivion Frame, except that it can be easier to find and doesn't need to be repaired.

3.3.2 Cultivated

So, you got common bees? Congratulations. Now you only have 7 left minimum to get the alveary.

Cultivated can be bred from Common + any hive species with a base chance of 12%. If you got a research note for wintry + common -> cultivated in the escritoire in the last step then great. Otherwise, put a common drone in the center and do research until you get a note for cultivated. You can either take the first note you get and get that species to 4x4, or you can keep doing the research until you get a note for a species you already have a stock of 4x4s for.

With the note and 3 soul frames, you have a 35.375% mutation chance, so you have a 98.729% chance to get at least 1 with purebred parents and a fertility 4 queen.

3.3.3 The Imperial Line
  1. Noble: Common + Cultivated. Escritoire Cultivated if you don't already have a research note (it has fewer mutations than common). Get a note for Noble and Diligent so you can get both in one go. 10% base mutation chance, 30.3125% with 3 soul + note, 97.298% for at least one mutation with purebred fertility 4 parents.
  2. Majestic: Noble (Escritoire target; fewer mutations) + Cultivated. 8% base, 25.25% with 3 soul + note, 94.553%
  3. Imperial: Noble (Escritoire target) + Majestic. 8% base
3.3.4 The Industrious Line
  1. Diligent: Common + Cultivated (Escritoire target). 10% base
  2. Unweary: Diligent (Escritoire target) + Cultivated. 8% base
  3. Industrious: Diligent + Unweary (Escritoire target). 8% base
3.3.5 Fastest Production Speed and Best Honey Production
  1. White: Diligent (Escritoire target) + Wintry. 10% base
  2. Blue: Forest + Diligent (Escritoire target). 10% base
  3. Light Blue: White + Blue (Escritoire target). 10% base

Light blue bees have "fastest" production speed. Your chance of getting the production speed trait out of a mutation is exactly the same as your chance of getting the species trait out of a mutation, although they aren't independent.

  1. Saffron: Meadows + Valiant (Escritoire target). 5% base, 17.656% with 3 soul + note, 85.668%.

Saffron will make honey about 2x faster than Majestic. It's up to you if it's worth it to breed these two. Most bees make honey so Saffron bees fall off in usefulness the more species you are running, but the Fastest trait you get from Light Blue will remain useful until you can breed Stardust or a different Blinding speed bee.

4 Making the most of the Alveary

Now that you have the alveary, you can take full advantage of your bees and breeding becomes a lot easier. You can use it to make another alveary much faster, or you can use it to breed new bees. Keep in mind that breeding more bees gets you more loot bags, and advanced bee loot bags are very cheap to enchant and give good frames and more alveary components.

Your first goal breeding wise should be the stardust bee. It is the easiest source of the "blinding" production speed trait, which is the fastest available.

Without even installing any upgrades, the alveary has a couple advantages and disadvantages over the apiary:

  1. the alveary is +0 base production modifier instead of -0.9, and moreover the alveary can easily reach +16 now whereas the apiary can't really go above +5.1.
  2. it doubles the range of any bee in it (kinda cringe tbh: you generally want to minimize area to reduce lag, but especially with Flowers: Stone and Effect: None it doesn't matter much)
  3. it's way bigger and waaay more expensive
  4. it can't be world accelerated

Before we get into that, here's an overview of the alveary upgrades. You can place upgrades in the bottom two rows of the alveary, EXCEPT you cannot place them in the center. Additionally, in order to do mutations that need a block below, the bottom central block must be a basic alveary block, but otherwise it can be an upgrade.

4.1 Basic Upgrades

These are upgrades that only do one thing and are very simple.

  1. Alveary Stabilizer: prevent bees from mutating. This is a fine upgrade, but you'll generally prefer breeding for stats in a single block apiary since it consumes less frame durability and can be world accelerated. The alveary stabilizer is good in the very niche situation where you have a bee with very peculiar habitat requirements and you want to breed stats onto it from a bee it has a mutation with. This is so rare it might not even be a thing. Does not need power.
  2. Alveary Transmission: give it power via an enderio conduit or capacitor bank. Feeding it GT EU works but will waste power because it goes cookie monster on your entire packet (ie it consumes full amps even if it only needs a little power).
  3. Hatchery: creates larvae for use in Genetics. Larvae are exact clones of the princess (and thus queen), and not affected by the drone at all. Note that larvae cannot be turned into princesses, only drones, and Gendustry can work with drones, princesses, and even queens directly. Does not need power.
  4. Alveary Sieve: adding this reduces lag by having the bee not try to pollinate trees in its range. You can also put in woven silk to get pollen to manually pollinate trees, but nobody has ever done that. Does not need power.
  5. Swarmer: spawns swarm hives around the working area that contain ignoble copies of the original princess you put it, INCLUDING her generations in captivity. See the ignoble bee section, tldr: add 3-4 frame housings with gentle frames depending on how many electrical stimulators you have and your ignoble bees can literally last for thousands of years. There is hardly any benefit to using ignoble bees over pristine, besides that they are slightly easier to get, so make sure you read that section and understand the pros and cons. Does not need power, but does need royal jelly (or aromatic lumps, but if you're using ignoble princesses you're either using gentle frames or hibeescus to work around them being ignoble, so generating swarm hives faster probably isn't necessary).
  6. Rain Shield: acts as if the bee is a tolerant flyer and ignores rain. Does not need power.
  7. Alveary Lighting: makes the bee able to work regardless of time of day. If you really goof up you could get a bee that is neither nocturnal nor diurnal but this upgrade lets even such a woebegotten (and let's be real for a second: relatable) specimen become productive.
  8. Mutator: NOT RECOMMENDED. Consumes various items to boost mutation chance, HOWEVER it interacts strangely with other mutation boosters (frame housings and electrical stimulators) and FORCES a cap of 15x on mutation, which means it will actually DECREASE mutation in a lot of cases. Does not need power.

4.2 Climate Control

In #Appendix: Traits, the exact temperature and humidity thresholds for the different temperature and humidity levels are listed. The alveary has the ability to modify its climate, but beware! It is not sane. Temperature and Humidity traits and tolerances have 6 and 3 levels respectively, but they don't evenly subdivide the temperature/humidity range, so the number of Alveary upgrades you need to go from one Temperature/Humidity level to another isn't consistent or related to the number of levels you need to change.

Also! Note that at higher y levels, temperature DECREASES and humidity INCREASES. This effect isn't very large, especially for humidity, but it can come in handy especially for bees with diva requirements like the Lapotron bee whose preferred climate does not naturally occur in any biome at sea level.

  1. Alveary Heater: boosts the temperature by 20 percentage points. Sometimes 1 will be enough but you need 6 of these to go from icy to hot. Unless the biome is < -20, then you could need even more. Needs power. Cannot increase temperature to hellish.
  2. Alveary Fan: reduces temperature by 20 percentage points. Needs power. You may have problems reducing the temperature to icy.
  3. Alveary Hygroregulator: Yes, that is really its name. Does not need power, but does consume water or lava.
    • With water, it increases humidity 20 percentage points and decreases temperature by 10 percentage points.
    • With lava, it decreases humidity and increases temperature by the same amounts.
    • Water is consumed faster than lava, but both are consumed fairly slowly.

These upgrades are fine for changing the climate a few percentage points, and their power (or lava/water) costs are minimal, but they're pretty annoying to craft especially considering that there's no way to automate multiple recipes in one carpenter, so you will definitely want to look into changing biomes with magic at some point. The Brew of Shifting Seasons from Witchery gives you a pretty good selection of biomes including at least one from every climate that has any biomes at all, and it's pretty simple to get the required magic progress.

The industrial apiary has both incremental climate upgrades like the alveary, and climate upgrades that make it directly emulate a couple different biome types, so it can be easier to use, but it draws comically large amounts of power. Once you are late IV or so this isn't really an issue anymore, but the less power you spend on climate upgrades the more you can spend on speed upgrades/more industrial apiaries.

Remember, bees can be made to tolerate any climate and will make their primary products and perform their effects unhindered, but will only make their specialty products in their preferred environment.

Also, you can't use heaters/fans to make a biome hellish/not. You need to change the biome or use blazing electron tubes in an electrical stimulator. Circuit boards with them will also now mention them in their tooltip, but be warned that the climate pane in the aleary/other bee housing's gui will NOT correctly show Hellish.

4.3 Frame Housing

The frame housing gets its own section because it is the most versatile upgrade. It does not need power and you can have many of them (technically up to 17, but you will typically need 0, 1, or 4 per alveary depending on how you use them).

Unlike apiaries, you CAN insert/extract from frame housings. Huzzah!

Frames take 5x durability damage in frame housings, which is even worse for GT++ frames since they can't be repaired.

I am not certain how this works with the blood magic frames.

Frame housings also can bypass the limits on frames. Some frames have a second number in parentheses which is the limit that it can bring a stat to. In the alveary, these limits are not checked (they are checked per frame housing but each frame housing can hold at most one frame).

Frames that are good in apiaries will be good in frame housings. See #Appendix: Frames. Most frame effects can be gotten from the electrical stimulator as well, with 2 main exceptions:

  1. genetic decay can be reduced by gentle frames, but there's no way to reduce it with electrical stimulators. Typically not helpful and only affects ignoble bees. See ignoble bee section.
  2. oblivion frames and Maddening Frames of Frenzy (and even necrotic frames) are better at reducing lifespan than stimulators. You can still reduce the queen's lifespan to one bee tick with stimulators, you just need an annoying amount of them (21 obsidian tubes for Longest or 31 for Eon).

4.4 Electrical Stimulator

Do you want to buff your bees' stats but don't want to automate crafting or repairing frames?

Do you want to boost mutations even more?

Do you want to eliminate the range of a bee with an annoying effect?

Then you may enjoy the electrical stimulator. It takes a very small amount of power. You give it a circuit board with some electron tubes soldered on, and it applies buffs.

Unsurprisingly, forestry electron tubes are soldered onto forestry circuit boards using a forestry soldering iron.

Boards come in 4 sizes, able to hold 1-4 electron tubes. However, you MUST fill all tubes, so you won't always want the highest tier.

Every electron tube has at least one effect, which are multiplicative BUT have a per-board cap. There is no inter-board cap.

For example, both diamond and iron boost production, but iron is +0.5 and diamond is +1.5. Therefore you can easily hit the +16 soft cap now, it just takes 3 electrical stimulators instead of 2 before the additive production change.

Electron Tube Modifiers
Name Effect Cap
Iron +0.5 production (effectively no cap)
Diamantine +1.5 production (effectively no cap)
Apatine 1.5x pollination 5x (4 would be 5.0625x otherwise)
Obsidian 0.8x lifespan (effectively no cap)
Lapis 1.5x lifespan 5x
Blazing Hellish Temperature
Golden 1.5x mutation 5x
Tin 0.4x territory 0.1x (3 would be 0.064x otherwise)
-0.1 production (effectively no cap)
Bronze 1.5x territory 5x

Again, the caps are per board so you can easily get around them using multiple stimulators.

Runakai fixed Blazing Electron tubes, but they still do not update the temperature in the GUI. In 2.3.4 only, they are very difficult to notice on the tooltip because it only shows their genetic decay effect, but I fixed this for later versions.

Also, every single electron tube increases genetic decay 1.5x, but this doesn't affect pristine bees and for ignoble bees it can be mitigated using gentle frames.

4.5 Next Steps: Stardust Bees and other Breeding

Now that breeding is much easier, why not try to get stardust bees for blinding production speed?

The alveary makes mutations easier because you can change its climate without changing the biome, and you can more easily get a much higher mutation multiplier.

Some bees, like the stardust bee, require a specific biome which has a different temperature than either of their parent species prefer. You can breed these without an alveary by first breeding good climate tolerances onto the bee, artificially applying them with Genetics, or you can just use the alveary.

There might also be some bee species that require a biome and also a different temperature than that biome has by default, and those would absolutely require the alveary, but I don't remember encountering any such species.

Stardust bees should be your next goal. While there are other bees that give blinding production speed, they all require EV+. Stardust bees only require you to reach the end. You can get them in the stone age in theory, but you unlock several tools at HV that make them easier.

They need to be bred in the end, on a block of stardust ore, with an arid humidity.

However, the end is not arid. So you will either need to change the biome to an arid one, or use alveary hygroregulators with lava in them. Stardust ore is itself somewhat hard to find because it looks very similar to endstone. I recommend looking on the very large end islands like the purple or red ones.

  1. Diligent + Industrious -> Clay, 10%, Clay
  2. Majestic + Clay -> Tin, 13%, ic2 Tin
  3. Majestic + Clay -> Copper, 13%, ic2 Copper
  4. Tin + Copper -> Iron, 13%, Iron
  5. Iron + Tin -> Zinc, 13%, Zinc
  6. Zinc + Ender -> Stardust, 8%, Stardust Ore, End Dimension, Arid Humidity.

Unlike the bees you bred pre-alveary, these have extra requirements to breed them.

All of them require a particular block to be placed under the bottom center block of the alveary, and the stardust bee itself has a dimension and humidity requirement.

Make sure you chisel the block to the correct version if needed. Typically the different versions have slightly different names, like "Block of Emerald" vs "Emerald Block". When in doubt, favor the GT variants of a block if the name is the same. Notably the Sapphire Bee requires the GT Block of Sapphire, not the Biomes o' Plenty Block of Sapphire which is the default created by a Compressor.

If you get a bee that requires "End" flowers, it needs a dragon egg, which can be picked up by shift clicking on it with a sword. If you get a bee that requires "Books" for flowers, it needs bookshelves. Appendix: Traits lists all the possible flowers and what items/blocks satisfy them.

Either use 2 electrical stimulators with 4 gold tubes each, or use 1 with 4 and a mutator with eyes of ender. This will boost even the 8% mutation for the Stardust Bee to the max.

4.6 Tips and Tricks breeding with the Alveary

Lifespan: A very efficient way how to breed bees is to reduce their lifespan down to the minimum.

An oblivion frame is best for this, although carefully watch you keep it repaired.

If you don't have one, several electrical stimulators will work instead (21 obsidian electron tubes for Longest or shorter lifespans, 31 for Eon) (across 5 and 8 electrical stimulators respectively).

Singleblock apiaries have an advantage when breeding for stats (not mutations) in that they can be world accelerated (tile entity mode).

Without WA, a bee breeding cycle can't take less than one bee tick (27.5 seconds), but the WA obviously makes those 27.5 seconds pass faster.

If a mutation is high enough likelihood, you may therefore want to do it in a single block instead.

When breeding for stats, you may also want to use a bee house occasionally since it prevents mutations, but you can also avoid mutations by not breeding species that have a mutation.

Mutation: Each electrical stimulator with 4 gold electron tubes boosts mutation by 5x, although mutation math is complicated. 12 gold electron tubes actually is not enough to guarantee 1% mutations due to the BEEKEEPING MODE, but it does reach 93.75%. 8 gold tubes across 2 stimulators is good most of the time, but for the truly obsessed, 13 should be truly bulletproof.

Biomes and Temperature: To account for different temperature and biome requirements it is recommended to have several biomes and temperatures in the base. A basic way to achieve this is to have a base on the border of three biomes (with one being cold, normal and hot ideally) and add a magical forest via a Silverwood tree. For the advanced magician terraforming can be used as well. The witchery Brew of Shifting Seasons is the easiest way to do this, and conveniently for bees its size is very small. The most important biomes to have are: normal temperature (e.g. plains) and a cold biome. Alternatively it is possible to use hygro/temperature regulators in the alveary. One alveary per biome allows you to not rebuild all the time.

Manual Bee Optimization

The most difficult thing in bee breeding is to isolate advantageous bee traits to create a "super bee" for production. As Gendustry is very late game and Genetics is heavily time consuming, a manual but effective way is proposed here. This strategy requires several bee life cycles and is only recommended for bees actually needed for production, x1 Fertility bees or bees with harmful Effects.

With this method you can extract one single trait from a bee without affecting any other trait. Or, remove a specific trait without touching the others. This could be done pre-Alveary with an Oblivion Frame or World Accelerators (tile entity mode) as a one tick bee life is highly recommended for this strategy. The prerequisite for this process is to have a x4 Fertility bee (e.g. wintry bee) as starting point. This strategy is of course also useful to transfer all traits from one species to another. Finally this strategy can be used to breed bees that have a requirement for End flowers (e.g. Dragon Egg) without actually needing one.

How to actually do it: Let's imagine we have a bee with two favorable traits and another bee with one trait that we would like to add to the first bee. (Starter bee has: x4 Fertility and Temp Tolerance +-5) new bee has Humidity Tolerance +-2.

  1. For the starter bee create a lot of offspring (e.g. 32 + Drones)
  2. Transfer the genes to more Princesses (here automation is recommended as many pure Princesses are required)
  3. Pair the starter bee Princess with a Drone that has the new trait.* This is how we can avoid the "End flower" requirement as we only use a Drone
  4. Select from the offspring any bee that has the favorable trait. This might be the new species if you want to transfer traits to a new species
  5. Repeat step 3 and 4 with a new pure bred starter Princess a few times but always use the latest offspring to select from. This is the reason why you need many Princesses, you can put the "used Princess" from step 4 back into the Apiaries to clone it back to the starter genes. Use a Beealyzer to check the progress; if you are low on honey, just do it until the drones stack.
  6. Now you have a Princess + Drone with the starter bee's traits and half of the new trait. E.g. full Fertility x4 + Temp Tolerance +-5 but half Humidity Tolerance +-2. You can now do a few breeding steps where you try to get the double gene Humidity Tolerance in both a Drone and Princess. All other traits should match now anyways so there is no other trait to interfere left. As soon as this is achieved the bees should stack again and you have a new bee with: Fertility x4, Temp Tolerance +-5 and Humidity Tolerance +-2.

*The process can be optimized somewhat by starting with a pure starter Drone and a Princess containing the new trait. Keep using the new Princess with pure starter Drones until the offspring does not contain the new trait anymore. Then continue the process as before with the latest offspring that still has the trait. This way the number of purebred Princesses can be reduced tremendously as many unfavorable traits are diluted out without wasting purebred starter Princesses.

The above process can of course be done with two or even more favorable traits in parallel but that will require a lot of analyzing and many breeding steps to get purebred bees with all the new stats. It might be that one trait is lost on the way there, but this is not a problem as you can simply finish the process and then use a Drone that already has most favorable traits (this reduces the number of steps needed).

When trying to breed multiple stats, count up all the stats you care about and pick the drone that is missing the fewest at each step. For example, if you are breeding a Salt bee with a stock of Stardust bees that have perfect stats, you might only care about Species, Speed, and Cave Dwelling. In that case, a Salt/Stardust drone with Blinding/Slowest Speed and No/No Cave Dwelling would be missing 4 stats, so you would prefer any bee missing 3 or fewer. Sometimes you will have to use your judgment, like preferring bees missing n stats with no stat missing in both slots (the No/No Cave Dwelling stat would be missing in both slots) over those that do have a stat missing in both slots. You will also usually want to do fertility 4x first because it gives more chances for success and shortens the number of breeding generations exponentially.

This strategy can be used to breed all genes at once onto a new bee species with relatively low effort. Even Fertility x1 bees are no problem as you always breed to the starting Princesses that have Fertility x4. Simply treat the species as the trait you want to take in.

5 Botanical Bees

Magic Bees isn't just about thaumcraft anymore! It now has botania and blood magic integration! (It also has thermal foundation and ars magica integration that aren't used in gtnh :P)

There are three notable botania flowers added by magic bees:

  1. Beegonia: converts drones to mana. It's a good way to recycle drones but doesn't make too much mana. The amount it creates is based on how far down in the breeding tree the drone's species is. For example, a wild species drone generates about 186 mana, whereas an infinity drone generates about 1302. Considering a mana pool holds 1000000 mana, that's 768 infinity drones to fill a mana pool, or nearly 2 hours of 3 excess drones a bee tick from a 4x fertility princess whose lifespan has been minimized. It isn't the worst way to make mana, but it's towards the bottom of the pack. However, the other main uses for excess drones are escritoire or dna extractor, so it's great for recycling.
  2. Hiveacynth: creates random ignoble hive bees. Good if you decide to shun conventional wisdom and embrace ignobles. You also can use it in conjunction with the next flower. It has a 91% chance to make a drone and only a 9% chance to make a princess each time it generates a bee. Each bee it generates has a 10% chance to be forced to be a Tolerant Flyer.
  3. Hibeescus: convert ignoble princesses to pristine. It takes 40 minutes and 10000 mana (1% of a mana pool), and it's IV, but it's pretty good especially if you hate exploring. It can be world accelerated, if you have the mana. You can use the alveary swarmer to get good ignobles directly, or just use the hiveacynth and breed them to be good later (easier to automate). This is also useful with the mutatron because it has a chance to turn pristine bees ignoble.

There are also three species of Botania related bees that are not bred and must be obtained other ways:

  1. Botanic Bee: Throw a Rooted drone into a mana pool
  2. Alfheim Bee: Throw a Dreaming drone through the elven portal
  3. Vazbee Bee: Throw a Floral PRINCESS into a mana pool with an alchemy catalyst

6 Magic Apiaries: Meme or No Meme

If you have a high commitment to magic and wish to use the base Blood Frames, magic apiaries are better than apiaries.

You still can't IO frames in Magic Apiaries, but Alastor's Blood Magic frames are powered by LP instead of durability, so you can now achieve a permanent production boost as long as you've automated LP!

When boosted (using mana or centivis), not only does the magic apiary's base production modifier go from -0.1 to +0.8, it also gains a mutation modifier of 2x and a lifespan modifier of 0.5x.

Magic apiaries are also a lot cheaper than alvearies once you've bred the required bees (at least until you have tons and tons of bees running nonstop and probably a precise assembler to make alvearies actually fast, or just have switched to industrial apiaries).

The drawback is that they require over twice as much breeding to get started, their max production modifier is +6.8, and they don't have climate control.

Oh, you'll also need an energized node OR mana apiary booster.

The magic apiary is outclassed by the alveary and industrial apiary in pretty much every way besides cost, unless you are very dedicated to blood magic.

7 Genetics: Gendustry lite

The Genetics mod adds a lot of machines, but it mainly has two uses: increasing tolerance with the acclimatizer, and genetically modifying larvae which can be incubated into drones. Both of these can be accomplished other ways, but if you can't stand breeding for stats then check out the genetics mod.

7.1 Acclimatizer

This machine can work on any bee, and doesn't need you to get into the rest of the mod. Depending on the catalyst item you give it, it has a chance per catalyst item of increasing temperature/humidity tolerance up/down/both. The changes to the tolerance are heritable. This is very convenient and easier than breeding once you set up the required machines.

Genetics machines have pretty good NEI support so check out the acclimatizer there.

However, stardust bees already have both 2 tolerance in temperature and humidity, so if you follow my advice you'll already have that soon after the alveary.

Both 2 humidity is sufficient to ignore humidity (outside of specialty products obviously), and both 2 temperature will suffice to allow any bee that doesn't prefer hellish to work in normal.

So outside of hellish temperature, stardust bees basically do the same thing as the acclimatizer, but the latter is easier.

There are also bees with both 3 tolerances, and even both 5.

7.2 Gene Editing

You can also use other machines from Genetics to extract, copy, and insert any genetic traits.

Extracting is chance based and you can just copy bees by breeding them anyway, but extracted genes are reusable and does not kill the target.

You will first want some incubators. These are needed to create different kinds of bacteria, make enzyme and growth medium, and incubate larvae into drones.

Once you have each kind of bacteria, you can instead use an incubator to multiply it, which is cheaper. You don't need to dedicate an incubator to each recipe if you don't want to. You can batch craft bacteria instead.

Growth medium can also be made in the gregtech brewery, and the bacteria can be made in the bio vat, although the latter is quite complicated and beyond the scope of this humble tutorial.

You will probably want at least 2 incubators, one to make enzyme, and one to incubate drones and multiply your bacteria supplies if they run low.

  1. get some bees which have the stats you want. The more stats they have that you want the better, since it extracts a random one, but it will still eventually work with only one stat you care about.
  2. for some traits like fertility, you can find wild bees that have them, like wintry.
  3. the isolator gets traits off of bees, the genepool converts bees into raw DNA (this kills the bee) which is used by some other machines.
  4. these traits/genes can be amplified in the polymerizer (technically optional for this part, AND can be replaced by the thaumic restorer) and then scanned in the sequencer. If you place scanned samples in a chest, the hologlasses will show them as only one stack if they are the same. Once your sample is successfully scanned, you'll be able to select that gene in the gene database for making serum arrays.
  5. then use the gene database to create a serum array with the traits you care about. You can select from any traits you've discovered in the gene database. This will overwrite the traits of larvae. It has durability, I'm not sure if it can be repaired.
  6. serum arrays need to be polymerized before they can be used. You can also use the polymerized to make extracted genes work faster in the sequencer, but the Thaumic Restorer can cheese this. It can't cheese the required polymerization before serum arrays can be used.
  7. now you need to generate larvae, so use a hatchery in your alveary and you will get larvae. The hatchery has a 1/2400 chance each game tick to create a larva, so it generates one every 2 minutes on average. These larvae are genetic copies of the princess/queen.
  8. once you take a larva and apply a serum array to it, the serum array will overwrite any traits that were set in it, and any other traits will remain unaltered.
  9. now use the incubator to turn the larva into a drone.
  10. breed the drone with any princess.

You will want many drones so you can repeat this step over and over until the princess has the genes you want, if you want to be able to semi automate it and not have to check the offspring and do selective breeding like you normally would.

No, you cannot turn larvae directly into princesses. The hive swarmer can do that although they will be Ignoble and Genetics won't be able to edit their genes.

8 Gendustry

Gendustry has a gene editing system which is similar to Genetics but with two great improvements: genetic templates don't have durability, and you can edit drones, princesses, and even queens directly. Pro tip: edit queens.

The only disadvantages are that extracting Gendustry gene samples kills the bee you extract from, which is extremely minor since drones are free, and gendustry is very gated.

Imprinting also has a chance to kill the input bee, but the mutatron makes purebred bees so you can and should make sure to breed drones and extract their genes until you get the species.

You will need LuV and Naquadah bees to make these machines. Some (the gene editing machines but not the mutatron) even require Europium, and the mutagen producer is ZPM (so in LuV you have to use the bacterial vat to get mutagen).

Gendustry also provides the mutatron, which can do almost any mutation, ignoring requirements and randomness. Ignoring the randomness is not very useful because mutation can already be boosted super easily, but there are some niche cases when the ability to ignore other requirements comes in very handy.

However, some bees are blacklisted from the mutatron. In particular, the holiday bees (Leoprine, Merry, Tipsy, and Tricky), the Chad Bee, Cosmic Neutronium, Infinity Catalyst, Infinity, Indium, Americium, Kevlar, and Drake. The first 5 can be cheesed by changing your computer's time / your username. The last 2 are not blacklisted in some older versions. The mutatron is especially useful for space bees in a no space playthrough. The Indium bee also has an alternative, much harder alternate way to breed it for no space players.

The mutatron has a 30% chance to make pristine princesses ignoble, and an 80% chance to kill ignoble princesses, so the Hibeescus is a recommended companion for it.

When two species have more than one non-blacklisted mutation, one is chosen at random.

The advanced mutatron lets you pick but is much much more expensive than the basic mutatron (ZPM).

The mutagen producer makes mutagen without the need for the bacterial vat, but it is ZPM.

The DNA extractor is needed to fuel most other machines.

The protein liquifier is only used for the genetic replicator.

The genetic replicator can make princesses out of just genes and protein+dna, but they will be Ignoble (not very useful imo, use the genetic imprinter).

The genetic transposer can make copies of genes, which is useful when you want the same gene in multiple templates, but remember that the templates can be reused indefinitely.

The genetic imprinter applies all genes in a template to a bee, which can be a drone, princess, or queen (so just apply it directly to queens). Any gene not in the template will be unchanged. It does have a chance to kill the bee being imprinted, so if it is a new species make sure to either breed drones and extract the species trait first, or just ignore the problem and hit up the mutatron again if you get unlucky.

Finally, the genetic sampler is used to extract genes from bees. This KILLS the bee, unlike genetics mod, but otherwise Gendustry is much easier to use since genes are extracted directly as items and you only need one kind of fuel ever (dna).

9 Exact Production Math for 24 Significant Figure Fiends

So, you've come to learn the forbidden numbers?

If you are playing in a version after 2.4, I have blessed you with an improved Waila display for all bee housings (Apiary, Bee House, Magic Apiary, Alveary, and Industrial Apiary).

The Waila HUD should now include a section that says "Effective production: b^0.52 *", where is some number and b is the literal letter b.

What this means is that if you plug in the base chance of a product as a percentage, for example 35, for b, you can calculate the adjusted chance by just raising it to 0.52 and multiplying by the number that Waila tells you, which already has all the other modifiers baked in.

You should still read the rest of this section though so that you understand how this chance caps at 100%, how primary products are rolled twice, and just some other general details.

Check out #Appendix: Bee Production Examples if this sounds like nonsense.

In 2.3.4+, the adjusted probability PERCENT (effective percent chance to get a product each bee tick) is

  min(2.8*c^0.52*(m + t)^0.52*s^0.37, 100)

where c is the base production chance PERCENT (ie out of 100), m is the production modifier from the housing, t is the tier of the housing, and s is the speed value of the bee (see #Appendix: Traits, ranges from 0.3-2).

The values for m start at -0.9 for apiary, -0.75 for bee house, -0.1 for unboosted magic apiary, +0.8 for boosted magic apiary, +0 for alveary, or +2 for iapiary.

This is then added to modifiers for frames (see #Appendix: Frames), stimulators (see stimulator section above), and beekeeping mode (+0 unless you changed it).

The values for t are 1 for apiary, bee house, magic apiary, and alveary, and 8 for the iapiary.

Until 2.2.8, the formula was

  min(c*m*s, 100)

In 2.2.8-2.2.10, the formula was

  min((1 + t/6)*2*(1 + s)*sqrt(c) + (m/4)^cbrt(c) - 3, 100)

Also until 2.3.4 production modifiers were multiplicative, so almost all production modifiers were 1 higher and multiplicative, with the exceptions being the magic, resilient, and blood frames which were exactly the same, and the frames that are -9001 in 2.4 were 0x before 2.3.4.

There is some weirdness in between 2.3.4 and 2.4 due to oversights with the original additive production change. In particular, in 2.3.4 the production modifier in the base modifier class is still 1, so every modifier that should not affect production, including the base modifier of most housings or modifiers for frames that don't affect production, actually increases it by 1 instead. For the same reason in 2.3.4, Oblivion Frames and other things that are supposed to set production to 0 or decrease it actually just don't affect it or increase it slightly.

Therefore in 2.3.4 only it's possible for setups that were safe before to make your pristine bees ignoble, so be careful about that.

I fixed this bug in 2.3.5 iirc, so now production modifiers are a little worse, but at least you can hit +16 exactly in the alveary now since I made the nerf also apply to electron tubes inside stimulators (meaning if you use more of them than you would have needed in older versions, you actually come out ahead).

Now we will do some calculations using the 2.3.4+ formula. We will assume blinding production speed bees (ie s = 2) in a non-gregtech housing (ie t = 1). This lets us simplify the formula to

  min(3.6186*(c)^0.52*(1+m)^0.52, 100).

This is only the first half of the story though. Now let's look at how the adjusted probability percent is used.

Every bee tick, products are calculated in three steps:

  1. For every possible primary product for the primary species of the queen, calculate its adjusted probability and then generate one with that probability.
  2. For every possible primary product of the secondary species of the queen, divide its base probability by two, use that to calculate an adjusted probability, and then generate the product with that probability. For purebred bees, the secondary species is the same as the primary species.
  3. If both the primary and secondary species are jubilant, for every possible specialty product of the primary species, calculate its adjusted probability and then generate one with that probability.

For purebred bees, the primary and secondary species are the same.

Before 2.2.10, outside of the iapiary there was a bug where only primary products with an adjusted probability of 100% would get that second roll.

In the mega apiary, adjusted probabilities are treated differently and don't cap at 100%, so you can get huge multipliers.

So what are the best production modifiers to use? When is production guaranteed to cap out?

Well, the soft cap on the production modifier before there is a chance for ignoble bees is +16, so we can solve the formula for the highest base chance that gets sent to 100:

  3.6186*c^0.52*(1+16)^0.52 >= 100
  15.7897*c^0.52 >= 100
  c^0.52 >= 6.3333
  c >= 34.8010

So any output that has a base chance of 35% or higher will be guaranteed with a production modifier of +16 (and blinding speed in an alveary/non-gt housing).

However, for primary products, if the base chance is below 70% then the second roll with half the chance will not be guaranteed.

For m = +6.8 (max for the magic apiary), the cutoff for the first roll to be guaranteed is 76% or higher, so the second roll cannot be guaranteed.

For m = +5.1 (max for the apiary), the cutoff for the first roll is 86%.

m = +590.6163 would be needed to boost 1% to 100%, or +1182.2326 for the second roll ... and these are obviously both unobtainable. See Ignoble Bee section for more discussion of very large m.

Finally, for the industrial apiary, t = 8 and m ranges from 2 to 17.2 (bees can't become ignoble in the iapiary). At the low end (m = 2), the cutoff for the first roll is 60%. At the high end (m = 17.2), the cutoff is 24%, or 47% for the second roll.

10 But What About the Industrial Apiary

The Industrial Apiary, aka iapiary, is a very power hungry advanced bee housing.

It has upgrades similar to the alveary, but they are mostly more limited.

Its biggest advantage is the speed upgrades you can give it which act as built in world accelerators.

It is extremely good in late IV when you can either have one with very high speed upgrades or a lot with moderate speed upgrades.

In addition to the speed upgrades, it gets an inherent production boost due to having a tier value t of 8 instead of 1 like the apiary, alveary, etc (don't worry about what this means just read the waila display if you are in a version after 2.4).

Each one takes about 1/6th the power of a real world accelerator in tile mode of the same tier, and costs about 1/6th of a WA of that tier, to simulate the fact that you could also just cluster 6 normal apiaries/magic apiaries around one regular WA, and then ponder how to power it (there are actually some ways).

Also, the hassle of giving frames to those apiaries (only possible with manual intervention or the blood magic frames) is considerable. A maxed out magic apiary has an effective production (in 2.3.5+) of "b^0.52 * 10.53", but the industrial apiary has an effective production of "b^0.52 * 11.34" with NO production upgrades. AND the former will still take almost as much power to WA and more importantly require a constant supply of botania mana and a lot of blood magic LP.

In other words, the Industrial Apiary is very good.

The other upgrades take less power, but still a lot, so you should try to breed your bees to not need them.

However, the production upgrades were basically useless until the new new bee formula in 2.3.4, and now they are useful for sufficiently rare outputs.

We just saw exactly how the rate bees produce things is calculated. The industrial apiary uses the same formula, but calculates t and m differently and can apply built in world acceleration.

The base m value for the iapiary is 2 with no production upgrades, or 4*1.2^n for 1 <= n <= 8 production upgrades. The tier 8 speed upgrade with built in production upgrade gives both an m of 4*1.2^8 = 17.2 and 256x time acceleration in a single upgrade slot.

Since the tier value t is 8 instead of 1 and production upgrades costs go up exponentially with speed upgrades, but its cost as a fraction of the total cost goes down exponentially, so in fact production upgrades become more worth it at higher tiers.

The power consumption (EU/t) is

  • a*37*2^n if n is 0 or 1
  • 148*a + 32 if n is 2
  • a*37*2^n + 8*4^n otherwise

where n is the tier of speed upgrade installed (or 0 for none), and a is the modifier from installed upgrades, which is multiplicative and starts at 1.

So with a tier 8 speed upgrade and no others, it would consume 533760 EU/t. Note that a tier n WA takes 48*4^n, so this is always a bit more than 1/6th.

10.1 Industrial Upgrades

  1. Speed Upgrades: These come in 8 tiers, and each one speeds up the iapiary by a factor of 2^n. This is done by just literally making everything, including bee ticks, that many times faster, and incurs a power cost similar to a world accelerator, discussed above. None of the speed upgrades (besides the speed 8 upgrade with production upgrade) increase the cost multiplier a, only the world acceleration tier n. The parameter t passed to the production formula is always 8, and does not depend on n at all
  2. Speed 8 + Production Upgrade: This acts exactly like a tier 8 speed upgrade and 8 production upgrades in the same slot
  3. Production Upgrade: You can have up to 8 of these. Each increases m by +0.25, from the base value for an iapiary of 0. Each also increases a by 1.4x.
  4. Plains Upgrade: Sets biome to plains (base temperature 0.8 normal, base humidity 0.4 normal, tags: PLAINS), increase a by 1.2x
  5. Light Upgrade: Lets the bee work regardless of time of day, increase a by 1.05x. Using diurnal+nocturnal bees is preferred, especially once you have gendustry and can just imprint them
  6. Flowering Upgrade: Increases flowering and pollination rate by 1.2x, increase a by 1.1x, limit of 8. Unique effect, but only useful for forestry tree breeding
  7. Winter Upgrade: Sets the biome to taiga (base temperature 0.25 cold, base humidity 0.8 normal) and increases a by 1.5x
  8. Dryer Upgrade: Changes the humidity modifier by -0.25 (on a 0.0-1.0 scale I believe), increase a by 1.05x, limit of 8
  9. Automation Upgrade: Automatically moves the princess and first drone offspring back into the input slots so they immediately recombine. Increase a by 1.1x. Yes you can just use conduits but this completely eliminates time between "generations" so it's honestly a decent upgrade.
  10. Humidifier Upgrade: Changes the humidity modifier by +0.25 (on a 0.0-1.0 scale) and increases a by 1.1x, limit of 8
  11. Hell Upgrade: Sets the biome to hell (temperature override to hellish, base temperature 2.0 hot, base humidity 0.0 arid, tags: HOT,DRY,NETHER), increase a by 1.5x
  12. Pollen Upgrade: Reduces flowering/pollination to 0, and increases a by 1.3x. Giving your bees a flowers trait that doesn't spread flowers/pollen is preferred, especially once you have gendustry and can just imprint them
  13. Desert Upgrade: Sets biome to desert (base temperature 2.0 hot, base humidity 0.0 arid, tags: HOT,DRY,SANDY) and increase a by 1.2x
  14. Cooler Upgrade: Changes the temperature modifier by -0.25 (on a 0.0-1.0 scale), increases a by 1.05x, limit of 8
  15. Lifespan Upgrade: Cuts lifespan by 1.5x, and increases a by 1.05x, limit of 4. Not as much of a breeding speed upgrade as tiering up your speed upgrades, but possibly cheaper
  16. Seal Upgrade: Let the bees ignore rain, increase a by 1.05x. Putting tolerant flyer on your bees or changing your personal dim to never rain is preferred since those are free and save you slots for other upgrades if needed.
  17. Stabilizer Upgrade: Lets you use Ignoble bees without them ever dying. Increases a by 2.5x. Hibeescus is preferred
  18. Jungle Upgrade: Set biome to jungle (base temperature 0.95 warm, base humidity 0.9 humid, tags: HOT,DENSE,WET,JUNGLE), increase a by 1.2x
  19. Territory Upgrade: Increase range by 1.5x, increase a by 1.05x, limit of 4
  20. Ocean Upgrade: Set biome to ocean (base temperature 0.5 normal, base humidity 0.5 normal, tags: OCEAN), increase a by 1.2x
  21. Sky Upgrade: Pretend the bee is cave dwelling, increase a by 1.05x. Putting cave dwelling on your bees is preferred, especially once you have gendustry.
  22. Heater Upgrade: Increases temperature modifier by +0.25 (on a 0.0-1.0 scale), increase a by 1.05x, limit of 8
  23. Sieve Upgrade: Similar to pollen upgrade except it doesn't actually stop flowering and it gives you pollen and it only increases a by 1.05x

To be clear, the incremental climate upgrades work on a scale from 0.0-1.0, which is just the scale of 0.0-100.0 shown by forestry and ingame xml info but scaled down by a factor of 100. Temperatures and humidities can still go outside of that range.

Here are some examples:

Energy Usage (EU/t)
Other Upgrades 0 Speed 4 5 8
None 37 2640 9376 533760
8 Prod 546 10784 25665 664074
Auto 40 2699 9494 534707
Jungle, 4 Cool 53 2911 9918 538103
Auto, 8 Prod 600 11658 27412 678053
Auto, Jungle, 4 Cool 59 2997 10091 539485
8 Prod, Jungle, 4 Cool 796 14791 33678 728181
all the above 876 16065 36227 748571

10.2 Climate Table for non-Witches

Arid Normal Damp
Icy Ocean -2T -1H Ocean -2T Jungle -4T
Cold Ocean -1T -1H Ocean -1T Jungle -3T
Normal Ocean -1H Ocean Jungle -1T
Warm Desert -4T Ocean +2T Jungle
Hot Desert Jungle +1T -1H Jungle +1T
Hellish Nether Nether +2H Nether +4H

Note that you can generally replace one Cooler upgrade with moving the iapiary from sea level (y=64) up to y=214+.

11 Ignoble Bee Enjoyer Manifesto

Pristine Bees are great. As long as the production multiplier of their habitat is kept at or below x16, they can cycle forever without any worry about not getting back a princess for the next generation. However, it can be such a hassle to explore the world, trade with villagers, or buy hives in the QB. And all those ignoble bees ... they're just sitting in your chests doing nothing. Surely they can used for something?

Ignoble bees offer a few advantages over pristine:

  1. Ignobles are easier to get renewably, since you can use the Alveary Swarmer, Hivecynth, or just extra hive princesses;
  2. Exceeding the 16x production multiplier doesn't matter since the princess/queen is already ignoble.
  3. They can be used in the Industrial Apiary or Mega Apiary forever since both simulate the outputs.
  4. The Hibeescus slowly makes ignoble princesses become pristine using mana. Available in IV tier.

Since production is capped at 100% the ability to exceed a x16 production modifier has limited utility. The Alveary cannot be WA'd so increasing the chance of a product comes at the cost of needing to mitigate genetic decay AND losing access to WA. You would almost certainly be better off just making more alvearies or whatever.

Also, ignoble bees have a 2% times genetic decay chance to die each lifespan. You can mitigate this by giving them a longer lifespan, using lifespan multipliers, and using gentle frames.

Pristine Bees that exceed the +16 production modifier soft cap have a 1.56% chance of becoming ignoble each bee tick at +16+ε, up to 100% at +100.5.

So to make the most out of ignoble bees, we need to get the production modifier as high as possible and also shrink the genetic decay as low as possible, ideally to a subnormal number.

Before the additive production nerf, getting production high enough that even a 1% primary product would always get both rolls was possible. Now, the most production each modifier can contribute is +6 from an electrical stimulator with 4 diamond tubes, so we can get to an absolute maximum of +102 by having 17 of these.

Now for the second point, the good people over at forestry decided to use floats for their random number generation. The average programmer believes that Random.nextFloat() returns a real number uniformly distributed between 0 and 1.

However, this is not the case. Instead, it generates a random integer uniformly distributed between 0 and 2²⁴-1 (both inclusive) and then divides it by 2²⁴.

This means if you have 3 gentle frames, there is only a 1/2²⁴ chance of an ignoble princess dying instead of producing another generation.

If you could put 22 gentle frames, due to limits of floating point numbers, the chance of ignoble bees dying would actually become 0, but unfortunately you can only fit 17 at most. Because of how Random.nextFloat() works, there's absolutely no point using more than 3 gentle frames unless you can get to 22 (or are using stimulators/frames that increase genetic decay), this is merely a fun curiosity.

The expected number of lifetimes an ignoble princess will last after stacking enough gentle frames to bring her genetic decay under 1/2²⁴ is, obviously, 2²⁴. So if she is Eon, she should last 8772 real life years on average before decaying.

If we want to keep 0.02 times genetic decay under 1/2²⁴, how many diamond electron tubes can we afford?.

Let d be the number of diamond electron tubes, and g the number of gentle frames.

We need

  0.02 * 0.01^g * 1.5^d <= 1/2²⁴, g + d/4 <= 17
  log(0.02) + g*log(0.01) + d*log(1.5) <= 24*log(0.5), g <= 17 - d/4
  d*log(1.5) <= 24*log(0.5) - g*log(0.01) - log(0.02) <= 24*log(0.5) - (17 - d/4)*log(0.01) - log(0.02)
  d*log(1.5) <= 24*log(0.5) - (17 - d/4)*log(0.01) - log(0.02)
  d*log(1.5) <= 24*log(0.5) - 17*log(0.01) + d/4*log(0.01) - log(0.02)
  d*(log(1.5) - 0.25*log(0.01)) <= 24*log(0.5) - 17*log(0.01) - log(0.02)
  d <= (24*log(0.5) - 17*log(0.01) - log(0.02))/(log(1.5) - 0.25*log(0.01))
  d <= (24*-0.6931 - 17*-4.6052 - -3.912)/(0.4055 - 0.25*-4.6052)
  d <= 65.5644/1.5568
  d <= 42.1

But 42 diamond electron tubes is not actually permissible because if we hold the inequality tight we would need 6.5 gentle frames.

We can check that 42 and 6 don't work, and 41 and 6 don't work, but 40 and 7 does work.

40 diamond electron tubes leads to a production modifier of +60, meaning products with a base chance >= 10% are guaranteed to get a first roll and primary products with a base chance >=20% are guaranteed a second roll.

This means that not only are ignoble princesses easier to get than pristines, but they can also offer a higher production per bee cycle for primary products under 70% and secondary under 35%, without compromising longevity most of the time.

But this requires too much effort to be worth it since alvearies cannot be WA'd.

Remember that you have to keep all these gentle frames repaired for this setup to work, by either constantly crafting more or automatically thaumic-restoring them.

It's also possible to automate creating ignoble princesses, either using an extra alveary with an automated swarmer, using a hivecynth to make basic ignoble princesses and then gendustry'ing them, or using opencomputers or something to automate trading with villagers.

12 Exact Mutation Math for Non-Commutative Nerds

So, how EXACTLY does mutation work?

Well, you could read [Bee.createOffspring()], or you could heed my wisdom.

Let A and B be the primary and secondary species of the original princess, and C and D be the primary and secondary species of the original drone.

For each offspring (princess and drones) generated, it will use the original princess as the first parent and the original drone as the second.

There is a 50% chance that it will TRY to replace the original princess (first parent) with a mutation between A and D, and 50% that it will TRY to replace it with a mutation between B and C.

The same thing occurs for the original drone (second parent).

Notice that this is probably not what the devs intended, because it isn't possible to get a mutation between A and C or B and D. But that's what they wrote.

When trying to do a mutation between say A and D, it tries all the possible mutations in order.

So if there are no possible mutations for A+D, this always fails and that parent isn't replaced.

On the other hand, if there are multiple possible mutations, it's possible for a previous one to be picked and the one we care about not to be reached, and possible for it to be reached, fail, and then have a later mutation succeed. Mutations with missing requirements are effectively skipped.

Then, for each heritable trait, it pulls either the primary or secondary from each parent, in a random order, ie the first parent's trait could end up in the second slot.

Let X0, X1, and X2 be the possible mutations between A and D, and Y0, Y1, and Y2 be the possible mutations between B and C, in order.

I'm assuming the code uses a consistent ordering among all mutations. Such an ordering obviously exists, but it's definitely possible the code doesn't use one. This doesn't really matter since I only know of four cases where a pair of species has two possible mutations: the initial split in the imperial/industrious line, the initial split in the magic bees starting line, the initial split in the valuable bee line, and crumbling vs transmuting. None of these even have 3+ possible mutations, only 2.

Regardless, you can think of X0, X2, Y0, and Y2 not as single species but as collections of 0+ species, to account for all these cases.

Then let p0, p1, p2, q0, q1, and q2 be the probabilities of getting the corresponding mutations, conditioned on not getting any previous mutation, ie their adjusted base probabilities.

When eg X0 is an empty collection, p0 will be 0 to match.

Finally, we will denote the complement of a probability p as p' rather than (1-p) as the following formula is quite overzealous already.

All possible offspring genotypes ignoring order can then be found using the formula

  ¼(m² + ½mn(A + B + C + D) + ¼n²(A + B)(C + D))

where m = p0X0 + p0'p1X1 + p0'p1'p2X2 + q0Y0 + q0'q1Y1 + q0'q1'q2Y2 and n = p0'p1'p2' + q0'q1'q2'.

By expanding this expression and finding the coefficient for, say, AX1, we find the probability of getting an offspring with genotype AX1 or X1A.

Let's go through what happens when we apply this to the typical breeding scenario where B=A and D=C. Then by definition Yi=Xi and qi=pi and the formula simplifies to

  ¼(m² + mn(A + C) + n²AC)

with m = 2(p0X0 + p0'p1X1 + p0'p1'p2X2) and n = 2p0'p1'p2'.

Now let's say we want to know the probability of getting at least one X1 species.

Then we would have to add the coefficients of AX1, CX1, X1X1, X0X1, and X2X1, so let's find those.

Notice that the expression is split into three parts:

  1. m², which contains all genotypes with 2 mutations
  2. mn(A + C), which contains all genotypes with 1 mutation
  3. n²AC, which contains the unique genotype AC with no mutations
  [AX1] = [CX1] = p0'p1'p2'p0'p1
  [X0X1] = 2p0p0'p1
  [X1X1] = (p0'p1)²
  [X2X1] = 2p0'p1'p2p0'p1

In the case when there's only 1 possible mutation, p0=p2=0, so p0'=p2'=1, and we get

  [AX1] = [CX1] = p1'p1
  [X1X1] = p1²
  [X0X1] = [X2X1] = 0.

That agrees with the result we got for Meadows-Meadows x Wintry-Wintry earlier.

Now let's find tables for all 14 non uniform pairs of bees with species from A and B with one mutation C with probability p.

  • AAxBB and BBxAA:
  AB+BA: (1-p)²
  AC+BC+CA+CB: 2p(1-p)
  CC: p²
Probability of at least one C: 2p-p²
  • AAxAB, AAxBA, ABxAA, and BAxAA:
  CC: ¼p²
  CA+AC: ¾p(1-½p)
  CB+BC: ¼p(1-½p)
  AA: ¼(2-2p+½p²)
  AB+BA: ¼(2-2p+½p²)
Probability of at least one C: p-¼p²
  • BBxBA, BBxAB, BAxBB, and ABxBB are obviously the same as the previous table but with A and B swapped (if cross breeding weren't label agnostic it would be nonsensical).
  • ABxAB and BAxBA:
  CC: p²
  CA+CB+AC+BC: 2p(1-p)
  AA+BB+AB+BA: (1-p)²
Probability of at least one C: 2p-p²
  • ABxBA and BAxAB (cursed hybrids):
  AA+BB+AB+BA: 1
Probability of at least one C: 0
(No mutations due to likely dev oversight.)

(The uniform pairs AAxAA and BBxBB aren't interesting. In the case when A+A has a mutation, the chances can be recovered by setting B=A in the AAxBB table.)

Appendix: Bee Production Examples

Suppose we have a bee with a product "bananas" that has a base chance of 5%. How many bananas per hour would we get with some different setups? We will assume the bee has blinding production speed and we are working in 2.2.8.

Alveary: 15.625x Electron Tubes

We start with the general formula

   min((1 + t/6)*2*(1 + s)*sqrt(c) + (m/4)^cbrt(c) - 3, 100)

Since we are not in a gregtech housing, t is 1. For blinding, s is 2. We said the base chance c for bananas was 5. For the standard 1 board with 2 diamond tubes and 1 with 1 alveary setup, m is 15.625.

So we get

   min((1 + 1/6)*2*(1 + 2)*sqrt(5) + (15.625/4)^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(7*sqrt(5) + 3.90625^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(22.93..., 100)

This is the percent chance of generating a banana each bee tick. Since we are in 2.2.8 and bananas do not have a base chance of 100%, there is no second roll. Thus, each bee tick, we get 0.2293 bananas. The alveary cannot be world accelerated. Therefore, the number of bananas we expect to get in 1 hour is

   0.2293... bananas/bee tick * 1 bee tick/27.5 seconds * 60 seconds/1 minute * 60 minutes/1 hour
   30.01... bananas/hour.

Alveary: 16x Frames

   min((1 + 1/6)*2*(1 + 2)*sqrt(5) + (16/4)^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(7*sqrt(5) + 4^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(23.35..., 100)
   30.57... bananas/hour = 0.2335/27.5*3600

As you can see, the increase from 15.625x to 16x is quite small.

Alveary: Ignoble, capped production

Now let's look at how much we'd have to boost the production to get to the 100% cap, and see how many more bananas we could squeeze out of ignoble bees.

First, we have to find the production multiplier needed to cap production. To do this, we start by setting the production formula equal to 100, and then solve for m:

   min((1 + 1/6)*2*(1 + 2)*sqrt(5) + (m/4)^cbrt(5) - 3, 100) == 100
   min(12.65... + (m/4)^1.7099..., 100) == 100
   12.65... + (m/4)^1.7099... >= 100
   (m/4)^1.7099 >= 87.35...
   m/4 >= 13.66...
   m >= 54.62...

We can get a high enough m either by using 6 2x frames, giving a multiplier of 64x, or by using 1 electrical stimulator with 2 diamond tubes and 1 with 1 iron then 2 diamond, giving a multiplier of 58.59375x.

  • In the first case, we need 9 frame housings (6 for 2x frames and 3 for gentle frames).
  • In the second case, we need 4 frame housings (for gentle frames) and 2 electrical stimulators.

In both cases, we reach the production cap, so our bees will make a banana every bee tick, and we will get

   130.90... bananas/hour.

Thus, by using ignoble bees, we make the setup much more complicated because we need to automate or auto repair gentle frames, but we need 4.28x fewer alvearies. Is this worth it? It's up to you. It could be worth it simply because you think it sounds fun. Notice that 130 products/hour is always what we'll get when correctly enjoying ignoble bees, unless the primary production bug has been fixed in your version in which case you get twice as many. Alvearies cannot be world accelerated so this production rate is final.

Magic Apiary: HV WA and Booster, no frames

That's right, I still haven't tested if frames can be automated in the magic apiary.

The magic apiary has a base m value of 1.8x when boosted, so we will first find the production chance each bee tick and then discuss world acceleration.

   min((1 + 1/6)*2*(1 + 2)*sqrt(5) + (1.8/4)^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(7*sqrt(5) + 0.45^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(12.90..., 100)
   0.1290... bananas/bee tick * 1 bee tick/27.5 seconds * 8x (HV world accelerator) * 3600 seconds/hour
   135.09... bananas/hour

Notice though that if you can't/don't automate frames, then this is basically the same as an unboosted (but still world accelerated) magic apiary, or even a regular apiary, which reach an adjusted probability percent of 12.73... and 12.65..., respectively.

In other words, using the magic apiary over a regular apiary is only worth it if you give it frames.

Remember, a WA can apply to 5 apiaries/magic apiaries at the same time, so it effectively costs one fifth as much to WA each one.

Magic Apiary: HV WA and Booster, 8x Frames

Now, m is 1.8x times 8x

   min((1 + 1/6)*2*(1 + 2)*sqrt(5) + (14.4/4)^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(7*sqrt(5) + 3.6^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(21.59..., 100)
   226.11... bananas/hour = 0.2159.../27.5*8*3600

Mmm, banana. Assuming we have 5 of these, the average cost to WA each is 614.4 EU/t.

Industrial Apiary: Tier 3 Speed upgrade, 8 production upgrades

For the industrial apiary, t is 8 instead of 1, so the first term in the nerfed formula formula literally doubles to start. Unfortunately, even with max production upgrades it only gets an m of 0.25.

   min((1 + 8/6)*2*(1 + 2)*sqrt(5) + (2/4)^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(14*sqrt(5) + 0.5^cbrt(5) - 3, 100)
   min(28.61..., 100)

Not only is this the best adjusted probability we've seen so far barring ignoble bee memes, but we also get a speed upgrade of 8x on top of this:

   299.63... bananas/hour = 0.2861.../27.5*8*3600

The downside of course is that the industrial apiary is expensive and guzzles power, especially if you want to spam them. But you know what they say, you gotta have money to make money. In particular, it will cost 808 EU/t.

Mega Apiary


Appendix: Climate

To get a list of biomes including climate information, go into NEI setting and find the data dump option for biomes. This will produce a list of biomes in <instance>/dumps/biomes.csv.

For temperature, t≤0 is Icy, 0<t≤35 is Cold, 35<t≤85 is Normal, 85<t≤100 is Warm, 100<t is Hot. However, if and only if the biome is a nether biome (has the tag NETHER) or you have a Blazing Electron Tube (alveary) / Hell Upgrade (iapiary), the temperature is Hellish.

For humidity, h<30 is Arid, 30≤h≤85 is Normal, and 85<h is Damp.

Above y=64, temperature slowly decreases and humidity very slowly increases as y increases. For temperature I believe the reduction is by (y-64)/6 on the 0-100 scale that forestry displays, aka (y-64)/600 on the 0-1 scale used internally.

You can look through a biome list, or you can use this table to find a biome to change to using Brew of the Shifting Seasons

Arid Normal Damp
Icy Glacier Cold Taiga Snowy Forest (elevated)
Cold Thornlands Taiga Snowy Forest
Normal Shrubland Plains Swampland
Warm Oak Savanna JungleEdge Jungle
Hot Desert Lush Desert Tropical Rainforest
Hellish Hell Plains (Blazing Electron Tube ) Jungle (Blazing Electron Tube)

There are no biomes that are Icy/Damp at sea level, so you will have to go to a high y level in a Snowy Forest to get Icy/Damp without climate upgrades.

All Hellish biomes have a base humidity of 0.0, and the effects of elevation on humidity are not significant enough to change this away from Arid, so if you want Hellish/Normal or Hellish/Damp this is only possible in an alveary or iapiary.

Note that in the alveary, Blazing electron tubes just force the temperature category to Hellish. If a mutation requires an exact temperature or a Nether biome, make sure you have that, eg by using a Hell biome with 2 or 5 hygroregulators.

Appendix: Traits

  1. Species: determines preferred temperature and humidity, plus what items the bee can produce. Secondary species does affect this too, recall that both species must be jubilant to get specialty products from the primary species, and primary products from the secondary species may occur (half as often in lieu of bugs). Most of the time we deal with purebred bees though.
  2. Lifespan: shortest-eon; how many bee ticks (27.5 seconds) the bee lives for. Don't worry about this. Lifespan modifiers affect this, ie number of bee ticks not duration of bee tick, so once you have the technology you can make your bees only live 1 bee tick.
    Name (number of bee ticks):
    • Shortest (10)
    • Shorter (20)
    • Short (30)
    • Shortened (35)
    • Normal (40)
    • Elongated (45)
    • Long (50)
    • Longer (60)
    • Longest (70)
    • Eon (600)
    Pre alveary stimulator/oblivion frame, you technically want this shorter, but it's not worth the effort. For bees that you have producing things, longer is technically better since the time to reinsert the princess and form a new queen is not quite zero, but again it doesn't matter. Remember that the lifespan in bee ticks is multiplied by the beekeeping mode modifier, 1.5x.
  3. Production: boosts chance of products (see production analysis section for the formula that uses this)
    • Slowest (0.3)
    • Slower (0.6)
    • Slow (0.8)
    • Normal (1)
    • Fast (1.2)
    • Faster (1.4)
    • Fastest (1.7)
    • Blinding (2)
    Two notes on this:
    1. These values get plugged into the bee production formula as s, so currently, adjusted production is proportional to s^0.37. In versions after 2.4, the Waila info for apiaries etc includes the effect of speed (and production modifier and tier) on the adjusted production.
    2. Also, Runakai might eventually add robotic (2.5) and accelerated (4), which would be great because higher production can't lead to genetic damage.
  4. Pollination: Slowest-Maximum; how fast the bee pollinates forestry trees. This is bad and a source of lag, but you can ignore this stat. Alveary sieves completely stop pollination. Only some flower types do pollination.
  5. Flower Type: What kind of flower the bee needs in range to work
    • Sea: water
    • Books: bookshelves
    • Dead Bushes: dead bushes
    • Fruit: forestry/extratrees fruit trees
    • Leaves: leaves
    • Mystical: Broken. Does not accept any flowers.
    • Mystical Flowers: Botania mystical flowers (grows)
    • Redstone: redstone torch
    • Rocks: cobblestone
    • Saplings: forestry/extratrees saplings
    • Reeds: sugarcane (grows taller)
    • Lily Pads: lilly pads
    • Wood: wood
    • Cacti: cacti (grows taller)
    • End: dragon egg
    • Gourds: pumpkin and melon stems
    • Jungle: vines and ferns
    • Mushroom: red/brown mushroom
    • Nether: netherwart
    • Snow: flowers, but will make snow (?)
    • Flowers: vanilla / Biome o' Plenty flowers (spreads)
    • Wheat: wheat
    • Node: Thaumcraft node; cannot be inside a block such as a Silverwood's node.
    • Thaumic Flowers: cinderpearl/shimmerleaf (spreads)
  6. Fertility: 1-4; number of drones produced as offspring. I had a dream where this went up to 16 once, but that's not real and can't hurt you.
  7. Territory: area bee will look for flowers and do its Effect, if any. (X x Y x Z, or Length x Height x Width)
    • Average (9x6x9)
    • Large (11x8x11)
    • Larger (13x12x13)
    • Largest (15x13x15)
    Notice that some frames modify this. The Alveary also doubles it. The area bees pollinate forestry/extratrees trees and spread flowers if applicable is exactly 3x larger. So you generally want this to be "Average" to reduce lag, but it isn't a big deal. If you have a bee with a harmful effect that you have to use (i.e. Radioactive bee line) and you want to mitigate without resorting to the Apiarist's suit, use an Alveary with a couple electrical simulators with Tin Insulated Tubes.
  8. Effect: what it do
  9. Climate/Tolerance: there are 5 climates in increasing order of temperature:
    • Icy (t≤0)
    • Cold (0<t≤35)
    • Normal (35<t≤85)
    • Warm (85<t≤100)
    • Hot (100<t)
    • Hellish (only if the biome is a nether biome) (Or Blazing Electron Tube in 2.3.4+)
    Tolerances are counted in number of levels, eg Icy up to Hellish is 5 levels. On the other hand, Alveary upgrades (and iapiary upgrades) modify the climate by a number of percentage points, so you could need a whole lot to change the climate a lot.
  10. Humidity/Tolerance: there are 3 humidity ratings in increasing order:
    • Arid (<30%)
    • Normal (30%-85%)[1]
    • Damp (>85%)
  11. Diurnal: Can the bee work during the day
  12. Nocturnal: Can the bee work at night
  13. Tolerant Flyer: Can the bee work while it is raining
  14. Cave Dwelling: Can solid blocks be placed over the bee's housing.
  1. Yes, 30% really is considered Normal and not Arid, this is Forestry being inconsistent, not a mistake.

Appendix: Effects

Name Mod Description
Acidic ExtraBees Turns dirt blocks into sand
Birthday ExtraBees Spawns firework rockets, color dependent on bee color. This is a bug, they are supposed to always be yellow but add red, green, and blue on certain dev's birthdays.
Darkness ExtraBees Gives players Blindness
Ripening ExtraBees Bonemeals forestry/extratrees tree "fruits"
Mushroom ExtraBees Bonemeals vanilla mushrooms
Growth ExtraBees Bonemeals saplings
Ectoplasm ExtraBees Spawns randomthings ectoplasms
Fireworks ExtraBees Spawns firework rockets, color dependent on bee color
Gravity ExtraBees Gives players Jump Boost
Hunger ExtraBees Sets player's saturation and hunger to zero.
Lightning ExtraBees Spawns semi-real lightning strikes. These can damage entities and start fires, but not activate lightning generators
Meteor ExtraBees Spawns Fire Charges downwards
Power ExtraBees Add 5 RF to RF receivers
Unstable ExtraBees Deals damage very quickly
Slowness ExtraBees Gives players Slowness
Creepers ExtraBees Spawns creepers in low light. Not to be confused with Creeper, a separate effect
Skeletons ExtraBees Spawns skeletons in low light
Zombies ExtraBees Spawns zombies and angry zombies in low light
Teleport ExtraBees Randomly teleport mobs/players a short distance
Water Forestry Adds 100mb of water to a nearby tank at random, very slow intervals.
Wither ExtraBees Applies Wither FX, possibly a bug?
Aggress. Forestry Deals damage (slowest damaging trait)
Beatific Forestry Gives players Regeneration
Creeper Forestry Causes fake creeper explosions centered on players. These don't damage blocks but do deal a lot of damage that bypasses normal armor. Not to be confused with Creepers, a separate effect
Drunkard Forestry Gives players Nausea
Explorer Forestry Gives players xp
Fertile Forestry Add random ticks to plants in range
Festive ExtraBees Spawns firework rockets with no shape, color, or trail set
Freezing Forestry Turns water into ice
Heroic Forestry Attacks monsters
Flammable Forestry Sets players on fire
Poison Forestry Gives players Poison
Ends Forestry Deals large amounts of damage
Mycophilic Forestry Converts grass and sky-exposed dirt to mycelium, force grows vanilla mushrooms (directly invokes big mushroom gen, skips bonemeal), and converts cows to mooshrooms
None Forestry Does nothing
Radioact. Forestry Deals damage (slower than unstable) and breaks blocks anywhere in the Queen's territory except the central block, nor vanilla forestry bee housing blocks. Notably will break extrabees/magic bees bee housing blocks.
Reanimation Forestry Spawns Skeletons, Blazes, or Zombies from their drops if present
Repulsion Forestry Adds an AI task to mobs to avoid players
Resurrection Forestry Spawns Creepers, Endermen, Spiders, Cave Spiders, Ghasts, or Ender Dragons from their drops if present
Snow Forestry Creates cosmetic snowfall
Treetwister Gregtech Under certain conditions, transmutes saplings into Barnarda C saplings
Spiritual Magic Bees Does nothing in GTNH (spawns Ars Magica Wisps or Hecates if Ars Magica is installed)
Ablaze Magic Bees Spawns Blazes
Batty Magic Bees Spawns firebats and bats
Bovine Magic Bees Spawns Cows
Brainy Magic Bees Spawns Angry Zombies
Howling Magic Bees Spawns wolves
Catty Magic Bees Spawns Ocelots
Plucky Magic Bees Spawns Chickens
Crumbling Magic Bees Converts stone -> cobblestone -> moss stone, stone bricks -> cracked stone bricks -> mossy stone bricks, gravel -> sand, and cobblestone walls -> mossy cobblestone walls
Cleansing Magic Bees Cures players of potion effects
Mining Magic Bees Gives players Haste
Dreaming Magic Bees Converts stone -> Livingrock, wood logs -> Livingwood, and Livingwood -> Dreamwood
Ghastly Magic Bees Spawns Ghasts
Neighsayer Magic Bees Spawns Horses
Invsbl. Magic Bees Gives players Invisibility
Mana Drain Magic Bees No effect in GTNH (spawns mana creepers/mana vortices if Ars Magica is installed)
Swiftness Magic Bees Gives players Speed
Empowering Magic Bees Adds random aspects to nodes, including jarred nodes
Purifying Magic Bees Converts some non-normal/pure nodes to normal, and some normal nodes to pure, including jarred nodes
Ravening Magic Bees Converts some non-normal/hungry nodes to normal, and some normal nodes to hungry, including jarred nodes
Magnification Magic Bees Upgrades nodes fading -> pale -> normal -> bright, including jarred nodes
Tainting Magic Bees Converts some non-normal/tainted nodes to normal, and some normal nodes to tainted, including jarred nodes
Porcine Magic Bees Spawns Pigs
Wooly Magic Bees Spawns Sheep (color is not set so they are probably all white)
Time Warp Magic Bees Gives players Slowness
Spidery Magic Bees Spawns Spiders (no cave spiders)
Basalzy Magic Bees Does nothing in GTNH (spawns Basalzes if Thermal Foundation is installed)
Blitzy Magic Bees Does nothing in GTNH (spawns Blitzes if Thermal Foundation is installed)
Blizzy Magic Bees Does nothing in GTNH (spawns Blizzes if Thermal Foundation is installed)
Transmuting Magic Bees Changes sand -> sandstone in deserts or stone/cobblestone -> abyssal/quarried stone in places it would naturally spawn
Recharging Magic Bees Recharges regular (non-energized) nodes with aspects below full
Wispy Magic Bees Spawns thaumcraft wisps with a uniformly random essentia type from 1-47 inclusive
Withering Magic Bees Gives players Wither

Notes on nodes:

  • Each node has a brightness (fading, pale, normal, or bright)
  • Each node has a type (Tainted, Pure, Hungry, Sinister, Unstable, or Normal)
  • There is no way to make nodes Sinister or Unstable with Magic Bees, you will need to use the Thaumic Bases Node Manipulator
  • The Type-Changing effects are bugged to work faster than intended. They will try to affect all nodes in range instead of being throttled.


Appendix: Frames

There are two types of frames: GT++ frames, which CANNOT be repaired (so only use them if you can afford to autocraft them or don't mind that they have limited uses), and forestry/extratrees/magicbees frames which can be repaired.

Most of the magic bees frames are way too expensive to make even one of and so are effectively loot only.

Some frames have caps, but remember that these are only checked per apiary/frame housing, so having multiple frame housings in an alveary ignores the caps.

Name Lifespan (cap) Production (cap) Mutation (cap) Durability (can repair) Territory (cap) Decay (cap) Cost/Notes
Chocolate 0.75x +0.5 1x 240 (yes) 1x 1x 3 yield 0.422x lifespan and 3.375x production. Can buy for bee coins, huzzah!
Restraint 0.75x(0.5x) -0.25 1x 240 (yes) 0.5x 1x Worse chocolate, nerf production instead and only give 0.5x lifespan with 3
Soul 0.75x(0.5x) -0.75 1.5x 80 (yes) 1x 1x Best cheap breeding frames. 3 yield 3.375x mutation rate and 0.5x lifespan.
Healing 1.5x 0.75x -0.5 240 (yes) 1x 1x truly antithetical to the concept of being good
Nova (creative only) 0.0001x +0 1x 240 (yes) 1x 1x creative only
Untreated 1x +1 1x 80 (yes) 1x 0.9x basic forestry frame, use if you want to autocraft rather than auto repair
Impregnated 1x +1 1x 240 (yes) 1x 0.4x intermediate forestry frame, can be bought in questbook (only do this if you have neither Thaumic Restorer nor autocrafting)
Proven 1x +1 1x 720 (yes) 1x 1x best forestry frame, buy from villagers or craft (cheap, breed imperial for royal jelly and buy tropical for silky propolis) (use escritoire)
Magic 1x +2 1x 240 (yes) 1x 0.6x worse than the impregnated frame it's crafted from, only useful if you want another magic bees frame and didn't get it from loot
Resilient 1x +2 1x 800 (yes) 1x 0.5x require ordered, lich, or thaumiumshards bee. Much more expensive than proven and only lasts slightly longer
Gentle 1.5x +0.4 0.7x 200 (yes) 1x 0.01x niche, provided your brain is sufficiently enormous. See the ignoble bee section. Require aer, hydra, or thaumiumshards bee.
Metabolic 1x +0.2 1.8x 130 (yes) 1x 1x 3 yield 5.832x mutation. However, soul frames are generally better (cheaper + lower lifespan) without world acceleration. Require ignis bee
Necrotic 0.3x -0.25 1x 280 (yes) 1x 1.2x require chaotic or thaumiumshards bees. Good loot pre-alveary. 3 bring most lifespans under a minute
Temporal 2.5x +0 1x 300 (yes) 1x 0.8x garbage
Oblivion 0.0001x -9001 1x 50 (yes) 1x 1x the (former) best frame. One brings all lifespans to 1 bee tick. Very expensive. Requires aqua and mutable bees, and a dragon egg (so draconic and thaumiumdust bees are recommended). Try to get from a stronghold or advanced bee loot bag
(basic) Blood Frame 1x +2 1x 1 (can use LP) 1x 0.8x tied with magic and resiliant as the best frame for sustained production, with the extra advantage (and complication) of needing LP. Bind by right-clicking, infinite durability as long as LP is provided.
Sanguis Artus 0.0001 -9001 1x 1 (can use LP) 1x 1x worse frenzy frame. In the code, this is called BloodFrame and the basic Blood Frame is called BloodBaseFrame. Bind by right-clicking, infinite durability as long as LP is provided.
Maddening Frame of Frenzy 0.0001 -9001 10x 1 (can use LP) 1x 10x the best frame, combines oblivion and mutagenic into one slot but has even higher mutation and infinite durability if you have LP. Also gives 0x flowering, I think this is the only frame to affect flowering, that's not important. Bind by right-clicking, infinite durability as long as LP is provided.
Accelerated 0.9x +0.8 1.2x 175 (no) 1x 1x worse soul frame
Mutagenic 0.0001x +9 5x 3 (no) 1x 1x amazing mutation/lifespan, garbage durability and can't be repaired, plus it costs plutonium. Be careful to keep the total production modifier under +16 if using multiple.
Working 3x +3 0x 2000 (no) 1x 1x consider if drowning in nether stars. 6 proven worth of durability and production, but a lot more than 6x as expensive and can't be repaired
Decaying 1x +0 1x 240 (no) 1x 10x astoundingly useless. If you want your ignoble bees to die, consider a trash can
Slowing 2x -0.5 0.5x 175 (no) 1x 1x not useful. If you only care about the effect then they aren't harmful
Stabilizing 1x -0.9 0.1x 60 (no) 1x 0.5x astoundingly useless
Arborist 3x -9001 0x 240 (no) 3x 1x Mostly useless, but can boost the range of good effects. For forestry tree breeding you want pollination increased, and there's no frame for that, check apatite tubes in the electrical stimulator

Appendix: Hive Spawns and Drops

Hive Drops

When a hive is broken, it shuffles its drop list, then rolls for a princess, drone, and combs. The drop list is a list of bee genomes, combs/extra drops, and chances, included in the following table. When selecting a drop, it tries them in whatever order they shuffled to, returning the current one with its given probability and otherwise skipping it. For princesses, if it goes over the whole list without dropping a princess, it will try again, up to 10 times. For drones/combs, if it goes over the whole list without dropping one, you just don't get one.

This means for most hives, you have about a 97.77% chance of a main species princess for the hive, and 2.23% of a valiant princess. For drones, you have 78.8% of a main species drone, 1.18% of a valiant drone, and 19.4% of no drone.

For Forest hives, you have about 92.10% of a regular forest princess, 5.72% of a tolerant flyer forest princess, and 2.12% of a valiant princess. For drones, you have about 75.66% of a regular forest drone, 4.74% of a tolerant flyer forest drone, 1.74% of a valiant drone, and 17.848% of no drone.

Extra Bees hives and Magic Bees Oblivion hives always give pristine princesses.

Extra Bees hives are currently bugged to only roll for the princess once. and to always give pristine princesses.

Magic Bees Infernal and Oblivion hives can drop Steadfast instead of Valiant!

Hive Generation

Forestry hives generate in biomes where the main species could tolerate the climate, either on top of specific blocks or in trees. They generate in all dimensions besides the Nether, with some (Ender) having further dimension restrictions.

Extra Bees hives have several differences with their generation. They try to generate 2 each chunk between y=20 and y=69. They ignore climate restrictions and have different restrictions on their physical surroundings.

Extra Bees Marble hives are unused.

Magic Bees hives have some extra spawning conditions, and some ignore climate.

Hive Table

Hive Name Base Chance Mod Bee Name Temperature Humidity Possible Drops Combs Conditions
Forest 3% Forestry Forest Normal Normal Forest 80%n[1], Forest (Tol[2]) 8%p[3], Valiant 3%p Honey in trees
Meadows 1% Forestry Meadows Normal Normal Meadows 80%n, Valiant 3%p Honey on dirt/grass
Desert 1% Forestry Modest Hot (Both 1) Arid (Down 1) Modest 80%n, Valiant 3%p Parched on dirt/grass/sand/sandstone
Jungle 4% Forestry Tropical Warm (Up 1) Damp (Up 1) Tropical 80%n, Valiant 3%p Silky in trees
Ender 4% Forestry Ender Cold (Up 1) Normal End 80%n, Valiant 3%p Mysterious on endstone in the end
Wintry 2% Forestry Wintry Icy (Up 1) Normal (Both 1) Wintry 80%n, Valiant 3%p Frozen on dirt/grass/snow
Marshy 2% Forestry Marshy Normal (Both 1) Damp Marshy 80%n, Valiant 3%p Mossy on dirt/grass
Water 2x ExtraBees Water Ignores Climate Water 80%p, Valiant 3%p none in sand/clay/ground/rock under and near water
Rock 2x ExtraBees Rocky Ignores Climate Rocky 80%p, Valiant 3%p none in a stone block suitable for oregen
Nether 2x ExtraBees Embittered Ignores Climate Embittered 80%p, Valiant 3%p none in a wall of netherrack in the nether
Curious 3% Magic Bees Mystical Normal Normal Mystical 80%n, Mystical (Tol) 15%p, Valiant 5%p Mundane in trees in forests/plains/hills
Unusual 1% Magic Bees Unusual Normal (Both 2) Normal Unusual 80%n, Unusual (Tol) 15%p, Valiant 5%p Mundane on dirt/grass in plains/mountain/hills/river
Resonating 0.9% Magic Bees Sorcerous Hot (Down 2) Arid (Up 1) Sorcerous 80%n, Sorcerous (Tol) 20%p, Valiant 5%p Mundane on sand/sandstone in sandy/mesa/hot/magical
Deep 5% Magic Bees Attuned Ignores Climate Attuned 80%n[4], Attuned (Tol) 20%p, Valiant 5%p Mundane y 10-25 with 5+ stone adj in hills/mountain/magical
Infernal 50% Magic Bees Infernal Ignores Climate Infernal 80%n[5], Steadfast 3% Molten + Glowstone Dust / Mundane[6] with 6 netherrack adj in nether
Infernal[7] 0.95% Magic Bees Infernal Ignores Climate Infernal 80%n[5], Steadfast 3% Molten + Glowstone Dust / Mundane[6] y 5-18 with 6 stone adj in magical/hot
Oblivion 20% Magic Bees Oblivion Ignores Climate Oblivion 80%p, Steadfast 9%p Forgotton + Enderpearl / Mundane[6] with 6 endstone adj and air 2 below in end
Oblivion[7] 0.87% Magic Bees Oblivion Ignores Climate Oblivion 80%p, Steadfast 9%p Forgotton + Enderpearl / Mundane[6] y 5-10 with 5 stone adj in magical/cold


  1. Normal: 70% ignoble, 30% pristine
  2. Generated as a Tolerant Flyer
  3. Always Pristine
  4. Only 65% chance to be ignoble
  5. 5.0 5.1 Only 50% chance to be ignoble
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Attached to the Steadfast entry
  7. 7.0 7.1 Overworld