Welcome to the GTNH guide on bees! This article tries to be as comprehensive as possible for a new player, but feel free to provide feedback in #wiki-dev on the GTNH Discord. The Bee Breeding Guide goes into details how to efficiently breed bees.

Bee Mechanics

Basic Breeding

Place a princess and a drone together in any bee housing (apiary, bee house, etc) with a nearby flower. 

This will begin filling up the bar on the left. After the bar is full, the princess will be converted to a queen.


Now the bar will begin ticking down from full slowly.


This is the "alive" phase of the bee. While alive, a bee will do the following things:

  1. Spread additional flowers in its territory at a speed based on its pollination trait.
  2. Apply other special effects - for example, "aggressive" trait bees will damage anything within their territory.

You can track the exact progress using NEI - it will show the "work progress" when you look at the bee housing. (Sometimes this number will skip back a couple times when it reaches 95% - not sure why).


After the progress bar is complete, the queen will produce a bunch of outputs on the right. These are:

  1. Between zero and one princess. If the queen was "pristine" (you can see with mouse hover + shift after scanning), it will always produce one princess. If the queen was "ignoble" and the generation stat is too high, plus you get unlucky, it will produce zero princesses (otherwise one).'
  2. Between one and four drones based on the "fertility" trait of the bee.
  3. Species-specific outputs. For example, Majestic bees have a 30% chance of generating a Dripping Comb, which can be centrifuged into honey.


Checking Traits

You may have noticed me referring to bee "traits" multiple times. When you find a bee in the wild or after breeding, it will simply display "unknown genome".


To get the traits for a bee, it must be scanned. There are many ways to achieve this.

  1. If you are pre-polyethylene (before MV) but have steel, you can make a Field Kit and use paper to scan bees. This will not show all traits, but it will be enough for most purposes. It will also allow you to use mouse hover + shift to see stats in your inventory.  
  2. Once you have polyethylene, you can make a Beealyzer. When you input honey, it will show every trait of the bee, including dominant/recessive traits and special effects. Page one has most of the relevant stats for production output:  
  3. Page two has all of the "picky" requirements of the bee, which will be described in detail later:  

Help, my queen won't do anything!

Bees are picky and have requirements you need to satisfy. Specifically,

  1. The sky must be visible (unless it has the "cave dwelling" trait).
  2. It must be the right time of the day (day for diurnal, night for nocturnal).
  3. It must not be raining (unless it has the "tolerant flier" trait).
  4. The climate stats must be correct for the bee's tolerances.
  5. At least one appropriate "flower" must be nearby.

Issues will be shown on the left side of the bee housing you place the queen in. For example, this Wintry bee is unhappy with the current climate.  

Climate Details

Here is the beealyzer output for the "Scholarly" bee:


Or in a more concise form (from mouse hover + shift):


Climate is split into two parts: temperature and humidity. These can take on six values for temperature and three values for humidity.

For temperature, in decreasing order:

  1. Hellish (this can only occur in nether biomes)
  2. Hot
  3. Warm
  4. Normal
  5. Cold
  6. Icy

And for humidity, in decreasing order:

  1. Damp
  2. Normal
  3. Arid

Tolerance (eg. "Up 1" or "Both 3") means that the bee will still live if the stats are higher or lower than its base stats. For the Scholarly drone, it can tolerate anywhere from Hot to Normal Temperature, but it cannot tolerate anything other than Arid Humidity.

Climate traits come from the biome the bee housing is placed in. They can be viewed in the top right corner of the bee housing. In the plains biome this is Normal/Normal. (Note that the temperature also decreases with height in the world.)


So our Scholarly bee will not be happy in a Plains biome. What to do then? You can always search for another biome using the Biome Compass, but this is not always practical due to long distances and need for item transport.

You can control the climate stats locally after getting an Alveary (a 3x4x3 multi you can build in MV/HV).

  1. The Alveary Hygroregulator (sic) can control the Humidity Stat. Supplying a constant flow of water will increase humidity and decrease temperature slightly, and supplying a constant flow of lava will decrease humidity and increase temperature slightly.
  2. The Alveary Heater and Alveary Fan can control the temperature (fan for decreasing heat). Both of these require RF as an input, so this can be fed directly with wires, or mediated through an Alveary Transmission, which powers everything in the Alveary multiblock.

(Note that even if the bees are alive in a climate, they will not produce "specialty" products unless they have their base climate preferences.)

After reaching IV, you can make Industrial Apiary upgrades which allow you to directly control humidity and temperature:



Different species will want different "flowers" nearby. Without their preferred flower, a Queen will refuse to work. Not all bees want literal flowers - they may need mushrooms, lily pads, redstone torches, stone, or even vines. The Flowers trait is not hard linked to species and can be changed with crossbreeding. It also determines if the hive is capable of pollinating nearby Forestry trees or not.

Other Stats

While I could list every stat range here, it would greatly inflate the article length. So I recommend checking out the wiki pages here instead:

Genetics - FTBwiki.org

Here is a short guide to the traits you want to maximize for a "god bee":

  1. Lifespan: Shortest (when breeding) or Longest/Eon (when in production to decrease number of drones to filter)
  2. Speed/Production: Blinding/Fastest
  3. Flowering/Pollination: Slowest (if you don't want flower spread) or Maximum/Fastest (if you do want flower spread)
  4. Flower Type: whatever is convenient/cheap (eg Flowers, Rocky, etc.)
  5. Fertility: 3x (dominant) or 4x (recessive) to increase number of rolls during breeding. You can do 1x during production if you want to decrease drones to filter.
  6. Territory: Average (if trying to minimize "alive" bee effects like flowering/special effects) or Largest (if trying to maximize "alive" effects range)
  7. Effect: None or whatever trait you want
  8. Base Climate Stats: cannot be changed, these are species-specific
  9. Temperature Tolerance: Both 5
  10. Humidity Tolerance: Both 3

Advanced Breeding

Dominant + Recessive and Punnet Squares

So how does bee trait breeding actually work when there are different species and traits being combined?

You may have also noticed that some traits are red and some blue in the Beealyzer. Red traits are "dominant" and have priority over blue traits of the same type "recessive".

There is also an "active" and "inactive" column.

These are because bee breeding uses a Punnet Square for offspring (image from Wikipedia):


Here the two pea plant parents are Gg and gg. The Gg parent has a "dominant" G as its active trait and a "recessive" g as its inactive trait.

The Punnet Square tells you how to compute the expected genetics of the children. The traits are multiplied together like a multiplication table. In this case this results in 50% Gg and 50% gg. For the children with Gg, the "G" is dominant, so those children are green. For the children with gg, there is no "dominant" trait so it uses the "recessive" g and is colored yellow.

The same rules apply to bees. If you combine a fertility 4-4 (recessive) bee with a fertility 2-2 (dominant), all children will be 2-4 (since the 2 is dominant).

You can combine the 2-4 bees again and you will get 25% 2-2 bees, 50% 2-4 bees, and 25% 4-4 bees.

Since a punnet square is being calculated for each individual trait, it may take a while to get the "perfect" combination you want if you are manually breeding (10-60 generations). The Genetics mod will let you force specific traits onto larvae once you get it in HV (although you have to research the trait with existing bees first).


When breeding new species, you have a 50% chance of the newly bred species overwriting the parent traits with its own base traits. For example, looking at the Scholarly bee again:


It has temperature tolerance of "Up 2". But one of its parents, the Arcane bee, has temperature tolerance of "Both 2." If you get lucky and the 8% mutation happens, then you get a 50% chance of a "Both 2" bee and a 50% chance of the normal breeding output from a Punnet Square happening. (In this case the Pupil parent is also Up 2, so you actually only have a 25% chance of keeping "Both 2.")

Foundation Requirements

When breeding some species, you will see a "foundation requirement" when hovering over the mutation percentage in NEI.


These are for bee tiering - otherwise you could breed the Infinity bee in steam age :)

To satisfy the foundation requirement, simply place the required block under your apiary. For the alveary this is below the bottom middle block.

The Mutatron (LuV) entirely ignores foundation requirements.

The Ignoble Formula

Personally, I prefer to breed entirely using Pristine princesses. But if you are using Ignoble princesses, they will die eventually.

This is based on their "generation" count and the genetic decay stats of the bee housing and follows this rule:


(from forestry 1.7.10 src/main/java/forestry/apiculture/genetics/BeekeepingMode.java:89)

In summary, this means that ignobles cannot die until generation 97, with increasing chance up to generation 108. After generation 108, there is a base 2% chance for bee death, which is multiplied by genetic decay (which can mean as low as 0.02% chance if you use Gentle Frames).

When to Start Bees?

Almost all of bees can be done in Steam/LV. You can even start in Stone if you find/trade for some Apiaries in a village. But like the rest of GT, there are efficiency improvements that come with increasing tiers. MV is the earliest recommended point to start bees, LuV if attempting to minimize effort. Bees can take a long time to breed and these tiers have huge efficiency jumps in breeding.


  • Can loot or trade for Apiaries in villages
  • Can craft Bee Houses (non-automateable, no mutations)
  • Can craft Untreated Frames


  • Can craft Apiaries (fully automated compared to Bee Houses)
  • Can craft Impregnated Frame (reduces genetic decay vs. Untreated)
  • Field Kit allows partial analyzing of dominant bee traits only


  • Beealyzer is craftable, making this the official tier at which bees become usable
    • Fully analyzes bees, both dominant and recessive traits
    • Can be crafted in LV if four aluminum ingots/plates are acquired
  • "Normal" start of Thaumcraft
    • Using Profane Wand or other methods of getting a 50 vis wand, infusion can be unlocked
    • Eyes of Ender can be farmed from Enderbloom or traded for with cleric villagers
    • This gives access to the Thaumic Restorer, which can be used to repair frames with Instrumentum essentia
    • Oblivion Frames (reduces bee lifespan to 27.5s - one bee "tick") can be found in strongholds. These can be used alongside the Thaumic Restorer to greatly reduce breeding time.
  • Can craft Apiarist's Pipe, an excellent tool for sorting bee output streams
  • EnderIO Item Conduits can be crafted for automating apiaries/alvearies


  • All the stuff in MV, but without having to use profane wand/villager trading
  • Access to the new GT Industrial Apiary
    • Note that upgrades for this will cost palladium. This will require a MV EBF with kanthal coils, a bunch of platline steps, and a source of PMP (eg nickel ore). Of course, you can always use bees to make your inputs too :D (the purified nickel can be HV macerated into PMP byproduct)  
  • Access to Genetics, which allows you to store traits and splice them onto larvae (obtainable from alveary Hatchery). This essentially lets you bypass stat transfer breeding and lets you create god bees in a single step.
  • Access to Acclimatiser, which lets you easily make maximum climate tolerances for every bee.


  • Access to Gendustry, which lets you force mutations with sufficient power and mutagen.

Later Tiers

As you get further along, you can craft higher tier integrated WA upgrades for the industrial apiary.

Where to Find Bees?

[TODO: Clean up]

Bigger glows (top) will be hives. The smaller glow on the bottom is a Thaumcraft node.

The best time to find bee hives in the wild is during the twilight periods of dawn/dusk, or at night. Forestry's mundane hives put out light, and are easily visible. Some gather surface hives by using a copter jetpack to hover over an area, marking the bee hive locations, and returning during the day. JourneyMap can be used to spot most glowing hives as well when toggled into night mode.

Rock hives are pretty frequent in stone, and you'll find plenty during vein-searching and clearing.

Some hives are only found deep underground under certain biomes. Search deep rock in magical forest or other biomes for them. (note: add list of hives found underground and which biomes have them) If you happen to run into redstone ore or glowstone, there might be a hive located in the center.

Tropical hives can be difficult to locate since vanilla jungle biomes aren't included. Use a Natura Compass to examine biomes, and try to select biomes that are tagged as JUNGLE in Biomes o Plenty.

https://github.com/Glitchfiend/BiomesOPlenty/blob/BOP-for-1.6/src/main/java/biomesoplenty/core/BOPBiomes.java#L321 https://www.reddit.com/r/biomesoplenty/comments/1ueued/request_list_of_forge_biome_dictionary_tags/

Bee Infrastructure

[TODO: Clean up]

Breeding Fodder

Autobreeder setup, with a hopper under the apiary

The first addition you'll want for your new beekeeper hobby is a stock of drones to breed with. Typically it's good practice to stock up on drones for each new breed you obtain, starting with the Mundane bees.

Bees found in hives within the world will already be pure, so you can set up a loop to autobreed them straight away (Think hopper or conveyor pulling from apiary and pushing back into the apiary with GT pipes)

Converting Princesses

Need some spare princesses to try breeding a new species with? You can convert your extra mundane bees to a new species pretty easily with that stock of drones you've got. Sticking an unwanted princess into an autobreeder with a stack of drones will eventually convert that princess to the same breed as the drones. This can take between 5 and 10 generations, you can tell when it has merged to the drone variant when only stackable drones are produced. Don't be stingy on the drone quantity though, or you will get deviated species mixed in.

Beginning to Breed

All bee combinations are listed in NEI, simply search up the bee you're looking to breed and trace back to he bees you have available.

When targeting a new species, it's a good idea to convert some new princesses to the two parents before starting. if you want to breed some industrious bees, convert 3 or 4 new princesses to diligent and 3 or 4 to unweary. Then place each diligent princess with an unweary drone and each unweary princess with a diligent drone, at first it's probably best to not automate this. Rinse and repeat this process making sure that each resulting princess gets placed with the other style drone. When you begin to see Industrious bees pop up, save those and try to pair them with another industrious. If you're using the field kit scan and look to see if any bees have industrious as their recessive species, this makes it easier to target a full industrious bee.

Once you have an Industrious/Industrious drone and an Industrious/Industrious princess, then move to the autobreeder and try to get a drone stack going. This typically will be done in an autobreeder. Set this up and wait. Look for stacking drones and feed them into the autobreeder to try and stabilize the queen, consider feeding the unstacking drones to the earlier extra unweary and diligent princesses you started with.



Botania Pristine Princess Generation

The Hiveacynth produces a stream of random in-world bees when fed mana. All princesses generated from this process are Ignoble. This is tiered quite early in Botania (MV/HV depending on when you get infusion altar) so it might be worth setting up early :)



The Hibeescus (IV after killing Gaia spirit) can turn Ignoble princesses into Pristine princesses. (It consumes Ignobles thrown at it and drops them later very slowly as Pristines.)


You can either combine this with the Hiveacynth to get tons of in-world Pristine bees, or you can combine it with an alveary Swarmer to get free pristines of whatever breed you want!

Which Bees are Good?

[TODO: This was written before the bee buff - lots more bees are good now, especially ore and fluid generating bees]

  • Thaumcraft Node Control
    • Empowering bee increases the aspects of a non-energized node (now with no limit! previously 500)
      • This can be used in combination with a research completer to have a node that never depletes
    • Rejuvenating bee can recharge a non-energized node, making it possible to draw a wand from it infinitely without waiting
    • Other bees in this tree can create hungry nodes and control various node characteristics, like brightness
  • Thaumcraft Materials
    • Salis Mundus bee drops salis mundus dust
    • The children of Supernatural + Ethereal drones produce every kind of shard passively (Air, Fire, etc.)
    • There are bees to produce various baseline thaum materials, like void metal and thauminite
  • Dragon Eggs
    • If you are using magic absorbers for power, bees can produce dragon eggs passively.
    • The Draconic Chunks in the recipe are dropped in dust form by the Draconic bee and Wither bee.
  • Oil/Diesel
    • Refined Bee produces Petroleum Propolis, which can be fluid extracted directly into 500L Diesel (!!)
    • It also drops an Oily Propolis, which gives 500L oil
  • Grains bees
    • This mostly applies if you're doing bees early game (MV or earlier).
    • Most resource bees require a foundation block, which can be limiting for higher tier or rarer materials.
    • Grains bees have no foundation requirements.
    • You can get gold, zinc, and platinum dust (!!) directly from these bees.
  • TF Skip
    • If for some reason you don't want to go to TF or don't want to fight the bosses, you can do the entire TF boss drop progression using bees.
    • Look up the "Naga" bee and each of its children. We used this to do Thaumcraft progression in skyblock, since you need the drops to get new wand tiers.

Blacklisted bees from Gendustry Mutatron

Like all things in life, it wants to see you suffer. Very good bees are blocked from the gendustry mutatron. So you have to make them yourself manually. OUCH! But one might say that there is a cheatcode for bee breeding...

Currently those are blacklisted:

  • Leoprine (R)
  • Tipsy (R)
  • Merry (R)
  • Tricky (R)
  • Chad (R)
  • Americium (R)
  • Infinity
  • Cosmic Neutronium
  • Infintiy Catalyst
  • Indium
  • Kevlar (R)
  • Drake (R)

Species marked with (R) can be bred in the mutatron, but only if their normal requirements are met, so it doesn't really help you

Blacklisted bees from producing combs other than in Mega Apiary:

  • Xenon
  • Infinity (also needs DTPF to process)
  • Infinity Catalyst
  • Cosmic Neutronium (also needs DTPF to process)
  • Americium
  • Drake (Awakeneddraconium comb only, still get Draconium)
  • Kevlar (Kevlar comb only, still get nuggets) (Kevlar comb needs QFT to process)

Production Maximization

Tips and Tricks

  • The Habitat Locator item will show current biome Temperature/Humidity when you hover over it in NEI. Great way to skip having to put down a bee housing to check climate stats.
  • TODO: add tip for searching for bees using gendustry samples in NEI
  • Watch out for some of the more nasty Bee area of effects. While the regen of the imperial bee is great or the node empowering of the vis bee timesaving. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of random blocks/chest/ae2 storage components from the corrosive bee effect. If you are using those bees for comb production be prepared to use a mixture of breeding out the bad traits or using the restrictive frames to limit the range of distruction.

Bee breeding cheatcode

Do you think bee breeding is way too tedious? Its just boring and takes so LONG?! Well, this will help you tremendously:

Just make an Alveary with Mutator upgrade. Inserting a mutation boosting item will multiply the breeding chance. E.g with Uran235, a 2% bee will have a 20% chance

Table of insertable Items and their increasing stats:

  • Soul Sand: 1.5 time boost
  • Uran Fuel: 8 time boost
  • Plutonium: 15 time boost
  • Small Plutonium: 9 time boost
  • Uran235: 10 time boost
  • Small Uran235: 5.5 time boost
  • Uran 238: 2 time boost
  • Ender pearl: 2 time boost
  • Ender Eye 4 time boost

For the blood magic enjoyers, the Frame of Frenzy will make bee breeding trivial! Just sacrifice your soul to the thaumcraft warp, craft a tier 3 blood altar (preferrably tier 4 so you can automate LP using well of suffering), and craft three of the frames.

Each one reduces the lifespan by 0.0001x, but more importantly increases mutation chance by 10x, so with 3 you are blessed with a 1000x mutation chance (literally too big to fail).

Remember to right click the frames in midair before using them so that they will drain LP from your soul network instead of breaking.

Comb calculation


Normal vanilla Forestry had a very simple equation to calculate what your final Comb chance would be. Every 550ticks (27.5 seconds), a bee has a chance to produce their comb. This chance is represented in NEI. To account for Production Modifier and Bee speed, it used to be

P(X) = Bee Speed x Production Modifier x Comb Chance.

However, that didn't allow for proper scaling in GTNH and thus, we use another, *little* bit more complicated formula :


where x is the base production chance as seen in NEI (100% should be plugged in as 100 here)

where t is the tier of the machine (ULV =0, LV=1, MV=2...)

where s is the bee speed (see chart on the right) (for s, 100% should be plugged in as 1)

where p is the production modifier of a bee's housing block

Note : pay close attention to fractional powers before comparing numbers. Numbers below 1, like the "30% Slowest Speed" in power of 0.37 are actually increasing to a final value of 0.64. This is because raising number to a power of 0.37 is like a taking a root; and also when we multiply numbers that are <1 together we get smaller number : 0.1 * 0.1 = 0.01 --> 0.01 ^ 0.5 = sqrt(0.01) = 0.1.

Values that are greater than 1 are getting decreased so for the "120% Fast bee" final value of raising it to ^0.37 is 1.07.

So in this example because the formula is working both ways boosting the Slowest speed and hindering the Fast bee the final difference in production is not going to be x4 times of a difference but actually 1.67. Difference between "Blinding 200%" and going for "Accelerated 400%" is not x2 but a +29%. This also makes production penalty to an apiary described below not that huge.

P in industrial Apiary is calculated by 4x1.2^u where u is the amount of production upgrades. In a normal apiary, or the alveary, p modifiers like frames and electron tubes or electrical stimulators combine additively. For example, 3 magic frames in an apiary will be p = -0.9 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 5.1. The base production modifier for the apiary is -0.9, and each frame adds 2. If you are playing in a version of the pack after 2.4, this information will be in the tooltip of every block that can hold bees. For bee houses, the base modifier is -0.3, for the alveary it is +0, for the magic apiary it is -0.2 if unboosted or +0.8 if boosted, and for the industrial apiary it is 1 (but see above, its production upgrades still affect its p value multiplicatively).

Be aware that the fastest speed as of now in GTNH is blinding. Additional speeds will be added later.

However, the chance of a Comb may never exceed 100% in the Apiary and the Alveary. Additionally, Apiary and Alveary will have the cap of t=1 as well as iApiary being t=8. This cap is removed in the new Apiary Multiblock Industrial Apicultural Aclimatiser And Drone Domestication Station. Neither will it limit comb chances to 100% (both iApiary and mApiary), nor will it have a capped tier. It will scale with the amount of Voltage you give it.

Finally, note that primary outputs (the top row in NEI) get rolled twice: once with the full base chance shown in NEI, and once with half that chance. Specialty products (the second row in NEI) do not get this second roll.

If you are playing a version after 2.4, Waila has been upgraded and will now display "Effective Production: b^0.52 * abc.xyz". This does most of the math for you and works on any block that can hold bees besides the mega apiary. You can use it to compare production at a glance, or you can plug in the base production chance from NEI (remember to represent 100% as 100 here) and get the adjusted production chance (again as a number out of 100, but this caps at 100). You can repeat this for half the production chance if you want to find the probability for a primary product on its second roll.

Optional Settings

[TODO: Bonus princess chance]