How to get bees in Minecraft: Beehive and Bee Farm explained
Want to know how to find and breed bees in Minecraft? Bees are both adorable and helpful, as they buzz with a gentle hum while pollinating your flowers. If you love gardening in Minecraft, or just want to add a splash of color to your home, then you’ve come to the right place!
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about bees, including the differences between hives and honeycombs, how to make beehives, how bees behave and how to harvest honey and honeycombs.
How to get bees in Minecraft
Bees reproduce naturally in groups of 3 inside honeycombs. Honeycombs will only appear in oak and birch trees in certain biomes.
Here are the possible biomes where honeycombs can appear, from highest to lowest chance:
- Plains Sunflower (5%)
- Plains (5%)
- Flowered forest (2%)
- Forest (0.2%)
- Birch forest (0.2%)
- Large birch forest (0.2%)
- Hills of the birch forest (0.2%)
- High hills of birch trees (0.2%)
- Wooded hills (0.2%)
Beehive and honeycomb: what’s the difference?
The main difference between a honeycomb and a beehive is that beehives are made by the player, whereas honeycombs are naturally spawned during world generation.
They also look different, with the honeycombs sporting the more familiar striped pattern as opposed to the slightly more brick-like texture of the beehive. But otherwise, they work exactly the same: they are both living blocks that can accommodate up to 3 bees.
To make a beehive in a craft table, place all the wood planks along the top and bottom rows and fill the middle row with 3 honeycombs (see below for an example).
How to keep bees
In order for two bees to mate, simply give them one flower each. The bees will follow any nearby player holding a flower, and giving one to a bee will put them into “love mode”.
Just like other reproducible animals such as foxes, horses, goats, and axolotls, in love mode, bees will search for other bees nearby in love mode. When they find such a partner, they pair up and reproduce, producing a baby bee. This will give the player a small amount of XP.
It takes only one day of play for a baby bee to reach adulthood, but this can be sped up by “feeding” the baby bee with more flowers (each flower reduces the remaining time by one tenth of a day). Bees that have just reproduced cannot reproduce for 5 minutes.
An important note: Breeding cooldown and growth rate are suspended for any bee that is inside a beehive or honeycomb, so it’s often a good idea when you try to breed bees to break up hives and replace them later.
Bees behavior and pollination
As you’ll know if you’ve read our guide to Minecraft mobs, bees are neutral mobs, which means they’ll only attack you if provoked. You provoke a bee by:
- Attack a bee nearby;
- Destroy a nearby beehive / honeycomb;
- Extract honey / honeycomb from a nest that does not have a campfire underneath.
If a bee is angry with a player, it will attempt to sting them, dealing damage and poisoning the player for a short time. You can reduce the effect by using potions. The bee will lose its sting after the attack, which means that it will no longer be able to attack; and he will die shortly thereafter.
If you want to kill a bee, remember that it is classified as an arthropod, which means that the Arthropod Bane enchantment will increase your damage against it. An alternative is to run away, as the bees will stop being hostile if they don’t sting their target within 25 seconds of the taunt.
Much of a bee’s behavior is pollination. During the night, the bees stay in their hives, but during the day they roam up to 22 blocks from their homes in search of pollen.
If they find a flower (not in a flowerpot) or a berry shrub, it will take time for them to collect the pollen. The bee will then return the pollen to its nest, and any crop it passes over on the way will be pollinated, which has the same effect as bone meal: it will accelerate the growth of that culture.
How to harvest honey and honeycombs on a beekeeping farm
Bee farms are useful for harvesting both honey and honeycomb, which are two resources that serve different purposes.
To harvest the honeycomb, you will need to use shears on a beehive or honeycomb that has reached a “honey level” of 5.
Honeycomb is used to create beehives and candles, and it can also be used to “wax” various types of copper blocks.
To harvest honey, right click on the beehive or honeycomb with an empty glass bottle. This will fill the bottle with honey.
Honey can be placed in a crafting window to produce 3 sugars, or you can put 4 honeys in a 2×2 grid to create a honey block, a block that deters and slows crowds, and reduces fall damage for everything what lands on it.
Make sure to place a lit campfire under a beehive or honeycomb that you are about to harvest honey or honeycombs in, as this will prevent bees from attacking you when you do.
To make a campfire in a Crafting Table window, fill the bottom row with 3 logs, place 1 charcoal in the middle of the grate, then place 3 sticks above and to the left and right of the charcoal, as you see below:
Bees can be dangerous under certain circumstances, but I’ve always found them to be a great sight in the outdoors while exploring new Minecraft worlds. If you’re in the mood to explore and discover new lands, be sure to check out our list of the best Minecraft seeds. And if you really want to explode your new world, be sure to check out our page on the best Minecraft shader packs.