Apiculture is the science (and some say art) of raising honey bees, also know as beekeeping. Bees live together in groups called colonies and make their homes in beehives. Tending a hive is not as easy as it may sound, although it can be a very rewarding experience. To start on the path of the apiculturist, all one needs is a beehive deed and an area with plenty of flowers and water. Make a note that the bees can use decorative flowers, which will be much easier on your potion supply. As long as it blooms, they can collect nectar.
As a side note bee hive deeds come with their own table. No need to make or buy one, just use as a regular deed, and the table is automatically placed with the hive.
Honey has Monetary Value
Honey is a player made item and is very valuable
Honey can be used as currency with the Savages in Ilshenar. They will trade their rare items for Honey and Slumgum.
Honey is also needed to complete some quests and make potions/ointments/recipes
There are 3 distinct stages in a beehive's development:
Colonizing - the hive sends out scouts to survey the area and find sources of flowers and water.
Brooding - egg laying begins in full force as the hive gets ready to begin full scale production.
Producing - after a hive reaches maturity, it begins producing excess amounts of honey and wax.
The health of a hive is measured in two ways: overall health and bee population.
Overall health offers an indication of the average bee's well being:
Thriving - the bees are extremely healthy. A thriving colony produces honey and wax at an increased rate.
Healthy - the bees are healthy and producing excess honey and wax.
Sickly - the bees are sickly and no longer producing excess resources.
Dying - if something isn't done quickly, bee population will begin to drop.
Bee population is a rough estimate of the number of bees in a hive. More bees does not always mean better for a large hive is more difficult to maintain. More water and flowers are needed in the area to support a large hive (the range a hive can check for flowers and water is increased as the hive gets larger). If the conditions get bad enough, a colony of bees will abscond, leaving an empty hive behind.
Maintaining your hives
Like any living thing, bees are susceptible to attacks from outside forces. Be it parasites or disease, the apiculturist has a plethora of tools at their disposal.
Greater Cure potions can be used to combat diseases such as foulbrood and dysentery. These potions can also be used to neutralize excess poison.
Greater Poison potions can be used to combat insects (such as the wax moth) or parasites (such as the bee louse) that infest a hive. Care must be used! Too many poison potions can harm the bees.
Greater Strength potions can be used to build up a hive's immunity to infestation and disease.
Greater Heal potions can be used to help heal the bees.
Greater Agility potions give the bees extra energy allowing them to work harder. This will boost honey and wax output as well as increase the range the bees can search for flowers and water.
Managing and caring for the hive is done using the Apiculture gump. Almost every aspect of the hive can be monitored from here. Down the left side of the gump are the status icons:
Production - this button brings up the production gump where the beekeeper can harvest the goods the hive has to offer.
Infestation - a red or yellow hyphen here means the hive is infested by parasites or other insects. Use poisons to kill the pests.
Disease - a red or yellow hyphen here means the hive is currently diseased. Using cure potions will help the bees fight off the sickness.
Water - this icon displays the availability of water in the area. Be warned, water breeds disease carrying bacteria, so too much water can make a hive more susceptible to disease.
Flowers - this icon provides an indication of the amount of flowers available to the hive. Bees use flowers and their by-products for almost every function of the hive including building and food. Too many flowers in the area, however, can bring the bees into contact with more parasites and insects.
Hive maximum population
A single beehive can support up to 100 thousand bees. A healthy hive can last indefinitely, however, an older hive is more susceptible to infestation and disease.
Hive growth check
A hive's growth check is performed once a day during a world save. The upper right hand corner of the Apiculture gump displays the results of the last growth check:
! Not healthy
! Low resources
- Population decrease
+ Population growth
+ Stage increase/Resource production
You may harvest 2 items from your beehives:
- Honey (3 Honey + 1 bottle = 1 Jar of Honey)
- Hive Tool - To extract both beeswax and honey.
- Small Wax Pot - To render your raw beeswax into pure beeswax.
-Keep in mind that honey and beeswax are both profitable harvests, as you can either sell both to an NPC for a significant amount, or make use of them, such as beeswax for hive robes/boots. Rendering raw beeswax also deposits the impurities from the raw beeswax, known as "Slumgum". Slumgum can be sold on your player vendor.