Guide to Beekeeping
So you've been working in Hydroponics for a while now, and are growing bored of interacting with nothing but plants and plant-people. And more importantly, you are growing tired of the station's woeful underpopulation of bees. Thankfully, this guide is here to help you remedy to that issue.
- 1 How do I bring bees to my garden
- 2 How do I deal with all those angry bees?
- 3 Anything else that I shouldn't do?
- 4 I like feral bees, I want to make them even more dangerous
- 5 I see that my apiaries are full of honey, how do I collect it?
- 6 Supplementary Video
How do I bring bees to my garden
For starters, you're going to need an apiary. Those can be built from wood harvested from tower caps logs. There's one inside Beekeeping crates as well.
Next, place the apiary on a tray or some soil. Your apiary is now ready to receive its first bees.
The beating heart of any apiary is its Queen, your apiaries won't produce any bees until you've placed one in it. Those can be found in beekeeping crates which are ordered from cargo (a crate contains a wooping 3 of those), but can also be captured by destroying wild beehives. A thriving apiary will eventually produce new queens, more on that later.
Just like plants need nutrients, apiaries need Beez-Eez to kickstart their growth. These packets contain delicious pollen pellets that will provide bees with food until they can sustain on the fruit of their labour (and until you steal it). These will also help reduce an apiary's toxicity, which can increase if bees pollinate flowers sprayed with pesticides, or consume nectar from toxic plants. Beez-Eez are said to taste delicious by the way.
I've placed a Queen and added some Beez-Eez but no bee is coming out. Is that normal?
Yes, a bees won't come out until there's at least 10 of them on top of the queen, as they need worker to manage things inside, so you'll have to wait until the queen has made enough. In doubt, you can examine an apiary to check if the beez inside are starving, which means you've forgotten to add beez-eez. If an apiary is low on food but has a few bees outside, they should eventually bring enough nectar home for it to escape starvation.
A starved apiary will not die out (for now), but won't produce any honey.
On that note, if you haven't planted any flowers yet, now would be the right time to do so.
Thankfully our genetically enhanced bees will quickly locate and hover over nearby trays that have living plants in them. As they hover over them, they grant the plants buffs that boost their lifespan, rate of production, and reduce its toxicity.
After having pollinated a few flowers, the bee will head back to its apiary and store all the nectar and pollen it gathered, turning it into honey, and sometimes more depending on which plants were pollinated. If bees come home but the apiary is already full of liquid, new products will replace the old ones.
Keep in mind that bees periodically consume a bit of their stored reagents to satisfy their nutrition needs. Doing so, they might ingest some toxicity. High toxicity means trouble, more on that later.
That's right, our bees are energetic ones, even the queen will get off its ass to gather some pollen, which by the way is a sign that your apiary is in good health. Now what's nice is that queens produce Royal Jelly instead of honey, which has even higher medical properties, and stacks with honey.
If an apiary has some Royal Jelly and all the queens are away, a worker might consume some of it and become a queen itself. Strangely enough, queens appear to coexist just fine inside a single apiary, this way you can get royal jelly to slowly replace honey by waiting for a while after it has already reached full liquid capacity.
That being said, if there are empty apiaries nearby, a queen will sometime move out by herself to colonize it.
Bees don't build wild beehives by themselves...for now.
Well, we're still wondering how they got there, but you might want to give a hand at clearing them out, as feral bees can be really, REALLY, dangerous to regular naked crew members...while harmless to better covered ones. Which leads us....
You let bees slip outside hydroponics and the clown punched them, Feral bees made their home in the Chapel, or you let toxicity build up in one of your apiaries and angry bees are coming out, the result is the same, angry bees, and generally your lynching by the crew. Thankfully you can avoid it by clearing your mess, hopefully.
Assuming you've still got your beekeeping crate lying around, you'll find inside everything you need to deal with feral bees. For starters put on the beekeeping suit and hood, it will protect you from stings. Alternatively any bio suit or sufficiently impermeable suit (such as a spacesuit) will do the trick.
Now, to actually deal with those bees (and assuming that you don't need us to guide you if killing them is what you're going for), you'll need to calm them. For that, just spray them with water. Chemical sprays, Fire Extinguishers, Smoke grenades, anything works as long as it has water in it. You'll find a mini extinguisher in beekeeping crates.
Calmed bees will stand in place for a while, then calmly hover back to their apiary, if it still exists.
If the apiary has been replaced, destroyed, or if you don't want to wait for them to calm down, just swing your net. If you're aiming to catch a single bee, you probably don't need to calm it first, but the need rises as do their number in the swarm. If you angry them, just apply more water. If you empty the net at your fee the bees that come out will be furious at you, so you should rather empty it in an empty apiary. Remember that the more bees are in an apiary, the more nutrients it'll need, so you might find dead starved bees outside the hive as they fight for the little food available.
Anything else that I shouldn't do?
Don't attack the apiary. If you do every single bee that originates from it on top of every single bees "inside" it will come rushing to kill you.
I like feral bees, I want to make them even more dangerous
well then you can mutate the apiary by using a floral somatoray to modify their brute damage (their damage will either double, not change, or vanish), or have the bees idle above plants that you've injected with a ton of toxins (or just be toxic plants to begin with. Plasticide is very effective in that regard). They'll harvest the toxin inside the apiary, and any bee that comes out of it will deal additional toxin damage. Keep in mind that if an apiary's toxicity raises too high, the bees that come out of it will shortly die.
I see that my apiaries are full of honey, how do I collect it?
Honey is stored inside honeycombs. To collect those, you'll have to deconstruct the apiary. An apiary full of honey can yield up to 8 honeycombs. However, deconstructing an apiary means that all its bees will come rushing at your, so make sure to dress properly first!
To begin the process, just use a hatchet on the apiary. The bees will start attacking you as soon as you begin, so once the process is over you'll want to calm them and capture them as described earlier, then place them in another apiary, or place them back into their apiary after you rebuild it.
Once you've dealt with the feral bees, just pick up the honey combs. They can be eaten raw, or put in a grinder to isolate their reagents, which you can then store into pots at Condimasters.
Hold on, the honey dripping out of the hives and the honeycombs have an unusual color
If you've had your bees pollinate a type of plants exclusively, and these plants produce a reagent in particular, you will find this reagent in your honey, maybe even in equal or greater quantity. This means the honeycomb's colour reflects its flavour. Capsaicin will give honey a darker/redish colour, while Plasticide will make it turn vividly orange (and toxic!).