Bees in FTB are the worst addition ever?

Discussion in 'Mod Discussion' started by pehn420, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. pehn420

    pehn420 New Member

    Can someone please help me with bees? There are nearly no guides on the internet made in the last 2 years, and I've been breeding for nearly 3 days now, I have over 3 double chests full of useless shit bees, and I can't even get ONE single Imperial or Industrious drone. Is this mod just about wasting as literally much time as possible with random rolls? Is there any skill or things you can do to actually increase your chances or progressing sometime before you turn 300 years old and die? I'm EXTREMELY frustrated, coming off of Blood Magic, a mod where you can actually PROGRESS. Is this mod just for wasting time with nearly no chance of progressing and no point in trying to improve your chances, just roll the dice and roll more dice over and over and over again forever until you punch your computer screen? Sorry, /rant over.

    TL;DR: I'm REALLY frustrated with Forestry and bees, and would like some guidance.
  2. GreenZombie

    GreenZombie New Member

    I am not going to excuse it. Forestries gameplay is appalling. It combines RNG mechanics with massive time sinks as you have to micromanage the process and leaves you with the worst inventory management problems.

    This is why almost no one plays Forestry by itself - With binnies bees or Gendustry machines the bee breeding mechanic becomes a lot more tolerable. Too much so really, as the machines they add give the ability to simply pick your desired mutation. It would be nice if someone made a bees themed mod that rode a middle ground and allowed you to tame the Forestry bee breeding mechanic, without trivializing it.

    To a degree magic bees does this - It adds (to the chests in libraries in Strongholds of all places) oblivion frames, which have the VERY neat property of causing a queen to die and spawn her princess and drones in a single cycle (20 odd seconds). This actually makes it practical to sit, at a hive, combining bees until a desirable mutations or traits occur.
    Hyperme, RedBoss and immibis like this.
  3. Chocohead

    Chocohead New Member

    I wouldn't say Extra Bees does too much at this point, as the machines are pretty slow and need an alveary to get larvae to actually pick the mutation you get. The frames Extra Bees adds though are much earlier game and can speed up production and death time.
  4. GreenZombie

    GreenZombie New Member

    The problem with Extra Bees is again, the author(s?) seem to favor tedium as a gameplay mechanic. The Alveary / larvae update sounds like an improvement, but last time I looked, the frames it added required products from tier-10 bees and the Alveary requirement means that the player has already endured breeding about 4 bee strains to about tier 5, to get bees producing silk wisps, royal jelly and the other required alveary components.

    Even with Extra Bees, you are looking at months of investment, before bee breeding even starts to get slightly easier.
  5. Chocohead

    Chocohead New Member

    They're much cheaper than that, the soul frame for example is just an impregnated frame with a soul sand block, the rest too are just impregnated frames with things like cocoa or clay, only the nova frame is dungeon loot (I think, might be tradeable too). And bearing in mind the nova frame is instant death on the bee ticking, that's only fair.
  6. Celestialphoenix

    Celestialphoenix Too Much Free Time

    A lot of the guides are somewhat lacking, or out of date. Or just teach you how to use Gendustry machines get result X without understanding the actual breeding mechanics.
    The main thing is breeding will take a fair bit of time- binge breeding and waiting for results will get very boring, so set a few up and play some other modded stuff. Do it little and often rather than all at once.

    You'll need to be methodical and patient, plan ahead take them one step at a time.

    Granted they are random rolls, however you can skew the odds in your favour by playing it smart.
    Whack a bees in the analyser, and you'll see the names/traits are in either red or blue text.
    Red is dominant, blue is recessive.
    The left/first column is the active trait, the right is inactive. (inactive won't effect the current bee, but will effect the offspring).
    Twin dominant or twin recessive will have equal chance of being active.
    A dominant trait will always override a recessive trait, giving the following combinations
    This works for species, production rate, pollination range, effect (if any), flowers, temp, humidity, ect.
    However things like type of comb produced are depend entirely on species- which is the one we really want to focus on here.​

    With species, you can have a pure bred (meadows-meadows) or hybrid (meadows-forest). Until you analyse a bee you'll only ever see the active species name.
    Breeding a new species is generally easier using pure-bred bees- so its good practice to get at least 2 pure-bred pairs before advancing to the next tier.

    You'll start out with 'hive' bees found in the wild. Any combination of different hive species can mutate into 'common' bees. The result will be a bunch of hybrids- hopefully with the common species. What you're aiming for is a pure common princess and drone.
    If the hybrid princess lacks the common species, set it aside for use later. Get a fresh princess and another pure drone.
    If the hybrid drones lack the common species, discard them.​
    You'll end up with a hive-common princess and a common-hive drone. (or vice versa)
    So if you breed those together, you'll get any of the following combinations.
    hive-hive (25% chance)
    hive-common [or common-hive] (50% chance)
    common-common. (25% chance)​
    A 2x2 punnet square is brilliantly useful for visualising this.
    Hive-hive can be discarded [or reused if princess]
    Hive-common can be kept for now
    Common-common is what we want. ​
    Don't panic if the princess ends up hive-hive, if its pure then cross it with a different hive drone, or use a fresh one- you'll want another princess with the common traits.
    When you get a pure common [princess or drone], cross it with a common-hive and you'll have the following combinations;
    Common-common (50%)
    Common-hive (50%)​
    When you get a common-common drone and princess, put them together in a be house/apiary and run them for a few generations to build up a supply of drones.​

    Extra drones are useful for cloning bees.
    Take a spare princess, and breed it using the excess pure common drones.
    Every cycle analyse the princess, and discard the drones produced. Use a fresh excess drone every time, and you'll get another common-common princess.
    The next level is cultivated bees- which is common and any hive bee. Same technique as before, get a pure cultivated bee going, and then clone a few.

    Now to hit the "useful" bees.
    Common + cultivated can mutate to noble and/or diligent bees. Yes I've gotten a noble-diligent hybrid out of this before.
    If you get a common-cultivated princess, use the cloning technique to purify it before trying again.
    Its very useful to get multiple bees on the go.​

    Noble and diligent bees are recessive, so use the punnet square to work out how to get pure noble/diligent out of the cult/comm hybrids.
    Next up is to breed the majestic (noble+ cult) and unweary (diligent+ cult) bees.
    Finally the imperial (majestic+ noble) and industrious (unweary + diligent).

    If you have the NEI plugin, looking up "recipes" for a bee will give the breeding combo to get it. Likewise uses will tell you what it can be bred with, as well as the combs/products produced.

    If you don't have the plugin, the beealyzer will tell you what you've unlocked, and what you can breed with to get a new species.
    One of the screens has a series of bees and ? marks set out as (?/bee) + (?/bee) → (?/bee)
    Question marks are species you haven't discovered- whack them in the beealyzer to discover them. (hybrid also counts, doesn't have to be pure)
    So bee + bee → ? means a new species you're able to breed with what you've already discovered.​

    For those who remember biology class, the bees follow Mendel genetics- however the wiki and online guides make for rather heavy reading.
    If anyone knows of a simple guide- please post it :)
  7. GreenZombie

    GreenZombie New Member

    If you want to understand bee breeding you need to understand several things:


    The bee genome gives the bees a number of traits. The foremost of these, is the species trait. (This trait is ridiculous as the species of a creature is actually the emergent property of all its other traits). Nonetheless, in Forestry, the species trait gives the bee its name, its product (strangely, unrelated to the flowers the bee forages), and its base Humidty and Climate temperature preference.

    Other traits are:
    * Lifespan (Shortest, Shorter, Short, Shortened, Normal, Elongated, Long, Longer, Longest). You want the shortest lifespan on bees you are breeding for quick turnaround, and longest on your production bees, to cut down on the drone buildup.
    * Speed (Slowest, Slower, Slow, Normal, Fast, Faster, Fastest) How quickly the bees produce their output. Fastest is best.
    * Flowering (Slowest, Slower, Slow, Average, Fast, Faster, Fastest, Maximum) How quickly the bees produce flowers, and also how often they mutate nearby leaf blocks by carrying pollen around.
    * Flowers (various) What kind of flowers the bee needs to have in range of the hive to operate. Also, certain flower types will be spawned near the hive. "End" means dragon egg, "Nether" means netherwart (iirc), everything else is obvious.
    * Fertility (1...4) how many drones the Queen will make when she dies. While breeding bees you need to watch the fertility because the lower it is the greater the chance that you will loose traits you are breeding for.
    * Territory (Nnormal (9x6x9), Large (11x8x11), Larger (13x12x13), Largest(15x13,15) - the size of the area centered around a apairy in which a bee must find its flower. The bees actual range for mutating blocks, and spawning flowers, is 3x this. An Alveary extends the territory again by a factor of 3x? This also is the range that the bees effect is applied too.
    * Effect. (none / various). Bees have a variety of effects. Some are beneficial, some damage you. The damaging effects can all be mitigated by wearing an Apiarists suit. Of note is 'reanimation' that can crash a server if used near skeletons as it will reanimate dropped bones into skeletons, which if killed, drop more bones. Reanimation does NOT reanimate the ender dragon from a dragon egg.
    * Temperature Tolerance, (None, Up_x, Down_x, Both_x, x=1...4) How many points away from the bees base temperature (Climate) the bee will tolerate working.
    * Humidity Tolerance (None, Up_x, Down_x, Both_x, x=1..2) How many points away from the bees base humidity (Humidity) the bee will tolerate working.
    * Nocturnal: (yes/no) can the bee operate at night.
    * Flyer (yes/no) can the bee operate during weather (in biomes where weather manifests)
    * Cave (yes/no) does the bee require the hive to have an unobstructed view of the sky to work.

    "Fake" traits (Dirunal is not a choice but some tools show it, Humidity and Climate are determined by the species)
    * Dirunal - (yes) all bees can operate during the day
    * Humidity (Arid, Normal, Damp) How dry the biome must be for the bee to work.
    * Climate (Icy, Cold, Normal, Hot, Hellish) What temperature the biome must be for the bee to work.

    Allels & Dominant vs Recessive
    Bees have two copies of each trait, called Allels, and the dominant trait is the one that will manifest on the bee. The danger here is that, while breeding bees for a purpose, important traits - such as the species - might be recessive and thus not visible.

    Beyond that, Ignore any advice that talks about dominant vs recessive traits in Forestry Bees. This topic is entirely irrelevant as the only sane way to deal with bees is in stacks, and the only way to get stacks of drones, is when the two alleles for each trait are identical. Also, the dominance or recessiveness of a allel in no way determines its selection during breeding. Each allel for each trait has a 50% chance of being picked.

    Do note that, the production of a new species is NOT traditional genetics. What seems to happen is, if the conditions for a mutation to a new species are met, the Queen will produce an offspring with one COMPLETE set of its allels replaced with the "default" for this new species. So, even if you are breeding with a queen created from a princess with Fertility:4,4 and a drone with Fertility:4,4, if the result is a secluded bee, its the new secluded bee will have Fertility:1,4.

    Your desired Progression
    Starting with Hive bees, you are going to want to find and breed:
    * Find Jungle bees - to start making silk wisps.
    * Find Medows and Forest bees
    * Common, Cultivated from Hive Bees.
    * Noble, Magestic, Imperial, to produce Royal Jelly
    * Diligent, Unweary, Industrious, to produce Pollen
    You should have enough bees now to produce honey, beeswax, pollen and royal jelly, which you will need lots of to build alvearies. The silk wisps you will produce from the Tropical (watch out) bees will be necessary to make the apiarists suit that will protect you from the damage done by the nether bees that are pretty much the gateway to the rest of the interesting bees.
    Quite a lot of that honey is also going to go to powering the beealyzer that is absolutely crucial to scanning the princess and drones to see what their primary and secondary allels are to choose better ones for the next generation.

    Forestry is very much a buildcraft addon, and should be treated as such. If you are not using, at least, buildcraft to automate forestry you are doing Forestry wrong. (Although, as I say that, I recall there is a long standing Buildcraft / Forestry interaction (i.e. bug) that means that, if a game is saved AS bees are ejected into a BC pipe, they can get lost, so really, use any mod OTHER than BC to automate Forestry.)

    To generate stacks of drones, to clone bees from stacks of drones, you are going to want to automate apairies by sucking bees out, looping the pipe to push them back in again, and then a less preferred route to place any overflow, plus product, in a chest. If you put a queen in here that was bred from a princess and drone with identical allels, the drones produced will automatically go back in and stack up. Once you have a stack of drones, you can put any hive princess in here, and after a few generations, the resulting princess and drones will be clones of the drone stack.

    Pristine vs Ignoble
    For some reason the mod authors decided that, even if you find a rare hive after much searching, the mod should have a good chance to give you a big "@#$( you". Watch out for ignoble princesses. If bred into queens and places in Alvearies or Apairies, they have a good chance to not produce a princess when they die, effectively terminating their gene line and all the breeding you put into them. They are good for use in Bee Houses, and to sell to villagers.

    Discovering Breeds
    When you view a bee using the Beealyzer there is a page that shows all of the bees is can be mutated into. This page starts filled with ?s.
    You can fill this page in by actually breeding the different mutations, OR you can build the very obscure Escritoire - which is a table that lets you play a minigame that will discover bee mutations. You need a lot of honey comb to play the minigame.
    Discovering the mutations is not actually important as NEI or various wiki have details on all the species and mutations that yield them.

    A Possible Process
    If I was stuck without Gendustry or any machines to help out, and I was compelled by madness to "do bees" I would try approach it this way.
    First, I would breed up to cultivated. Then, I would prepare an area with a number of cultivated hives and princesses, that I might automate to get honeycombs out of. but really this population would serve as a template species and would hold all the beneficial traits I discovered.
    Then, each time I mutate a new bee species, I would, over generations, try to capture as many of the new species beneficial genes as possible while retaining the species. Once I have stabilized the genome of the new species (the drones stack), then I would introduce drones back into the cultivated stock and re-breed those to capture the improvements.
    Conversely, while mutating a new species, I would use the cultivated drones to introduce traits into the new species pool as required.
    All very very tedious.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  8. GreenZombie

    GreenZombie New Member

    Just a brief ramble, If I was to change the Forestry Bees mechanic, I would:

    Have a natural bee breeding mechanic as an entry point to the mod. Artificial insemination would be a mid tier option with gendustry style mechanics as the obvious endgame.

    In the wild, bees (real bees) NEVER breed with drones in their own hive. During an embedding in process, new queens (princesses) leave the hive over a few days, and mate with drones from several other hives.

    As such, in my "Improved" Forestry, several apiaries, placed within operating range of each other, would define a breeding population, and new princesses would mate with drones from one of these other, nearby, working hives.

    This would keep some variability in the genes expressed and thus make things like dominant vs recessive actually matter.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  9. ShneekeyTheLost

    ShneekeyTheLost Too Much Free Time

    Yes, I agree that bees are about the worst implementation I've seen. However, there's an NEI plugin that tells you which bees are crossbred from which bees. This at least gives you a goal to shoot for.
  10. RealKC

    RealKC Popular Member

    I actually like bees, but I'm also the guy who thinks that Gregtech and Terrafirmacraft togethee may make for an interesting pack. =P
  11. Azzanine

    Azzanine New Member

    It's actually quite funny how popular bees got in the modded scene I personally never bother with them for the exact reasons OP does.
    Any pack that requires bees to progress automatically make me quit. Unless Gensustry is there to cheese through it.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
    LunariusH, RedBoss and immibis like this.
  12. RedBoss

    RedBoss New Member

    Settle down there Mr. Grey.
  13. LunariusH

    LunariusH New Member

    I can only stare at this post in confusion, I play Forestry specifically for the bees, I disable everything else.
  14. ShneekeyTheLost

    ShneekeyTheLost Too Much Free Time


    Okay, I'mma go on a nostalgia trip for a bit here and explain some things about bees...

    Once upon a time, before there was GregTech, before Thermal Anything, before Forge became what is is today, even... there was 1.2.5, what some would call the 'golden age' of modded minecraft. There was ModLoader, ModLoaderMP (because back then, SSP and SMP were different from a back-end code perspective, since you didn't need a single player 'server' running), Forge was really just an API layer, but nothing like what we see today. You had to delete the META.inf file and manually create the mods folder. But that was a hell of a lot better than the pure base edits that were done before. There were no launchers (well, there was Technic, but this was precisely when... drama around it was caused), but we had MagicLauncher, and we loved it. Then there was IndustrialCraft2 and Buildcraft, and their dependent mods. One of the mods that was Buildcraft dependent was a cute little addon called Forestry that filled in the niche when Minefactory stopped development for automating harvesting of renewable resources.

    Oh, Forestry was certainly a lot of fun in the day. I guess you could compare it mostly to MFR these days, because it was typically two (or possibly three) machines in discreet locations doing things. So you had your peat bog to grow peat to run in your peat-fired engines that ran all of these discreet little machines, you had your tree farm, you had your wheat farm, and there was even a way to semi-automate IC2 rubber trees (although the way it did it left the trees dry since it over-tapped them and you had to chop them down and start anew). And there were bees.

    Now, back then, bees were not what we think of today. The only lines available, other than Common and Cultivated, were the Noble and Industrious lines. However, that did quite a bit for us back then. You see, there was a food 'honeyed bread' which healed (remember, this is before the adventure update where food and health were two separate things) far more than regular bread did, and was produced with honey drops and bread, which made it an amazing food item. Propolus could be centrifuged to make sticky resin, which gave you a more easily automatible means of obtaining rubber than the IC2 tree farms. Royal Jelly and Pollen had, I think, one use that was fairly obscure. So it didn't really take long, but it didn't really 'break' anything. It didn't produce any non-renewable resource as a renewable resource. Well, the honeydew could be used to make Glistering Melons without needing gold, so there was that, I suppose. Wax Capsules could be used to contanerize liquids to pipe them around and insert into machines easier.

    This was a system I rather liked. It was another system to automate, which yielded desirable results, but nothing too overpowering. All praise Florastar, queen of bees.

    Then came Extra Bees. I'm not sure if I can really describe my reaction to it. I believe the most polite term was 'post-resource-scarcity point' and descended from there. However, it also added a stupid amount of grind and sacrificing to the RNG deities.

    Then came Gendustry to the rescue. Once you get the Noble and Diligent lines completed, you pretty much had any bee anywhere and could automate it with ease, and bees unleashed their true power. Suddenly, bees were a thing which you could use for automated resource production. No quarries necessary, everything came from bees.

    Personally, I'd like to go back and update that version of Forestry to 1.7.10. It was extremely useful, but not overly annoying. No Apatite, for one thing. No obscenely large multiblock structures just to do something you can go out back with a lumber axe to do. And bees were useful, but no more than that.
    Zandorum and SpitefulFox like this.
  15. Golrith

    Golrith Over-Achiever Trusted User

    I thought I saw a post somewhere where someone made a fork or addon to forestry to restore all the old machines? If that's the case, then it'll be easy enough to configure the entire mod (via config and MT) to restore the "golden age". I do agree, the old forestry was much more interesting, everything interlinked. It was just left to the player to work out the best way to run your pipes/power line to get the machines and produce.

    Personally, I prefer AgriCraft to turn "non-renewable" to "renewable". Just the right amount of reward for the effort invested, plus can be tweaked to taste with minetweaker.
  16. Verigen

    Verigen New Member

    I love bees and have done them with forestry alone (up to imperial and industrious), only thing I don't like is the occasional server glitch that chucks my queens out of the automated hives (buildcraft pipes). It's been happening even when everything is in one chunk. Temporarily solved it using randomly placed hopperhocks but that still means the hive isn't producing.
  17. RealKC

    RealKC Popular Member

    @ShneekeyTheLost I tought that Beta1.8 made Hunger and Health two separate things
  18. Celestialphoenix

    Celestialphoenix Too Much Free Time

    You could full auto the rubber using the tree farming machines.

    ExtraBees also added the genetics modules, using it would level the effects of the more extreme RNG mechanics. Yes I'm speaking from experience.
    To be honest, I found initially breeding the Imperial and Industrious involved more "praying to RNGesus" than the obscure bees later on. Though given the number of iterations involved I will certainly agree about the amount of grind in particular branches.

    Theres a forestry add-on that brings back the old school farms.
    If you stick to Forestry without the bee addons and you'll play something very similar to the good old days in the 3rd paragraph.
  19. KingTriaxx

    KingTriaxx Forum Addict

    If you're using automated hives, EnderIO is the way to go. It's got self-feed just for bees.

    I never used the single block farm things. I got into Minecraft just in time for the introduction of the Multi-block farms. And frankly I much prefer the multi-blocks. I could set it up to produce me infinite rubber from IC2 trees.

    And yeah, I could probably setup something to have bee's produce all my resources, but that's about as fun as going to work without the reward of getting paid. Mostly, what I end up with is one bee that sits and produces silky propolis and lets me upgrade my mining bags. I don't need more than that, and I can do that with the basic tropicals.
  20. SandGrainOne

    SandGrainOne New Member

    The bee breeding mechanic has not changed since it was added. Any good guide you find should still be usefull. The differences you will find are related to mutations and the bee species hierachy. Species might have been added, moved or even removed. But for this I believe there are some good NEI plugin that can help.

    When it comes to the actual breeding I agree that it can become very repetitive. Espesially when you have done it before. It has the same issues as ThaumCraft research and similar. Done it once or twice already and it becomes a chore to get through it all again. This becomes all the more true if you are going for something spesific that are high in the hierarchy. If You MUST have that diamond bee or some fancy thaumic gear it will take time to get there. The next time I start a new world I will probably give myself a chest with all the bees I've bred in my current world.

    I don't have any specific advice other than to be patient. I take the bad streak of luck with the good. There has been times I feel like I've been trying to get a mutation for hours, when I suddenly progress multiple steps in mere moments.

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