How Slow ARE Bees?!

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MaxAstro

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
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Hi, everyone. New here, relatively new to FtB in general.

Trying to get started with Forestry's beekeeping; I'm playing FtB Beyond with no changes except the script fixes by Booker the Geek. I have an apiary, I grabbed a random forest princess and forest drone and threw them in for a queen. The apiary has access to flowers, sunlight, it's in a forest biome. No error messages and the queen's lifespan bar goes down.

I have gone through the lifespan of THREE queens - about five in-game days - and the Apiary has not produced a single honeycomb.

Is that normal? Did I somehow find the worst bees ever, or is there something bugging out?
 

Nuclear_Creeper0

Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2017
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Hi, everyone. New here, relatively new to FtB in general.

Trying to get started with Forestry's beekeeping; I'm playing FtB Beyond with no changes except the script fixes by Booker the Geek. I have an apiary, I grabbed a random forest princess and forest drone and threw them in for a queen. The apiary has access to flowers, sunlight, it's in a forest biome. No error messages and the queen's lifespan bar goes down.

I have gone through the lifespan of THREE queens - about five in-game days - and the Apiary has not produced a single honeycomb.

Is that normal? Did I somehow find the worst bees ever, or is there something bugging out?
Check JEI for the chances on combs from bees.
From what I remember Forest Bees produce less combs? I prefer meadows when I start
 

MaxAstro

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
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JEI's Bee Products section says that forest bees have a base 30% chance to produce a honeycomb. If that's 30% per lifespan, then I've been unlucky but holy wow bees are slow.

If that's 30% per time the apiary flashes yellow and the lifespan ticks down, then something is seriously wrong.
 

MaxAstro

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
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Update: Built a bee house, also, and finally started seeing some honeycombs. I did end up getting one from the apiary, but even with an impregnated frame the apiary seems to be much slower than the bee house...
 
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Kel_Co

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Jul 29, 2019
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By themselves, apiaries have a much lower chance to produce products without frames than bee houses do. If you want to build up a good supply of combs, use bee houses in the early game, or generate them from an escritoire, as this also has the added benefit of increasing your mutation chance for some of the early game requirements.
 
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MaxAstro

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
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Thanks for the help, glad to know it's not bugged out at least.

Oh good lord. I just looked at the requirements for the alveary. You need two hundred and sixteen royal jelly?

I don't think beekeeping is for me...
 

Cptqrk

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Aug 24, 2013
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I don't remember if it's in the pack, but if there is a mod called Gendustry, I HIGHLY suggest looking into it.
 
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KingTriaxx

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Jul 27, 2013
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First thing is first: Do not try and do bees as a main project. Doing it that way is mind-numbingly boring. Second, take an EnderIO Item conduit, place it on the Apiary, set it to insert/extract mode, and always extract. Then under the extract tab, enable self-feed. Bees are now automated and will run until the seven output slots fill up.

Don't worry too much about Royal Jelly. Imperial Bees will produce fairly quickly and die fairly fast. Get some meadows bees, and set them up in three-four apiaries. With self-feeding conduits, they'll run very quickly, and you'll be drowning in honeycombs in fairly short order. Toss those into a centrifuge and you'll get honey. With that, you can now run the analyzer. This is a super important item. This allows you to plug in a bee, and see it's traits. You'll see life span, and speed. As you work up the chains, you want to look for fast speeds and short life spans. Fast speeds give a higher chance to produce the combs, shorter lives mean the generations take less time to run. That said, if you find a bee with a long life span, that's good, because when you get to Imperials or Industrious, you want them to run long lives to produce a lot. The cross-breeding is a bit of a pain, but the time is worth it.

All that said, I'll go back to the first point. Don't make it the main project. You'll drive yourself nuts. Start them running, go do something else, like building a castle, or making a roller coaster. Basically you want something to take up the time in between things you need to do for the bees.
 

Nuclear_Creeper0

Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2017
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First thing is first: Do not try and do bees as a main project. Doing it that way is mind-numbingly boring. Second, take an EnderIO Item conduit, place it on the Apiary, set it to insert/extract mode, and always extract. Then under the extract tab, enable self-feed. Bees are now automated and will run until the seven output slots fill up.

Don't worry too much about Royal Jelly. Imperial Bees will produce fairly quickly and die fairly fast. Get some meadows bees, and set them up in three-four apiaries. With self-feeding conduits, they'll run very quickly, and you'll be drowning in honeycombs in fairly short order. Toss those into a centrifuge and you'll get honey. With that, you can now run the analyzer. This is a super important item. This allows you to plug in a bee, and see it's traits. You'll see life span, and speed. As you work up the chains, you want to look for fast speeds and short life spans. Fast speeds give a higher chance to produce the combs, shorter lives mean the generations take less time to run. That said, if you find a bee with a long life span, that's good, because when you get to Imperials or Industrious, you want them to run long lives to produce a lot. The cross-breeding is a bit of a pain, but the time is worth it.

All that said, I'll go back to the first point. Don't make it the main project. You'll drive yourself nuts. Start them running, go do something else, like building a castle, or making a roller coaster. Basically you want something to take up the time in between things you need to do for the bees.
Yes thats probably the best point, do them like Direwolf20 is doing them in his AoE series, a little bit each episode, eventually finishing the bees.
 
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Ieldra

Popular Member
Apr 25, 2014
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In my experience, production automation isn't that hard to do with bees. It's the breeding that's an absolute micromanaging and random chance nightmare, at least without additional mods. I once bred my way to Imperial/Industrious with only Forestry mechanics, avoiding other mods I had in the pack, just to prove to myself that I can do it, but I'll never do it again if I can at all avoid it. Fortunately, Gendustry has been ported to 1.10.2, even though Binnie's mods haven't, sadly, and likely won't be, since I see Alphas for 1.11 and 1.12 but nothing for 1.10.
 

Pyure

Not Totally Useless
Aug 14, 2013
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@MaxAstro, did you get all the info you need here?

I didn't bother to fully read all the comments above, but fwiw, bees is a deceptively advanced mechanism. Couple basic rules:
* Scale up: Use WAY more apiaries
* Use frames: Some increase production, some kill bees faster, some mutate them with greater success
* Use automation: You want bees cycling without your babysitting them
* Scale up. Worth mentioning twice. Srsly.
 

MaxAstro

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
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Thanks for the advice, guys.

I ended up mostly ignoring bees; just too much work, and now that I have a quarry and a tier 4 ET solar panel, there aren't a whole lot of resources I would bother to use bees to generate.

That trick with self-feeding with the EnderIO conduit is clever, I didn't know you could do that. If I do bees in another world in the future, I will definitely keep that in mind.
 
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KingTriaxx

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I use the Valiant Bees to generate lots, and lots of sugar for various things, and if I'm not mistaken, the combs can be centrifuged out to produce cocoa, which is otherwise hard to farm automatically. I'll eventually get around to doing the full distance of bees, but I'm not that interested to make it a main goal of a series.
 

Inaeo

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Jul 29, 2019
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For packs that don't have easily renewable redstone, glowstone, lava, and the like, bees can be a very worthwhile project. If you have other ways to obtain the resources you want reliably, it becomes a choice. For some people though, bees are a passion, and something they will do in any world where they are available.

I keep telling myself that I'll do bees, but I keep getting frustrated at some level and abandoning them in favor of an engineering challenge. The idea of treating them like part time play-things rather than an active project may help in the future, but RNG and I have never quite seen eye to eye.

Edit: I'm aware that Gendustry can make bees less hassle, but it hasn't helped sink the hook, so to say.
 

KingTriaxx

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Gendustry takes all the challenge out. You can not just breed bees, you can determine the direction of the evolution with the Advanced Mutatron.

I also tend to take it that the RNG will eventually submit to my will and give me the bee I want, or I'll just wait it out.
 

MaxAstro

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
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Now that I know that trick of using an Ender conduit to make a cheap auto-Apiary, I'll probably give bees a try in my next world (start them early, too).

I just built my second T4 EnviroTech Solar Panel in my current world, though, so I'm a little past bees. :p
 
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Inaeo

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Maybe, maybe not. Having a renewable source of odd things (prismarine for building blocks, redstone, glowstone, etc) can be as useful in late game, if not more than early. Again, if you have other methods to obtain them, it might not have the same appeal.

For oh so long, the answer to, "How do I get <insert item here>?" has been, "Bees."
 

MaxAstro

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
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Prismarine would be a huge incentive, if the Actually Additions laser reconstructor didn't allow you to turn quartz into prismarine...