After months of pleading with Mojang to update caves, dungeons, and the Nether, it went ahead and gave us bees. Yes… bees. The world actually really needs the cute little bumblebee more than ever, so introducing the new mob should help millions of Minecraft players learn to understand and love what these little insects do for our planet.
But Minecraft is a game and it has some complicated systems. Learning how the new Minecraft bee interacts with the world is a very important thing, and this bee guide will hopefully tell you everything you need to know to put these adorable new mobs to use.
How to play the Minecraft bee version update
Bees were added to Java Minecraft in the 1.15 update. They’re currently locked to the Java Snapshot 19w34a version. Now, that may sound complicated to some, but it’s actually really easy to hop into the bee update if you’re playing on a PC.
To access Java Snapshot 19w34a and experience the new Minecraft bees in all their glory, all you need to do is fire up Java Minecraft and ensure the version text to the left of the green Play button reads “Latest snapshot (19w34a)”.
If all you see is “Latest release (1.14.4)”, just click the text to open up the menu. On there, you should be able to select the aforementioned bee update build. You might have to wait for a quick game download, but once that Play button lights up, you’re good to go!
How to find bees in Minecraft
Finding bees in Minecraft can be a tad difficult at first, but they’re actually more prominent than you might think, and certainly more common than they seem in the real world right now, sadly.
Minecraft bees like to hang around three distinct biomes; Flower Forest, Plains, and Sunflower Plains. Sure, you’ll have a tough time finding them if you spawn out in the Tundra, but adventure out into sunnier climates and you shouldn’t have too much trouble tracking them down.
Bees are neutral mobs. They won’t attack you unless you attack them. But they will swarm you if you hurt them, sticking their stingers into you for damage and poisoning you for a little more. They’re unlikely to be lethal on their own, but angering an entire swarm is like whacking a zombie pigman — they will hunt you down.
Bees will stop attacking after the first hit. What they will do, however, is die, leaving no loot behind and making you feel pretty cruel in the process. Bees will also get angry if you knock down a Bee Hive or Bee Nest when they’re inside or around their home, so you’ll need to be careful if you’re haphazardly knocking down trees in a bee biome.
If they’re not getting revenge for your aggressive actions, bees leave their homes solely to collect pollen from nearby flowers. They’re smart like that. They don’t stray too far and tend to stick to a single “favorite” flower, but once they collect pollen — visible from the particle effects around them — the busy bee will fly back to deposit the goods into their nest. They’ll stay in there for a little while before heading back out to do it all over again.
Bees sleep at night and don’t like the rain, so don’t expect to see any out and about in those conditions.
Bee Nests and Hives
Tracking down a bee is only part of the story. The life of a bee revolves around grabbing pollen from colorful flowers and taking it back to a Bee Nest or, if crafted, a Bee Hive.
Finding a Bee Nest is a little trickier than tracking down a lone bee. After all, one flies around the place while the other is a stationary object. But the easiest way to find a Bee Nest is to simply follow a bee home.
Don’t worry, Minecraft bees don’t mind you stalking them for a little bit. They’re completely neutral mobs. It can take some time for them to head home, but follow them around long enough and they’ll take you to their humble abode.
Honeycomb and Honey: What are they used for?
Both Honey and Honeycomb are used in very different ways. There’s reason to believe they’ll be used in more crafting recipes later on, but for now, it’s a case of one begets the other.
Honey, when bottled, makes for a quick and tasty treat. Just like a potion, you can drink Honey from the bottle to reap its benefits, although it’s just another kind of food. It’s pretty good at what it does, but given you can’t stack them, they won’t beat the usefulness of other, rarer consumables. You can even turn Honey into Sugar!
Honeycomb, on the other hand, is more of a crafting ingredient. You can pair it with any kind of Wooden Plank to craft a Bee Hive.
How To Gather Honey and Honeycomb in Minecraft
The reason for seeking out Bee Nests should be obvious — to collect Honey and Honeycombs! These aren’t incredibly helpful items in their own right, but they can be used for a variety of purposes.
To gather Honey, just use an Empty Bottle with a full Bee Nest or Bee Hive. Bees need to have deposited five lots of pollen before you can harvest the Honey. You can tell when a Nest is ready to be harvested when the texture changes to show that golden nectar spilling from its two holes with particle effects dripping onto the floor below.
And if you don’t want the honey, use Shears on the Bee Nest in this state to get a bunch of Honeycombs instead!
What’s the difference between a Bee Nest and Bee Hive in Minecraft?
Given we just got a new mob in Minecraft, you’d expect every new item relating to it would be unique and interesting. There aren’t any real differences between the new Bee Nest and Bee Hive other than one is a natural spawn while the other is crafted. But that doesn’t mean they’re pointless.
Crafting a Bee Hive gives you a way to cultivate your own colony of these helpful creatures anywhere you want. They can be bred with the use of flowers and actually help other flowers grow. That means you can provide a home for the bees, breed them, and harvest near-endless supplies of Honey from the Bee Hives when the bees dance around your gardens.
Another interesting part of the Minecraft bee update revolves around dispensers. These handy contraptions can now automatically bottle up liquids like water and, by extension, honey. With a little bit of redstone know-how, you’re able to fully automate a farm to collect and bottle Honey day and night.
In the early days of setting up your bee farm, you can even toss shears into the dispenser to automatically collect honeycomb instead. Nifty, right?
How to move a Bee Hive or Bee Nest
When orchestrating your bee kingdom, knowing how to move a Bee Hive or Bee Nest without angering them is a delicate procedure.
You’ll need to use a tool with the “silk touch” enchantment to get the Bee Hive or Bee Nest block (complete with bees!) Hit the home without Silk Touch and you’ll lose the home, the honey, and likely have a bunch of furious bees ending their own life to take you down.
Just be sure to put a Campfire under any Bee Nest or Bee Hive you want to use. The smoke knocks the bees into “chill” mode, meaning they won’t leave their home again. Use this to get all your bees back into their nest so you don’t leave any behind.
And that’s roughly everything you need to know about Minecraft bees. They may seem elusive at first, but venture over to the right biome and their big butts won’t be able to hide from you for too long. Just follow one back to its nest, harvest the honeycomb, and start constructing your Minecraft bee empire.
Master the art of redstone contraptions and you’ll be able to craft a fully automated Honey farm to provide you with sweet and sticky Honey ready for your next adventure. Just take care of the little bees, ok? They do more for us than you might think.