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hives bees and beekeeping - the Apiary trade


redram
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So over in the Lanterns thread, Saraty posted a couple images of beehives:

image.png.ff021bd03edb6a136159ba60f7fb3eb6.pngimage.png.c2ca53aec5858bbbda29493c04782de2.png

This got me thinking about beekeeping, but I didn't want to derail that thread, so I started this one.  On Discord Saraty said the basic idea was to let the player make these hives, have flowers near, and eventually attract bees, who would periodically fill the hive with wax and I'd assume honey.  Thats a simple way to do it, and definitely better than nothing.  But, I wanted to propose a slightly more elongated route.

My proposal is that there be three types of hives. 

The first would be wild hives.  they would appear in trees upon world generation.  They would produce honey less often and only in small amounts unless destroyed, then it's a large amount.  They would also swarm the player more aggressively.  They would generate high in trees, and so would be inconvenient to reach on an ongoing basis.  But they could be destroyed for a good amount of wax and honey.

Second would be skeps, which Is basically what Saraty showed in those images.  Skeps are made of reeds, which keeps reeds useful past the early containers.  They have the potential to be built in the planar construction method I proposed in the leather working thread, using reeds to build them bottom to top.  I'd suggest perhaps a cost of 16 reeds or so, which would keep the player from simply spamming them everywhere I think (In the crafting grid this would be 8 reeds in the bloomery base shape, with 2 reeds per grid square).  Skeps are populated by placing them within a certain radius of a wild hive, as well as flowers.  A given wild hive has X percent chance to populate a skep each season, and can make Y attempts, if there are at least Y skeps.  The percent chance could be based on the number of flowers in the area, as well as any skep/hive quality factors that may be in play.   Skeps are a 1-time harvest of wax and honey, as they must be destroyed to get the goods out.  Skeps can populate other skeps though in the same way as wild hives, so the player will want to build a good operating population of skeps before they start harvesting a lot probably.

The Third type would be box hives, which are basically what we know today as bee hives.  Box hives can be harvested without killing the colony, though perhaps they produce less honey and wax per harvest than a skep or wild hive.  They are populated in the same way as skeps, and likewise can populate skeps and other box hives.  I would imagine box hives as being a result of advanced carpentry that uses steel saw blades in a saw mill to produce finished lumber.   So basically what this sets up is a skep system which the player would use up through the iron age, and a box system for after that.  This give skeps a pretty long time to be useful.  Skeps would also be transportable with the bee colony inside (shift-click a populated skep with an empty hand to pick it up), unlike box hives.  Which would still make skeps useful even after box hive technology, as basically a trade container for live bees.

Harvesting of hives could be dicey, with the player taking a bunch of bee damage, with a debuff of some kind possibly.   The alternative being to build a fire in front of the beehive opening.  This prevents bee damage as long as the fire is directly in front of the opening, or 1 block down from the front.  Maybe later the player can build a bee smoker, and/or silk bee keeping gear.

That's basically it.  I'm not proposing crazy biome or genetic stuff like the Forestry Minecraft mod.  Just three simple types of hives, to give a little progression.

 

 

 

Edited by redram
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Ya, I mentioned skeps being transportable at the end of the box hive paragraph.  There definitely needs to be a way to transport the live bees.   Irl transporting bees is a huge selling point of box hives, but for game balance purposes, and to keep skeps useful even after box hives are unlocked, I think it'd be good to make only skeps transportable with live bees inside.

This helps set up early game resource choices.  Do you instantly go for your mountaintop base in the middle of nowhere?  Or do you settle next to a wild hive, or berry bushes (when/if they become less easy to move) to help have access to resources earlier on?  Or, in the case of our server, perhaps we'll have to camp out next to wild hives in newly genned chunks for a time, to get us a bee population to take back to our bases.   On SMP servers I think there will definitely be a market for players who would rather immediately set up in their preferred spot, rather than spend time camping out near hives, populating their own skeps.

As far as the wild hive model @Saraty it looks great, though I'd suggest maybe a bit larger?  Like, 2/3 the block?  It did appear to me from google image searching that "wild bee hives" have a much more ribbed and beige appearance generally, but not a huge deal.  Is that intended to only be able to generate like, below branchy leaf blocks or logs?  I would just say that that would make it difficult for them to generate high up in trees possibly, unless they can displace interior leaf blocks (of course if you're not wanting height to be a factor, then no big deal).  

Edited by redram
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Made it larger in size (a bit over half a block in length now) and added 2 - 3 "ribs". And yea, desaturated color looks more fitting.

Any suggestions on how to lat player know, that it's ready for harvest? Color change to more yellow or dripping honey particles?

5a8efcf376d42_wildhive.png.7f95ce2906adad28cc370ff6a2371924.png

 

On 2/21/2018 at 2:41 PM, redram said:

Ya, I mentioned skeps being transportable at the end of the box hive paragraph.

Oh right, I must have overseen that!

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5 hours ago, Saraty said:

Any suggestions on how to lat player know, that it's ready for harvest? Color change to more yellow or dripping honey particles?

Either one works I'd say.  Dripping honey would be pretty great, and I'll bet that particle effect could be used in other scenarios, like stalgamites dripping water, maybe alchemy or distillery items dripping condensation, machinery dripping oil.  Spider eggs stuck to cavern ceilings dripping slime.  It would possibly make it easier to find them in trees though, if one notices the dripping honey.  Which is good or bad depending on how easily you want them to be found.

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I don't think it needs a dripping animation for players to find it. If it just makes a loudish humming sound when you get near it, players will find it. That along with a color change from bright golden it is now to a darker dirtier browner look should be good enough to determine if it's ready. Though I agree that a dripping particle effect can find many uses. In a crystal cave I made in Minecraft I purposely put blocks of water above my ceiling just to get that dripping and make it feel like a wet cave. It'd be neat if for a couple seconds after mobs get out of the water they drip.

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