Bees are sensitive insects, and require specialized tools to effectively gather and maintain them. There are several tools that every aspiring apiarist should be aware of.
Once you have found a hive in the world, you will require a Scoop to collect any bees that may live within. Any other tool will cause the bees to escape, and you will be left honeyless. The scoop is a very simple tool crafted in any 3×3 crafting grid using six sticks and one piece of wool.
Each scoop is fairly simple and can only be used so many times before its delicate touch wears off and the tool breaks.
During the course of your beekeeping career, it will quickly become apparent that many more bees are produced than you will know what to do with. Since only identical drones will stack with each other, and this occurs rarely, you will soon find your conventional chests full to bursting with bees. Luckily, those who have come before have developed the perfect technology to deal with the overflow of insects.
The Apiarist's Chest is a storage device for up to 125 individual bees, with 25 slots spread over 5 pages, and a pane that displays overall statistics for species discovered, princess collected, queens bred and drones produced. The chest itself is crafted using five honeycombs of any variety, a piece of glass and a wooden chest.
After placing bees of a particular species into the chest, the left-hand side will change in appearance slightly:
The chest displays the bee's primary species on top, and below it several Question Marks (?). Each question mark represents a possible mutation when the species is crossed with another, while the colour of the mark denotes how rare the mutation is. Green have the highest chance of a mutation occurring when two species cross, while yellow and red marks represent uncommon and rarer mutations. Once a mutation is discovered, the question mark changes to an Exclamation Point (!) and an icon representing the other species will appear beneath.
If a bee is not a purebred and has been analyzed, the secondary species will appear as well, with its own set of mutation markers.
While the Apiarist's Chest is handy for storing bees in one location, sometimes it is handy to be able to store many bees and take them with you. Luckily, there is a way to make an Apiarist's Chest more mobile - the Apiarist's Backpack.
Like the other Forestry Backpacks, the Apiarist's Backpack will pull items that you pick up from the world into its internal inventory. In this case, its capacity is identical to the Chest's - 125 individual bees, whether they are Queens, Princesses or Drones. It's arguably more useful than the chests, as these can be placed inside normal chests while still holding their bees.
To open your backpack, place it on the hotbar, select it and right-click. Its interface is identical to the Apiarist's Chest's interface.
The most important tool in your beekeeping arsenal is, by leaps and bounds, the Beealyzer. It has complex and sophisticated technology to harmlessly scan the genetic makeup and traits of any bee placed into it. Using this information, beekeepers are able to determine the best pairs to breed for certain qualities. To craft a Beealyzer, insert items into the carpenter in this pattern and quantities:
With Beealyzer firmly in hand, place it in the hotbar and right-click with it active. It will bring up an interface that will appear very similarly to this:
The Beealyzer GUI is divided into 3 main sections:
I is the Information Area, which will show you detailed information about each bee you place in the Beealyzer.
II is the Input Area. Each analysis requires 1 drop of either honey or honeydew, which will pacify the bee and allow the Beealyzer to make an accurate determination of the bee's genome. The Beealyzer will retain any honey or honeydew placed into the top slot. The second slot is where the bee to be analyzed is placed. The bee will be analyzed automatically (Note: Some versions of Forestry do not automatically analyze the bee. If this occurs, click on the slot below the arrow to force the process.)
III consists of 5 slots into which analyzed bees are placed to read out specific information. The first two readouts are divided into two columns, one for the Active genome, and the other for the Inactive genome. Traits in the Active column are the ones currently active, while the Inactive traits are still part of the bee's genome, but will not impact the current generation of bees. The Active traits on a Princess determine which conditions the bees will be able to work in, while the Inactive traits on a Princess and both sets on a Drone will only come into play during the reproduction phase of beekeeping.
The information available in each readout is as follows:
The Analyzer is a variant of the Beealyzer, which will automatically analyze bees using Liquid Honey. While they are not able to provide specifics of the bee's genome to an apiarist, they add the possibility for automation to your beekeeping system.