Like in the real world, Honey is a unique and special resource in Minecraft that is only attainable from beehives or bee nests. Naturally, players can easily collect honey by using an empty glass bottle or shears on a honey-filled beehive. However, it comes with its downsides, as harvesting honey without preparation will make all the bees attack the player. Moreover, after the bee successfully stings the player, the bee will likely die within the next few seconds. Thus, proper care and preparation must be done first when trying to harvest honey from bee nests. Although, this will all be worth it, as honey has many uses and benefits. This guide will show you the ropes on what you should do to safely harvest honey and honeycombs from beehives and bee nests in Minecraft.
How To Harvest Honey in Minecraft
1. Obtain Some Bees
Before planning to harvest honey, you will first need to obtain some honey bees. To obtain them, you must look for them in the overworld. As rare as they are, honey bees generate naturally in the overworld near their bee nest. During world generation, a bee nest has a small percentage of spawning on a birch or oak tree, given they are located in specific biomes only. Then after world generation, another small percentage is given for each bee nest to spawn on those specific trees when they spawn next to some flowers.
Once you have located a few bees flying around, you need to find their home, which is a bee nest. Then upon finding their bee nest, you need to do either of these two things: collect the beehive once the bees are inside them or lure the bees into a new home using any flower.
For the first option, you must wait until the bees come back to the bee nest before breaking the bee nest block to transport the bees safely. However, there are a few things you must first take note of when doing the first option.
First, using any tool when breaking the bee nest without the silk touch enchantment applied will result in the bee nest getting destroyed, dropping no items in the process, and the bees coming out to attack you. Second, breaking the bee nest when all the bees are outside of the nest, whether you are using a silk touch enchanted tool, will result in the bees swarming and attacking you. And third, if by chance a bee successfully stings you, that specific bee will die after a few seconds.
On the other hand, you can use any flower to bait the bees into following you for the second option. Like other passive mobs such as cows and pigs, a bee can be led around by simply using its favorite food item as a lure. You can then transport the bee to another location by holding the flower in your hand and walking near the bee.
This will trigger the bee to instinctively follow you and, ultimately, into its new home. Just make sure that when transporting bees, you have an empty bee nest or beehive near your base ready to be occupied.
2. Allow The Bees To Work
Like villagers, bees also have their schedules planned for the day. All bees will leave their beehives or bee nests in clear weather, searching for nearby flowers to start working on during the day. Once the bee locates a flower, it will begin to hover over it to collect pollen. This will happen for a short amount of time, and as soon as it changes its appearance, this will indicate that the bee is already carrying pollen and will start heading back to its beehive or bee nest.
Then the bee will enter the hive and start working on the pollen for the next 2 minutes. It will go out again and repeat the process so long as it is still daytime. Then when nighttime comes or when it rains, all the bees will return to their beehives and wait for the following day or when the rain stops pouring.
To increase the bees’ work efficiency, you can grab some flowers and place them near the hive to allow the bees to easily collect pollen without traveling a mile away from their home. Another technique to increase their work efficiency is building an enclosure surrounding their homes to prevent them from wandering too far away and help protect them from hostile mobs.
It is worth noting that bees can work nonstop when placed in the Nether dimension as there is no daylight or weather cycle. However, you must secure their working environment safely should you choose this option as the Nether is a particularly dangerous place to live in.
And to further utilize the bees, you can plant crops between the flower’s location and their beehive. The pollen particles that the bees excrete when carrying pollen will cause all the crops in their path to advance their growth stages. As such, you can benefit from the honey they create and their pollen collection process.
3. Harvest Their Honey
When a bee carrying pollen enters its beehive or bee nest, it will start working to create honey for about 2 minutes. By this time, the honey level inside the hive should increase by one level each time they work on it. And for the subsequent 4-5 visits, the honey level will gradually increase until it becomes full.
Once the beehive’s honey level reaches 5, the hive’s appearance will change, which will indicate that it is full of honey and ready to be harvested.
However, to harvest honey safely without aggravating the bees living inside the hive, you must first place a lit campfire at least two blocks below the beehive or bee nest. The smoke particles that will come out of the campfire will calm the bees and allow you to harvest the honey inside safely. Then once you are done placing a campfire, you can start collecting honey.
There are two ways to collect them: using shears or empty bottles. When you opt to use shears on a honey-filled beehive or bee nest, it will produce three honeycombs. And when you choose to use empty bottles on the hive, it will immediately fill up and turn into a honey bottle. Honey bottles can be consumed to alleviate poison effects and restore hunger and saturation points, while honeycomb can be used for various crafting purposes.