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A hive is a building used to house honey bees. A hive must first be created in a workshop before it can be built. Hives can be created at a craftsdwarf's workshop, kiln, glass furnace or metalsmith's forge using stone, wood, ceramics, glass or metal. Once a hive is created, it is built using the Alt+h hotkey. Hives are categorized as Tools in Finished goods stockpiles.
In order to house bees, a hive must be constructed on or adjacent to a tile that is above ground. A dwarf with the beekeeping labor enabled will place bees in any hive toggled to "install colony when ready," so long as he or she has access to a preexisting colony of wild bees, or another hive that is ready to be split.
You can find out if a hive has bees, and whether or not it has a honeycomb ready to collect by using the View Items in Buildings menu.
Once a hive contains bees, it will eventually become "ready to be split," which will allow a beekeeper to populate an empty hive using bees from the original. In order to do that, you only have to place an empty hive and your beekeeper will do it automatically if the original hive is set as "Install colony when ready". Doing this leaves the original hive populated, however it will be some time before it again becomes ready for splitting. Bees cannot be brought with on embark, so starting the beekeeping industry requires at least one wild colony.
Populated hives will produce a honeycomb and a royal jelly at some point in time after they become ready to be split. If the hive is toggled to "gather any products," a beekeeper will harvest the honeycomb and royal jelly, assuming he has access to a suitable jug in which to put the royal jelly. Deconstructing the hive manually (q x) will release the honeycomb for collection but waste the royal jelly which will spill out on the ground. Both these processes kill the bees. Royal jelly can be eaten or cooked, and the honeycomb is processed at a screw press workshop to yield wax and honey.
It may be possible to move a hive, but the easiest way to move it is to simply split one into the new location, turn off the original one, and harvest it.
Honeybees in their artificial hive can and will sting your dwarves. Worker bees occasionally appear within a few tiles of a hive and are presumed to be responsible for stinging dwarves. It is likely that an inexperienced beekeeper will receive a bee sting when gathering the products of a hive. Additionally, it has been observed that placing a Meeting zone next to hives puts idle dwarves at serious risk of being stung.
Bee stings currently seem to be inconsequential. Bee stings do not appear to be recorded as wounds, but the Health screen will show "Slight pain" for the stung dwarf, which can trigger a "recover wounded" task. This can trigger good thoughts about being rescued and resting, even though the hospital stay was instantaneous. Being stung does not seem to produce a bad thought. But don't be surprised if your refuse pile fills up with bees that die after stinging your dwarves.
There appears to be an upper limit of 60 active colonies in built hives. Once you hit that limit, additional hives will have the message "Too many hives *No output" when examined (though this limit can be exceeded by installing wild colonies into artificial hives). There's also a "soft" limit of 40 active colonies, past which hives will have the message "Too many hives *Restricted output"; presumably this means that these colonies grow more slowly. [Verify]
Forging and Melting
- Metal hives cost one metal bar to forge, or one adamantine wafer.
- When a hive is melted down, it will return 0.3 metal bars/adamantine wafers for an efficiency of 30%