Bees are neutral Mobs that spawn from Beehives and Bee Boxes. While their aggressive variant - the Killer Bee - is charged with the protection of the nest, the primary function of these normally docile creatures is Honey production. If provoked however, they do join fights to defend the hive.
Killer Bees are an aggressive variant of Bees that are immediately hostile towards the player or any other non-insect mob. Their only function is protecting the hive. They spawn from regular Beehives, Killer Bee Hives and Bee Boxes.
Bees are usually seen traveling between their nest and nearby Flowers during the day. They leave their nest in the morning one at a time at regular intervals and all return home at dusk or when they have collected pollen from 6 different sources. When they reach a Flower, they will usually land on it for a short time before moving on again. The closer the Flowers are to the nest, the faster the Bees will produce Honey; however, gathering rate only affects Honey contained in Bee Boxes, the amount is fixed at 3 in Beehives. If there are no Flowers nearby or if all Flowers are occupied, Bees will sometimes simply land on the ground and wait. Although they can fly over Walls when neutral, Bees cannot cross the Ocean.
When their link to a Beehive is severed (either through catch-and-release or by destroying the hive) a Bee will gain the ability to spawn a new Flower after pollinating a minimum of 6 different Flowers. They can't be forced to spawn Flowers like captive Butterflies, but will do so every once in a while on their own. Evil Flowers can also be spread in this manner if a Bee pollinates 6 of them. Hiveless Bees will pollinate Flowers through dusk since they have no hive to go home to during that time.
Both types of Bees attack in response to a "cry for help" from a member of their own hive; this occurs when a Killer Bee or worker Bee is attacked or caught with a Bug Net. Bees already outside engage from about a screen afar while those still inside all leave the hive immediately and attack regardless of distance (though they give up the chase after 8 seconds if they can't reach their target). Bees belonging to different hives do not cooperate with each other at all. However, hiveless Bees do assist any hive as if they belonged to it and vice versa; any hive will aid a hiveless Bee for up to 10 members combined.
- Unlike Killer Bees, proximity to other creatures does not trigger aggression.
- They ignore all attacks against their home. Regular Beehives will respond to threats with Killer Bees, the player can not attack Bee Boxes, and there are no workers in Killer Bee Hives. Fire is a special case that doesn't drive the hive to attack even if the player directly hits their home with a Fire Dart for example. Instead, Beehives and Bee Boxes eject all those inside as worker Bees while Killer Bee Hives spawn Killer Bees.
- When harvesting Honey from a Bee Box, Bees still inside emerge as workers and attack while those already outside ignore the intruder and continue their normal behavior unless the player fights back. This means that it's perfectly safe to harvest a Bee Box if all the Bees are outside.
Killer Bees are hostile towards almost all creatures except flying Birds and other insects. Normally, they remain inside their hive if there is no threat to fight. The following scenarios describe their combat behavior:
- Killer Bees will attack anything that wanders too close to them. Other Bees will not assist, unless their target fights back. The distance at which they are provoked is about a quarter of a screen's length.
- Killer Bees will attack anything that damages a Beehive or a Killer Bee Hive. All Bees, inside the hive, emerge as Killer Bees and attack, but any Killer Bees that were not in the hive will ignore the threat unless the target fights back.
Bees can be found anywhere near a Beehive (which are marked on the map). The easiest way to deal with them is to use the Bug Net. When caught, the Bee will turn into an item in the player's inventory, which stacks up to 20. Captured Bees can be used to build Bee Boxes and Bee Mines, or Murdered by right-clicking them in inventory to produce a Honey or Stinger. Killer Bees cannot be used for crafting.
A Beekeeper Hat may be worn to decrease the damage taken from either type of Bee. When hit, Bees will become "stun-locked" and spin around for a moment before recovering. Movement is essential when engaging Bees with melee weapons as hive swarms will follow the player for a reasonable distance before giving up.
Abigail's AOE attack is extremely efficient at taking out Beehives, especially during dusk or night, since her attack stun-locks bees in her vicinity before eventually killing them. Bees killed by Abigail will not increase the player's naughtiness level.
Killer Bees can also be caught with a Bug Net, becoming an item in the inventory (stacks to 20). Each Killer Bee can be Murdered for one (1) Stinger or one (1) Honey, but they cannot be used to build Bee Boxes or Bee Mines. If they are released, they will attack any nearby Mobs.
Below is the number of hits it takes with each weapon to kill Bees and Killer Bees when playing with characters with a default damage modifier. The Weather Pain is not included due to the random nature of its projectile.
|No. of hits for||24||8||6||4||3||2-4||2 or 3||2||1|
In Reign of Giants (RoG) and Shipwrecked (SW) DLCs, all worker Bees will appear red (like Killer Bees) and become hostile during Spring (RoG) and Monsoon Season (SW), though not as hostile as Killer Bees. These red Bees can still be caught for use in crafting recipes. Bees and Killer Bees inside the player's inventory will starve in 2 days unless fed. They can be fed with anything edible for the player, including Mandrakes, Deerclops Eyeballs, Rot, etc.
In RoG, Bees also have a chance to spawn when harvesting Tumbleweeds. Additionally, Bee Boxes spawn Bees or Killer Bees when in Caves or Ruins, making mass production of Honey possible underground.
- Bee Boxes and Bee Mines require Bees to craft. Killer Bees cannot be used in crafting.
- In combat, Killer Bees are weaker than normal Bees, as they have lower attack speed.
- Releasing large amounts of Killer Bees can be effective against Hounds or single targets.
- Kiting a swarm of Killer Bees to a group of Pengulls can also be effective. Most likely, the Pengulls will kill the Bees. The Pengull Eggs can also be collected during the distraction.
- Bees will still land on Flowers even if the Flowers are on fire. Since the Bee will also catch on fire, this may cause unintended spread of the fire.
- Despite Wickerbottom's examination quote, Killer Bees do not cause Poisoning.
- In the game files, the Killer Bee Hive is called a Wasp Nest, possibly suggesting Killer Bees were originally meant to be wasps.
- The Bees in Don't Starve can sting many times in-game, in real-life, Bees (specifically Honey Bees) will die after stinging, as their stingers will be stuck in the skin along with their digestive tract and muscles, this may be due to their larger size or it may be quite similar to Bumble Bees, which don't die after they sting.
- When WX-78 examines a Bee, it will refer to it as a "drone" and as a male, this is rather incorrect, as real Honey Bee Drones don't have stingers and don't collect pollen or participate in making honey, instead, their role is to mate with the Queen Bee. Real Worker Bees are female and have the stingers, Woodie gets this fact right as he says "She's making the flowers grow".
- A real killer bee is a hybrid of the Australian honey bee and the European honey bee and is also an invasive species in North America.
- Both Bees and Killer Bees can still be "caught" after they've been killed, if a Bug Net is used while close to the Bee's corpse, though it will disappear from the inventory soon after (unless there is at least one (1) Bee or Killer Bee in the inventory before capturing the corpse).
- A Bee or Bees sometimes get stuck in one spot during dusk and night, when they are supposed to hide in their Hives or Bee Boxes. This sometimes occur when a wall is on the Bee's way (even when there's an opening somewhere).