Minecraft Bee Breeding Guide: How to Breed Bees in Minecraft

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Bees are one of my favorite mobs in Minecraft!

These little buzzing friends aren’t there just to be cute. You can actually harvest the honey from their nests and use it for all kinds of benefits.

In my own world I always make sure to breed bees close to my base. That way not only does my world look nicer, but I can keep a steady supply of honey. Did you know you can actually use it to cure poisons and negative effects?

Honey can also be turned into sugar which can be used in potions.

I’ll happily share with you where to find and how to breed Bees in Minecraft for your own little bee yards.

Where to Find Bees in Minecraft

To find bees in-game, think about where you could find them in real life. They mostly spawn in the warmer and greener biomes above ground.

A bee nest will only spawn on oak or birch trees and each tree has their own percentage chance to spawn with a nest. If you find a tree in the meadow biome you are 100% guaranteed to find at least one nest.

In other biomes the chances for each tree to have a nest are much lower:

  • 5% for the Sunflower Fields and Plains biome,
  • 2% (or 3% in Bedrock Edition) for the Flower Forest biomes
  • less than 1% in Forests and Birch Forest variants.

But do not be discouraged, as these percentages apply to each individual tree!

There’s also a small chance of having a nest spawn on a tree if you grow the sapling within two blocks of any kind of flower.

Each nest has 1-3 bees living inside it. It is easiest to find a nest during the day when the bees are out in search of flowers. Just follow them around until they head back to the nest to find it.

How to Tame Bees

Bees cannot be tamed like horses or most other mobs.

Touching or messing with a bees’ nest in any way will cause the bees to get aggressive and protect their home. Hitting a bee nest will cause the bees to attack you.

Just like in real life you’ll need something to smoke them.

Build a campfire and place it directly underneath the nest so that the smoke from the fire goes up into it. This prevents the bees from growing hostile when you tamper with the nest.

Next thing you’ll need are shears. 

Wait until the nest is full of honey. You can tell the nest is full when honey can be seen dripping from the holes on its side. Using the shears on the nest will grant you 3 honeycombs, exactly the amount you need to build the beehive.

We will see how to build a beehive in a moment.

I would suggest building at least 3 beehives for a start: one to store the bees you have found so they’d be closer to your base and two for the other bees you’ll be making.

To lead bees to your base you can use any kind of flower for them to follow you. If you have any at your disposal, you can put a lead on them.

How to Build a Beehive

The naturally generated nest is not going to be enough to breed yourself a bunch of bees. A single nest can only house up to 3 bees inside them, so if you breed any more than that they won’t have a home!

You cannot build a bee’s nest like the ones you find in the wild.

You’ll need to construct a beehive and to do so you will need to get honeycomb. This will be a perfect chance to get some experience harvesting your bees.

To build a Beehive you will need:

  • 3 Honeycombs
  • 6 Wooden planks (any wood will do)

Put the 3 Honeycombs that you had gathered in the middle row, with the wooden planks on the rows above and below, like in the image. As I said, any wooden planks you have on hand will work, including nether planks.

Breeding the Bees

Now that you have a home for your bees it’s finally time to breed them.

Right-clicking on a Bee with any flower (except a Wither Rose, which will hurt the bees) will make the bee go into “love mode”. Doing the same action on another one will make them breed and spawn a baby bee, as well as grant you a small amount of experience.

The baby bees take about twenty minutes or a single in-game day to grow, while adult bees have a 5 minute cooldown before they can breed again.

If the bee goes to work inside a hive, however, their growth will halt completely. You can help the bee grow faster by “feeding” it more flowers, like you would with other baby animals and food in the game.

If you’re looking to make a population boom you can wait on placing down your other beehives until all your new bees are fully grown. Not having a hive to go into will not allow their growth progress to halt.

Once you have your bees and their beehives ready make sure to place flowers within a 20 block radius from the hive.

The bees will work on these flowers in order to produce your honey.

Just like with their nests you’ll need a campfire for each hive in order to safely harvest the honey.

Breeding Bees in the Nether

Bees operate on a day and night cycle. Once it gets dark (or rains) they return to their hives to rest. 

However, if you’re in a hurry or wish to mass-produce honey, did you know you can take your bees to the nether? There is no day or night cycle in the nether.

If you build your bee yard there the bees will work continuously without breaks.

Of course, it will be more difficult to breed bees in the nether than in the overworld. You’ll have to provide the bees with flowers and a safe area. 

There are no flowers that naturally grow in the nether and flowers cannot be planted on any nether block. You’ll have to bring your own Dirt and build a garden of your own.

You will also have to make the area safe for your bees.

Just like bats, bees could fly into a fire or lava and quickly burn to death. Not to mention being shot at by ghasts and other mobs while harvesting your honey is not ideal. Make sure your area is safe and hidden away before bringing your bees over.

In my own world I found a small corner in the Nether. It is located far away from lava and it’s somewhat protected by terrain on most sides. Using Cobblestone, which I had plenty of, I built a wall and partially closed in the area.

My biggest concern is stray ghast blasts destroying the Hives and killing the bees. Cobblestone is good for a starting wall, but continuous ghast shots will eventually break it.

Nether brick blocks and iron bars offer much better protection, so an upgrade will surely be required sometime down the line.

I chose to build this area vertically simply to save on space, because I can eventually build more hives on the small platforms I built.

Once you have the main needs of your bees met you have a lot of room to still work on if you’re a builder.

I personally am going to try getting a hold of a grass block to make the little nook look nicer. Eventually I also hope to make a better way to climb to my dirt platforms and reinforce the wall that protects my bees.

I can also use this area as a hub for any linked nether portals I plan to make.

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