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Poll

Bee Poll #2 (see reply #209 for results of first poll)

Honey dressings for wounds
- 16 (24.6%)
Honey-preservation of foods
- 19 (29.2%)
Bee Anger (if stirred up, hives stay angry for a while; see post #162)
- 14 (21.5%)
Sting Effects (allergies/resistance; first post)
- 15 (23.1%)
Equine Enmity (hives attack nearby horses (unicorns maybe); see post #23)
- 1 (1.5%)
Addition of Stingless Bees (less risk/less honey; see posts #78-79)
- 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 34

Voting closed: June 18, 2011, 06:22:09 pm


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Author Topic: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard  (Read 29624 times)

Buzzing_Beard

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Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« on: February 18, 2011, 08:03:02 pm »

Eternal Suggestion Voting Page (please vote!): Buzzing Beard's Better Bees

Observations and ideas from an experienced beekeeper and DF enthusiast (alphabetical order):

Alternative Food: Bees can live on syrup or sugar-water if there's no honey.

Angry Followers: If someone being swarm-stung runs inside the fortress, even if the door is shut behind them, count on 20-40 angry bees coming along with them. These may sting innocent bystanders, but each bee only stings once.

Armor Piercing: Arrows are more effective against plate armor when their heads are tipped with beeswax; they become less likely to glance off.

Attack Pheromone:
     +Unless it gets washed, "stung clothing" makes attacks more likely (guard bees really notice this).
     +A stung body part is like a sting-here sign. Stings tend to be clustered (up until they're well distributed).

Beard Contests: End of  reply #210 (Toady mentioned he was looking for things dwarves could do at parties or in taverns).

Bee Anger (A beehive has become enraged!): If stirred up, hives stay angry for a while. See reply #162.

Bee Trees (riskier wood chopping): See reply #46.

Bees bring Honey, Honey brings Bees: Once they find it, bees will RAPIDLY lick up exposed honey and return it to their hives.

Beeswax: Soap, candles, wood-finish, encaustic art, dwarven mustache/beard/eyebrow wax.

Booze: Bees like it, and are drawn to it, but then they get drunk and drown in it. True story.

Cold Bees: A hive will post guards which can initiate attacks, but when it's cold the guards go inside, and the hive is safe to approach (as long as it isn't bumped). Bumblebees can forage when it's cold, but honeybees stay in their hives.

Dwarven Honey-Cows: There are three types of domesticated hive, the dwarves appear to be using skeps, but I suggest they adopt "honey-cows" instead.
     Langstroth: Emphasizes honey harvesting (in centrifuges) not wax collection. The familiar boxy hive has only been around for 300 years
     and feels out of place in a Tolkienesque setting.
     Skep: Ancient and iconic, but can't be split like the others. Your honeycomb will contain brood, and your bees are killed during harvest.
     Top-Bar (aka Honey-Cow): Thousands of years old, no need to kill your bees, balanced between honey and wax production, and
     something a dwarf  with an axe could make out of a log or an empty barrel. They also make royal jelly harvesting less implausible.

Embarkable Beehives: See reply #56.

Equine Enmity: Hives attack nearby horses/unicorns. See reply #23.

Fix DF Bee Anatomy: IRL, bees are born with 4 wings and 5 eyes (not 2 wings and 2 eyes), and drones are actually stingless.

Forage Bees: Foragers are docile and won't sting unless threatened. They venture out during the day if it's not raining or too cold.

Giant Bees: They could be rideable (#173) or have unusual properties like stings you could remove and use to make weapons or, for the bumblebees, harvestable wool. Hmm... I bet bumble fuzz would be really warm, bumblebees are almost like little flying sheep (probably even fluffier than trolls ).

Honey: In addition to being edible, it can preserve other foods, be made into mead/vinegar, or be used to dress wounds or burns.

Honey Fluid: Honey can flow and be pumped around as a fluid. Picture giant honey based traps and cisterns.

Immature Hives: It takes about eight pounds of honey for bees to make one pound of wax. Young hives need to build up comb, which eats into their honey. To avoid starving them, honey usually isn't harvested from hives until they are at least one year old.

It's Their Food: With a good source of nectar, bees can fill their hive with honey, but remember that they eat it too. If nectar is unavailable, in winter for example, hive honey levels will drop over time. If they run out, they can starve.

Let Them Eat Comb: Let dwarves eat honey in comb form without needing to press it first (beeswax is edible). See reply #28.

No Healing Factor: For a bee, every injury is permanent (IRL, damage accumulates just from visiting flowers).

Other Honey Facts: A puddle of honey doesn't evaporate like water would. Honey that's not too warm may start to crystallize.

Pollination Effects: Plants visited by bees are more productive.

Preservation: Honey doesn't go bad (unless it gets wet). It also keeps meat (or bodies) from decaying (honey traps!), but things get mummified or turned into jerky after about 150 years.

Rare/Magical Honeys: Special honeys could be made from plants that bloom only once every so many years or by placing hives really high up so that the bees can get to "heavenly" flowers (based on Norse myth). Replies #42 and #211.

Royal Jelly: A staple of rogue-like, but it's anachronistic for DF. See reply #35.

Smoke: Bees exposed to smoke are less likely to attack. I'd guess 80% less likely to attack (a beekeeping essential).

Sting Effects: Non-allergic individuals can become resistant if stung periodically. For example, many veteran beekeepers have almost no reaction to stings. Otherwise, swelling sets in after 30 minutes and lasts about a week. Swollen areas become itchy, shiny, and hurt when touched. Swollen hands may prevent wearing gloves, wielding weapons, or punching things and not crying.
In Humans:
     +Allergic (12%): Bigger less-localized swelling.
     +Severely Allergic (0.5% children, 3% adults): Vomiting, fainting, anaphylactic shock, and also bigger, less-localized swelling.
     +A sting to the eye can cause blindness... in that eye.

Toxic Honey: Eating honey made from toxic plants often has undesirable side-effects. See reply #14.

Underground Beehives: It's the dwarven way.

Varietal Honeys: The honey being determined by the nectar source. Mmmm... strawberry-honey mead. See reply 200#.

Thanks for reading, I'm happy the dwarves have bees now.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 10:32:35 am by Buzzing_Beard »
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IT 000

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2011, 09:18:29 pm »



Quote
Smoke: Bees exposed to smoke are less likely to attack. I'd guess 80% less likely to attack

Of course we'd need some reliable way to get steam without getting !!DWARF!! if you know what I mean

Quote
Sting Effects: Non-allergic individuals can become resistant if stung periodically. For example, many veteran beekeepers have almost no reaction to stings.

I agree, in my opinion though beekeepers could be like weavers collecting silk. Weavers don't destroy silk they walk over, beekeepers shouldn't get stung by bees.

Quote
In Humans:
     +Allergic (12%): Bigger less-localized swelling.
     +Severely Allergic (0.5% children, 3% adults): Vomiting, fainting, anaphylactic shock, and also bigger

This can be done to a certain degree with modding. They already have a chance of giving out moderate pain. You could add two additional syndromes to make it seem like the dwarf is allergic. Or you could assign it to a caste of bees that only has a one in ten chance of showing up. Of course it would be random whether the dwarf is 'allergic' or not.

Quote
Toxic Honey: Eating honey made from toxic plants often has undesirable side-effects.

Hee hee hee, kobold bulbs, gnomeblight mead, gnome problem solved.

Right now there is no 'toxic plants' or flowers for that matter. But I do like the potential fun level of being in an evil swamp with an evil tulip.

Quote
Booze: Bees like it, but then they get drunk and drown in it.

I really want to sig this.
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SyrusRayne

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2011, 11:46:04 pm »

On the topic of "Toxic Honey" and evil plants, the reverse could also be true. Perhaps if your bees are set up in an area with Good plants, your honey might have strange beneficial properties. It might make them happy for a while, or something similar. Just a thought!
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Buzzing_Beard

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 12:28:00 am »

     "Of course we'd need some reliable way to get steam without getting !!DWARF!! if you know what I mean"

Beekeepers usually burn plant fibers in a handheld "smoker" to puff smoke into their hives (not steam), but dwarven beekeepers might come up with some other method of smoke delivery to reduce stinging.

     "Weavers don't destroy silk they walk over, beekeepers shouldn't get stung by bees."

In real life we get stung all the time. A veteran beekeeper, while good at avoiding swarm-attacks, might get stung sixty times in a single afternoon's work (and be fine). Also, because resistance wears off, it's important to intentionally get stung periodically, doing otherwise is dangerous.
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Jake

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 12:36:51 am »

Protective clothing for beekeepers would also be a good idea. Maybe leather armour and some kind of face-mask?
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Sphalerite

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 12:37:18 am »

Just today I was at a convention where a vendor was selling samples of honey from various sources.  It's amazing how much effect the type of plant has on the flavor and color of the resulting honey.  Though it would probably be a bit too much for DF to keep track of the exact blend of flowers that was harvested by each hive, it would make sense for honey from good regions or evil regions to have some noticeable difference.
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IT 000

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2011, 12:57:36 am »

Quote
Beekeepers usually burn plant fibers in a handheld "smoker" to puff smoke into their hives (not steam), but dwarven beekeepers might come up with some other method of smoke delivery to reduce stinging.

Magma, that'll stop the stinging  ;D

In all seriousness the fibers could come from rope reed or pig tail and as long as they didn't actually produce a heat source (It will catch dwarves on fire) it would be a wonderful addition.

Fire has been toned down a tad, no more !!water!!, way back when things caught on fire when a dwarf rubbed against a wall the wrong way. I built 'sprinkler' systems throughout my fort and had to use them 10 to 15 times in a forts ten year life-span. By sprinkler I mean two long hallways running parallel to high traffic areas with floodgates installed every other step that could, at a moments notice, douse the entire hallway with 7/7 water then drain it just as fast. That's how scared I was of fires. I'm still paranoid

Quote
In real life we get stung all the time. A veteran beekeeper, while good at avoiding swarm-attacks, might get stung sixty times in a single afternoon's work (and be fine). Also, because resistance wears off, it's important to intentionally get stung periodically, doing otherwise is dangerous.

Well I'm no beekeeper and while one beesting doesn't bother me, but sixty?

In game, I've only had a handful of dwarves get stung by bees. Even when I thought setting up hives right near my entrance would be cool. making the beekeeper dwarves 'immune' to beestings would help keep the bees alive and to a certain extent mimic their resistance to the sting. Plus it would be better then the sixty spam messages of UristMcBeekeeper got stung by a bumble bee! Which could easily land on his eyes blind him.
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Buzzing_Beard

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2011, 01:10:11 am »

     Sphalerite: "Though it would probably be a bit too much for DF to keep track of the exact blend of flowers that was
     harvested by each hive..."

Beehives pick and choose just one type of nectar source to feed off of at any given time. As long as those flowers have nectar, the bees will keep with them. This is why you can get mono-floral honey in areas with a large variety of different flowers.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 03:51:44 pm by Buzzing_Beard »
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Uristocrat

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 01:14:59 am »

Beehives pick and choose just one type of nectar source to feed off of at any given time. As long as those flowers have nectar, the bees will keep with them. This is why you can get mono-floral honey in areas with a large variety of different flowers.

How do you get them to choose the type of nectar you want them to?
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You could have berries on the rocks and the dwarves would say it was "berry gneiss."
You should die horribly for this. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Buzzing_Beard

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2011, 01:51:42 am »

     Jake: "Protective clothing for beekeepers would also be a good idea. Maybe leather armour and some kind of
     face-mask?"

I agree, gloves and a veil of some sort would be good for an apprentice beekeeper. In the real world, bees can sting you through a leather shoe (personal experience). Most beesuits are cloth and work by being baggy. This also causes them to become less protective as you sweat or if it's raining because they can cling to you. Beesuits are also white because bees don't sting light colored clothing as much as they do dark. If you wear black pants and a white shirt, they'll mostly sting your pants.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 03:53:11 pm by Buzzing_Beard »
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Buzzing_Beard

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2011, 01:57:33 am »

     Uristocrat: "How do you get them to choose the type of nectar you want them to?"

Bees have a preference hierarchy, but mostly its determined by abundance and proximity. If you want strawberry honey, put them close to a strawberry patch.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 03:53:53 pm by Buzzing_Beard »
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Uristocrat

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2011, 02:00:58 am »

     "How do you get them to choose the type of nectar you want them to?"

Bees have a preference hierarchy, but mostly its determined by abundance and proximity. If you want strawberry honey, put them close to a strawberry patch.

What does that hierarchy look like / what is it based on (e.g. do they like red flowers more than white ones or something)?  And how much more abundant does something have to be before they'll take it instead of whatever they would prefer to it were all things equal?
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You could have berries on the rocks and the dwarves would say it was "berry gneiss."
You should die horribly for this. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Buzzing_Beard

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2011, 04:44:20 am »

     Uristocrat: "What does that hierarchy look like / what is it based on..."

Bees have their own peculiar preferences. Occasionally those preferences are very strong and they will fly through three miles of less desirable flowers to get to the ones they like. I know they like clover and thyme, and try to avoid soy and alfalfa. But I think DF would be good with just nectar-abundance and proximity.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 03:54:32 pm by Buzzing_Beard »
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Neonivek

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2011, 04:58:52 am »

Quote
Toxic Honey: Eating honey made from toxic plants often has undesirable side-effects

Is this true? I mean the Bees take Nectar from plants that want the bees to take nectar.

There is only one thing not on your list that I know they do, at least back then, but for the life of me I don't know when. Basically you persuade the bees not to migrate or create new nests or something by making a lot of noise.  (Research that I just did after posting suggests that they were eliminating Swarming)

Though there are a lot of differences between ancient bee-farming and modern.

Quote
Bees have their own peculiar preferences

Some Bee Farmers even attempt to ensure that the bees have only certain types of plants to get their nectar from (Or rather they build bee-farms in places they prefer). I've heard of Orange and Lilac Honey before. Though that may be WAAAY to complicated to actually diagram in the game... at best some honey could be treated as a "Location Specialty" and given a name *Town* Honey, though I am not sure how much they did that back then.

Though how much you can honestly tell the difference, and if you could actually taste the plants it came from, is beyond me.

Edit additions:

Ok after doing a bit of research one thing I COULD add is that apperantly the quality of the hive itself affected the quality of the honey. That is something that would probably be more of a concern back then.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 05:07:08 am by Neonivek »
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Buzzing_Beard

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Re: Honeybees Buzz'n Beard
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2011, 05:52:08 am »

     "Toxic Honey: Eating honey made from toxic plants often has undesirable side-effects"

It's true for humans, not sure about dwarves. What's toxic to humans isn't always toxic to bees.
Honey toxic to humans:
+Azalea
+Mountain Laurel
+Oleander
+Yew
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