Simple automation with Buildcraft

Bees, due to their ability to interact with mods like Buildcraft and Applied Energistics, can very easily be automated. This automation can be as simple as piping out combs and bees, all the way to automatic breeding and purification.

Bees and BuildcraftEdit

Asuming that you have Buildcraft installed, which is needed anyway for most of forestry, you can use Buildcraft pipes to automate bees. Simply put a wooden transport pipe on the bottom or any side that isn't the top, attach a redstone engine or artathic gate if you have them, and away you go to pipe out. To sort these outgoing items, it is recommended to use an apiarists pipe from forestry, setting one output to send items one way into a chest, and any bees out another side to the top or side of and apiary. Also, gated from Buildcraft have gate conditionals(settings) that allow pipes to check for things in apiarys and genetic machines. Some of the more useful conditions are princess missing, needs drone, and has queen. This allows you to setup some pipes to, when a gate calls for it, to send in another drone or princess, or even setup advanced machines, such as a pure breeding machine.

A guide to automation, from species discovery to mass production of dronesEdit

Required mods:

  • Forestry
  • Buildcraft
  • Extrabees (optional for the first part)

Optional mods

  • Zan's minimap
  • Additional Buildcraft Objects

Quick notes/guidelines

  • Get a reliable source of seed oil (Melon farm is the best way to go)
  • Find a LOT of hives (Forest and Meadow works best because they have a common climate)
    • This is where Zan's Minimap is VERY useful, explore at night with the map open and you can see many of the hives lit up
  • Remember that Apiarist's Pipes can't sort bees you haven't discovered yet (besides the Mundane/natural ones)
  • Having discovered the bee you want to mass produce is a good idea, but you don't NEED to have that done yet. However, clear idea as to what bee you intend to breed is needed. This guide can be used to breed either/both Majestic and Industrial bees (as I use it), and probably others that I don't really know about yet.
  • You shouldn't attempt to use this guide if you don't have access to at least a couple of diamonds for a set of Apiarist's Pipes (5-6 should be good, depending on the bee you want), and enough power to provide for at least a Squeezer, a Carpenter, a Centrifuge, and most/all the Extra Bees machines.

How to mass produce bees of any breed (Imperial as an example here)

  • Find natural hives that can lead to your bee (Forest and Meadow are best here), using a backpack can be very helpfull, so is the minimap
  • Build apiaries in multiples of 9 (makes it easy to manualy start crossbreeding)
  • Find the path of evolution for your bee (Mundane, Common, Cultivated, Noble, Majestic, Imperial)
  • Start by breeding your 2 Mundane bees to obtain Common. Breed any Common drone with Mundane princess, and any Common princess with Mundane drones.
    • After that, you should always crossbreed princesses with the next evolution's drone, i.e., Common drones with Mundane princess, Cultivated drones with Common princess, Noble drones with Cultivated princess, until the end of the breeding chain. 
  • Once you have some common bees, actual automation can start. By using Apiarist's Pipes, you can select breeding partners for a group of apiaries.
  • When you get to the last breeding, you can reverse the partners' gender to maximise your target bee.
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Breeding partner selector. Yellow is input.

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Breeding selector for the first pair.

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Apiaries (only 2 used for demo purposes). This is where Additional Buildcraft Objects is useful, as those are Insertion Pipes (they force bees to enter the apiaries if there is room for them). You can use Redstone engines instead of Autarchic gates. Those are set to always pump out items.

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Feeding loop. Yellow is connected to a chest to feed bees from wild hives. Red is Items. Green is Any bees. Any bees not being actively bred will circle around in the loop.

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Completed breeder. First loop is (Drone/Princess) Common/Mundane, then Cultivated/Common, Noble-Diligent/Cultivated, Unweary/Diligent, Majestic/Noble, Noble/Majestic, Diligent/Unweary. Notice the regular chest and apiarist chest in the middle. They're (respectively) for combs and other products and Industious and Imperial bees.