Block of the Week: Honey
Today, our block of the week is the honey block – one of the most interesting new blocks to be added to Minecraft in the last few years. It’s a multitasker that plays many different roles in many different builds. Let’s take a look at what it can do.
Honey blocks were announced at Minecon Live 2019, and added to the game late last year in version 1.15 – the Buzzy Bees update - alongside beehives, bee nests and honeycomb blocks. They’re easily crafted with four honey bottles, which you’ll have to fill from a beehive or bee nest. Watch out for angry bees!
Honeycomb is largely decorative, but honey blocks? They’re ridiculously useful, and I’ll tell you why. First, like hay bales, they significantly reduce fall damage. Drop onto a honey block, and you’ll only suffer 80% of the pain as you sink into the sweet, sweet goo.
Secondly, anything moving over a honey block will move much slower and be unable to jump, making them easy targets for a loaded crossbow, or even a tripwire trap. This effect works through carpets and slabs too, if you want to conceal your trap. That means you can glide along honey walls a short distance when jumping past them (just wipe yourself off afterwards).
Thirdly, and most interestingly, when a honey block is moved by a piston, it’ll try to bring all the blocks and items sitting next to it – and those blocks will also push blocks they’re next to. Oh, and if one of those blocks is a honey block, it’ll grab the blocks and items that it’s next to as well. Which means that one piston can suddenly move a lot of blocks in one go. Up to a maximum of 12, to be precise.
Being able to move blocks allows you to create all sorts of machines; conveyor belts, elevators, combine harvesters, flying machines, huge automatic doors, and much more. We compiled a list of some of the coolest examples last year, but if you’ve made something better since then send it our way and we’ll check it out!
In real life, honey is the bee equivalent of that weird chocolate bar your uncle brought you back from holiday. When you’ve got a storecupboard of treats, you’ll avoid it in favour of the snacks you know and love. But when supplies run low and you need something sweet, you’ll eat anything.
It’s the same for bees. Most of the time they prefer to eat pollen and nectar, but when it’s cold or there aren’t any flowers nearby then they’ll dip into the reserves of honey that they’ve stored for later. If tapped regularly by humans, an average hive can produce up to 29kg of honey per year.
How do they make it? Let’s save that disgusting story for when we feature the honey bottle instead. In the meantime, all you need to know is that it involves a chain of digestion regurgitation between a group of bees that can last as long as 20 minutes. Ew.