How to Collect Honey in Minecraft? (Without Getting Stung)

How To Collect Honey in Minecraft? (Without Getting Stung)

Honey is a great substance that is available in the mid- to late-game of Minecraft as a strong healing food. But bees are known for their stings, and Minecraft is no different, so how do you collect honey in Minecraft without getting stung?

Honey can be harvested by using a silk touch tool, with a campfire to calm the bees down to stop being swarmed. You can also set up a farm that contains the bees and collects honey automatically if you have some materials.

We’ll look at the bee mechanics in Minecraft and how the various tools and blocks can be used to get all the honey you could ever need, without needing to protect yourself from an angry worker bee.

Collecting Honey Sting-Free

Since the Minecraft 1.15 update, known in the community as the Buzzy Bees update, we have now seen the inclusion of bees in the game.

The update also introduced honey bottles, beehives and honeycombs to complete the bee set. Honey bottles are basically just empty glass bottles that you collect honey in.

Honey is useful in Minecraft as it achieves two useful outcomes: eliminates poison effects and restores three heart chunks. While milk can achieve this, milk removes all status effects including buffs along with debuffs.

First you’ll want to see whether the beehive is worth harvesting, so check if honey is overflowing or leaking from the beehive. The best place to find a hive is by searching for trees near flowers.

Of course, bees don’t like you taking their honey even in the virtual world of Minecraft, and if you start to attack the bees attacking you, that will only draw more bees.

There is also the option to do this at night, or when it’s raining to reduce how angry the bees get. Use a Silk Touch tool to break the hive and bring it with you to other locations.

Keep in mind as well that when a bee stings you, it dies, so you can quickly have a hive collapse on you if too many bees sacrifice themselves to protect the queen.

RELATED: How To Get Honeycomb In Minecraft? [A Simple Guide]


A lit campfire below a beehive generates smoke which will prevent the bees from getting angry and attacking you.

Keep in mind that the fire can also kill the bees, so if you’re looking to create a bee farm this is not the best method, but for a wild beehive this is perfect.

If you’re playing Java edition, then once you’ve placed the campfire at least one block below ground level, put a carpet block on top. This will protect the beehive from the flames of the campfire but still let the smoke out, effectively making the beehive safe.

It’s possible to also use a trapdoor instead of a carpet.

If you’re really wanting as much honey as possible, consider looking at bee farm designs that will help you produce as much honey as you want.

The fire can be at maximum of five blocks away, otherwise any further than this and the system won’t work. A lit-up fire surface, like a netherrack, can do in a pinch if you can’t make a campfire.

RELATED: How to Tame & Breed Frogs in Minecraft?

Redstone Contraption

This method revolves around using a dispenser combined with a bottle or shear. This allows honey to be harvested without getting stung as the redstone will activate the hive rather than the player.

The basic method involves a track made out of something like polished granite, and then specifically placing a redstone comparator, redstone dust and a dispenser pointing downwards. Use dirt or any other material that can have a flower on top, then create the closed room using glass.

A working example can be found in this Youtube video from 8 minutes 29 seconds in in the section titled, ‘Building an Auto Honey Farm’.

Empty Hive Farming

Even if there are no bees in a nest or hive, harvesting the hive will anger any nearby bees, causing a chain reaction of stings.

If the nest or hive is full and you want to get at that sweet honey, block all six sides of the hive using solid blocks to prevent any entry by bees. Whatever blocks you choose, they must be touching the hive. 

Next step is to just wait until night, as the bees will then return to sleep in the hive, but if they’re blocked they will just find the next open hive. This will then leave your hive full of honey but free of bees, so you can break it or harvest it as you please.

Moving a Beehive

If you want the bees at another location, there are a few ways to shift the position of the hive and/or bees.

If you’re not going to transport the hive, then you need a beehive at the new location. 

To construct one, find a bee nest that has reached at least honey level 5, set up the campfire below it,  and then use shears on it. This will drop honeycomb, and you can then construct a new beehive once you have at least three honeycombs and some planks.

Arrange it all per your crafting table’s layout exactly as the picture below.

How To Collect Honey in Minecraft? (Without Getting Stung)

You can then bring bees to your newly-constructed hive from the nest. One way to do this is to cultivate flowers and use them to lead the bees. You can hold the flowers in your hand to lure the bees.

If moving the beehive is not an option, keep in mind that occupied bee nests additionally have a 5% chance to spawn on oak or birch trees in any biome.

There are several caveats, in that the trees themselves have to be grown from seedlings within two blocks of any flower, which themselves have to be at the same y-axis.

Generally you will want to go with a large field of oak or birch saplings and bone meal, making it relatively straightforward without having to travel.

Flowers are best farmed by finding them around the biome. Otherwise, you can produce them via bone meal sprinkled on grass blocks. If you have access to an iron farm, remember that such farms will provide an endless supply of flowers as a byproduct.

  • Ashley is a big time movie watcher and lover of cricket. His favorite films are Rambo: First Blood, Blade Runner 2049, Chinatown, Nightcrawler, Richard Jewell and many others.