When it comes to relaxing simulation games, few come close to the warm and soothing atmosphere of Apico, the first beekeeper and beekeeping simulator. Inspired by the Forestry Minecraft mod, Apico lets you live out your bee-related dreams.
Although the job teaches you the basics well, the multitude of bee puns and the amount of stuff you need to learn can seem a bit overwhelming for newbie beekeepers. Although there are no time pressure elements on Apico, it can be reassuring to go there with some practical advice in your pocket and some strategies to use.
Seriously, read the guides
Apico does an amazing job of teaching you everything you need to know about the game, and it does that through the guides you’ll acquire in the first hour or so of play. The Grandfather’s Guide is the most important – it will teach you how to become a beekeeper through a series of short quests. You learn by Do in Apico.
And there is a plot learn.
Always remember to claim your rewards each time you complete a quest!
The other three guides consist of manuals and a map. Almanac of Beelia will teach you everything you need to know about the different bee species – but only once you’ve acquired one at least once. You will have information on their temperament, their products, their conservation status and even the hybrid species they can create.
Folio of the Abbot is your flower guide. In Apico, flowers can affect the bees that visit them, sometimes modifying their behavior. The Folio will tell you how to crossbreed flowers to create new hybrids with new effects.
The final guide is Captain’s card. Unfortunately, you’ll have to fill it in yourself as you explore the world, but it’s a handy reference book that also shows you in-game NPC locations.
Apiaries Vs. Hives
An easy mistake to make in the first hour of play is finding out that you can keep bees in hives, then assuming that you can start filling your almanac with hybrids made inside hives. It’s not true.
Only bees that breed inside apiaries will have a chance of producing a hybrid. To create a basic apiary, you will need to use ten honeycombs, ten wooden planks, and ten logs on your workbench.
If you use infused wood planks instead, you will create an advanced apiary. This has more slots than a regular apiary – three slots versus seven slots.
To get infused wooden planks, combine wooden planks and resin in an infuser.
You can also keep bees inside a shotter. Swarmers have more bee slots – nine exit slots in total – but they don’t have frame slots and don’t drop items. In apiaries, bees will also produce items when they reproduce.
Although you cannot produce hybrid bees in a hive, bees that breed here will gradually produce honeycombs – which is needed to craft frames for you to use in your apiaries. Having both apiaries and a few Beehvies active at all times is a great way to manage your beekeeping setup.
Skip time and teleport
There are two pieces of furniture you can use in Apico to To fastforward time – the bench and the bed. You can build a bench quite early in the game, but beds will come later.
When you’re sitting on a bench, time speeds up a bit. It speeds up a lot more when you’re in bed.
You can also use benches to move quickly. You have a very generous range to interact with items and tools, and that includes benches. When you use a bench, you’ll be instantly transported to its location – you can take advantage of this by building chains of benches around your farm and using them to move around in a snap.
Use Beeboxes to store unwanted bees
You will very quickly find yourself with too many bees. It only takes a few bee-keeping sessions before your pockets are overflowing with critters, and hives are the solution to this problem.
You can create bee boxes at the workbench by combining a basic apiary, a large crate, and honeycomb. When you place a bee in an empty beebox, you configure the beebox to only accept bees of that variety – and that includes hybrids.
The rule for putting hybrids in a beebox depends on the dominant half of the hybrid. Let’s say you have a Forest Beebox and a Verdant Beebox and have created hybrids in your apiary. You will be able to place Forest-Verdant Bees inside the Forest Beebox and Verdant-Forest Bees inside the Verdant Beebox.
Use flowers early and often
Flowers are used in Apico to affect your bees. Higher level flowers will provide buffs to any bees they are planted near and can be used strategically to improve your production and the quality of life of your bees.
You can check which flowers will be within range of your apiaries by checking the white circle around them when you open the interface.
To get new flowers, you’ll need to do some crossbreeding – luckily it’s a simpler process than with bees:
- First, find out which flowers you will have to come across. In this example, we’ll be using the Honeyrose and the Beekeeper’s Delight, two flowers you can find early in the game. When mated, these flowers can produce Goldenrod seeds.
- Plant these two flowers near an apiary – note that it must be an apiary for this to work, not a beehive.
- Raise bees in this apiary and place a frame inside. The frame will eventually fill with products.
- Use a uncap to uncap the frame, then process the unmasked frame in a centrifuge as per usual.
- Frame products must contain goldenrod seeds.
Certain flowers are necessary to calm some grumpy bees, as they only react to certain smells. Fill out your Folio as soon as possible so you have access to everything.
Remember to pick the flowers you harvest to register them in your Folio! Planting the seeds is only half the job.
How to earn enough money to buy the boat
Eventually, you’ll complete enough tasks for Skipper to allow you to buy him a boat. This will cost you 200 rubies, which is a lot when most things you get early in the game sell for a single ruby or sometimes less.
From afar the best way to make money in the early game is to make Apicola and sell it. Each bottle of Apicola sells for 15 rubies, so you only need to make 14 bottles of them to buy the ship – and you can also sell the special products obtained from frames filled in the centrifuge to increase this income.
Apicola is made by fermenting honey with water. Here’s how:
- Make a rain tank and place it outside. It will collect water when it rains.
- Obtain juicer honey each time you process an uncapped image.
- Make a fermenter and some wooden cans.
- Use cartridges to transfer the water and honey to the fermenter. This will create Apicola!
- Buy bottles at Skipper – they only cost one Rubee each. Also, buy a bottlerit costs 100 rupees.
- That’s a lot of money to collect – though, you should be able to make it with the goods crafted by higher level bees! Keep raising and crafting frames.
- Transfer the Apicola to the bottler with the filled canisters and place your bottles there as well. They will gradually fill up and become salable bottles of Apicola.
Remember that you fill the frames by placing them inside an apiary while the bees are breeding and uncorking them with a bottle opener.
Consider forced mutations
Tucked away in the Accessibility menu of the Settings menu is the option to force mutations. There “Hybrid offspring always mutate” The option will do exactly what it says – when breeding bees, hybrids will always have some kind of mutation, and you can use it to reduce the time it takes to get the mutations you’re looking for.
Without it, mutations and new hybrids will sometimes (and probably) take a while to occur.
This will make it particularly fast elevate unwanted traitslike the growl.
Experiment with the other options available to you in this menu: being able to walk in trees saves you a lot of time when you have more than enough wood for your needs, and there are even options for visual accessibility and to skip the mini-game that some tools require. .
NEXT: Stardew Valley: Bee Houses Guide