Viking culture is the sum of a whole load of parts. Swinging and throwing axes is just as vital as sailing up rivers in longboats, with both being required for the Viking tradition of raiding the settled. This tradition is easy to practice in Valheim, but there’s another less obvious tradition that your Viking can also enjoy – mead brewing. Valheim boasts a bunch of different mead bases for you to brew, each giving different effects. Some give resistance to the elements, others act as immediate healing, while others still taste good and increase your stamina regen.
While brewing mead is a worthwhile task to do, you’ll need a steady supply of one particular resource first – Honey. Almost every mead base requires Honey to produce, and although you can find Honey out in the wild, it’s much easier to start your own farm instead. Here’s how you can do just that.
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Starting your first apiary
In Valheim, bees are the key ingredient in a honey farm. Each Beehive produces one Honey every 20 minutes, stopping once 4 Honey is stored. Having a few beehives to start with will make your fledgling apiary produce a decent amount of Honey every hour, suitable for making the first few mead bases. The question is, how do you craft a beehive?
Beehives need two materials for their craft – Wood and a Queen Bee. Wood is easy enough to get; chopping down a single tree will yield more than enough for one Beehive. Finding a Queen Bee is a little more challenging.
Finding a Queen Bee
Queen Bees can be obtained from Beehives found in the wild. You can find these Beehives in derelict buildings that spawn in the Meadows biome, or sometimes the ruined towers in the Black Forest. Wild Beehives spawn much more commonly in the Meadows, so I’d suggest against wasting your time in the Black Forest.
Once you’ve found a wild Beehive, it’s best to keep your distance. Getting close will agitate the bees, making them attack you and apply a nasty poison. These guys can be a scourge in the early game, dropping you quicker than Troll could ever hope to. Each sting applies poison damage over time, which can quickly kill Vikings who forgot a hearty breakfast.
Instead of getting close, you should bring a bow and a few arrows, taking potshots at a Beehive from afar. If you’re far enough away, you won’t aggro the bees, making destroying the hive a piece of cake. Wait a couple of seconds after the final blow for the bees to go away, then head over. If you’re lucky, the Beehive will have dropped a Queen Bee. Keep up the hunt for as long as your patience allows, then head back to base and get started on your apiary.
Building your beehives
Once you’ve got a few Queen Bees, it’s time to craft the Beehives and let the honey flow. You won’t be able to build the Beehives just anywhere, though; Valheim’s bees are a bit temperamental, only liking certain biomes. These are the Meadows, Black Forest, and Plains. You’ll also need to make sure your beehives are exposed to the outside, as too much of a covering will upset the bees. You can see what your bees think of their dwelling by interacting with the hive; if it says “the bees are happy”, you’re all good.
Happy bees are only half of it. The denizens of Valheim aren’t too pleased with Viking-built structures, and they’ll do anything to bring them down. That includes your Beehives, so you’d do well to protect your poor bees. Building a fence around your apiary will be enough to slow down any would-be attackers, without adding much of a covering and risk upsetting the bees. You could also build sharp stakes around the fence for extra defense if your base is vulnerable to raids.
If you don’t mind an eyesore, campfires are an excellent defensive wall, as they stop enemies from spawning nearby, aren’t targeted by said enemies, and will set alight anything that steps in the flame. Arguably the best automated defense in Valheim at the moment.
Uses for Honey
With your apiary established and defended, your bees will be happy and productive. Now all you need to do is plan how you’ll use your Honey when the time comes to harvest. Eating Honey straight from the source serves as a decent snack, boosting your health by 8 and your stamina by 35. With a little extra time and effort, you’ll be able to cook a hearty meal using Honey as an ingredient.
The first main use for Honey is in cooking. There are a total of five recipes that require Honey, each providing pretty good buffs to your Viking, setting you up for adventures into more dangerous biomes. These recipes are:
- Boar Jerky – Requires 1 Honey and 1 Boar Meat. Eating Boar Jerky will give you 23 health and 23 stamina. Must be cooked in a Cauldron.
- Black Soup – Requires 1 Bloodbag, 1 Turnip, and 1 Honey. This meal will give you 50 health and 17 stamina. Must be cooked in a Cauldron.
- Wolf Jerky – Requires 1 Wolf Meat and 1 Honey. Wolf Jerky will give you 33 health and 33 stamina. Must be cooked in a level 3 Cauldron.
- Serpent Stew – Requires 1 Cooked Serpent Meat, 1 Mushroom, and 2 Honey. Serpent Stew will boost your health by 80 and stamina by 26. Must be cooked in a Cauldron.
- Honey Glazed Chicken – Requires 1 Chicken Meat, 2 Jotun Puffs, and 3 Honey. Honey Glazed Chicken will boost your health by 80 and stamina by 26. To cook it, you’ll need a level 5 Cauldron to prepare the Uncooked Honey Glazed Chicken, then a Stone Oven, which will require a trip to the Swamp.
While cooking nutritious meals is a good use for Honey, using it to brew mead is the better option. There are a total of nine mead bases that can be prepared using Honey, each with potent effects. If you want to explore the late-stage biomes, packing a few bottles of mead will make your trip easier and your Viking happy. The mead base recipes are:
- Minor Healing Mead – Requires 10 Honey, 10 Raspberries, 5 Blueberries, and 1 Dandelion. Minor Healing Mead will heal 50 health over 10 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown. This mead base must be placed in a Fermenter for 2 days, producing 6 bottles.
- Medium Healing Mead – Requires 10 Honey, 10 Raspberries, 4 Bloodbags, and 1 Dandelion. Medium Healing Mead will heal 75 health over 10 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown. This mead base must be placed in a Fermenter for 2 days to produce 6 bottles.
- Major Healing Mead – Requires 10 Honey, 5 Royal Jelly, and 4 Blood Clots. Major Healing Mead will heal 125 health over 10 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown. This mead base must be placed in a Fermenter for 2 days to produce 6 bottles.
- Minor Stamina Mead – Requires 10 Honey, 10 Raspberries, and 10 Yellow Mushrooms. Minor Stamina Mead will recover 80 stamina over 10 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown. This mead base must be placed in a Fermenter for 2 days to produce 6 bottles.
- Medium Stamina Mead – Requires 10 Honey, 10 Yellow Mushrooms, and 10 Cloudberries. Medium Stamina Mead will recover 160 stamina over 10 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown. This mead base must be placed in a Fermenter for 2 days to produce 6 bottles.
- Frost Resistance Mead – Requires 10 Honey, 5 Thistles, 2 Bloodbags, and 1 Greydwarf Eye. Frost Resistance Mead reduces the effects of the cold, reducing frost damage taken, and preventing the cold and freezing status effects. Drinking one bottle will allow you to explore the Mountains without taking damage for 600 seconds. This mead base must be placed in a Fermenter for 2 days to produce 6 bottles.
- Poison Resistance Mead – Requires 10 Honey, 10 Coal, 5 Thistles, and 1 Neck Tail. Poison Resistance Mead reduces both the duration and damage of the poison status effect for 10 minutes. This mead base must be placed in a Fermenter for 2 days to produce 6 bottles.
- Tasty Mead – Requires 10 Honey, 10 Raspberries, and 5 Blueberries. Tasty Mead increases stamina regen by 100%, at the cost of -50% health regen speed. The effect lasts for 10 seconds and has no cooldown, making it good for getting out of a tough spot. This mead base must be placed in a Ferment for 2 days to produce 6 bottles.
- Minor Eitr Mead – Requires 10 Honey, 5 Sap, 5 Magecap, and 2 Jotun Puffs. Minor Eitr Mead restores 125 Eitr over 10 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown. This mead base must be placed in a Fermenter for 2 days to produce 6 bottles.
That’s everything you need to know about farming bees in Valheim and using the Honey they produce. Cooking and brewing these recipes takes quite a bit of Honey, so it’s a good idea to have a fair few Beehives in your apiary for efficient production.