|You hear an angry and manifold buzzing.|
The two floors of the Hive generate in a very predictable pattern. The first is usually made up of one-to-three small open areas, filled with bees, loot, and little else. The second floor is a single unified chamber, a large portion of which is made up of an area filled with wax walls, honey, and even more bees than you've encountered thus far (including slightly more dangerous queen bees). Also, there is usually a small treasure vault on Hive:2, either hidden in the back of the wax wall area or across a pool of deep water.
The Hive is an excellent early branch to explore. With poison resistance and a little caution, any melee character can gradually hack their way through the swarm and be very well rewarded for it. Take advantage of the many nooks and crannies in the wall to force bees to face you one at a time.
Casters don't necessarily need poison resistance, as spells such as Mephitic Cloud, Poisonous Cloud, Ignite Poison (amazingly useful here), or really anything that can strike multiple targets at once can chew through bees quickly (try not to use Ignite Poison when scrolls or books are lying on a tile that will soon burst into flames). Bees flee when injured, but their vulnerability to poison makes it easy to keep them from escaping.
Characters with dangerous hunger issues should definitely raid the Hive as early as possible; the tremendous amount of food found here can keep most characters safe from starvation through to the end of the game. This goes double for characters with poison resistance who can even eat the bees themselves. Also, characters worshiping gods that accept blood sacrifices can collect tremendous piety sacrificing the mountains of corpses this branch generates.
The hidden Hive vault can be difficult to claim. If it's hidden beyond deep water, you'll need a source of levitation or water travel to get there, and even then you'll need to discover the hidden door before your spell wears off and you drown. A wand of digging or wand of disintegration will make it much easier to gain access, but expect dangerous yellow wasps in the chamber beyond. The more dangerous of the two is the one hidden in the back of the honey chamber. While gaining access is easier, it's usually filled with bees and four oklob plants. That much acid being flung around is a menace to anyone; use indirect damage spells or extreme caution when clearing them out.
- Killer bee
- Killer bee larva
- Queen bee (Hive:2 only)
- Giant goldfish
- Big fish
- Electric eel
- Oklob plant
- Yellow wasp (Vault only)
The Hive was removed in 0.10; the rationale given was that it was predictable and not challenging. There is still a killer bee-filled Hive vault, and the dev team is considering putting the Hive back in as a mini-branch, but there is no guarantee that this will happen.