To the surprise of just about everyone, Mojang has officially released the very first early development Snapshot of 1.15 for all of us to test. This comes more than a month before the MINECON Live event, where we expect the theme of this update to be revealed, and before any major features have been announced for the version. Well, save for one feature:

Introducing Bees, Hives, and Honey

It may not be the most important feature to be implemented, nor was it even requested by many (if any) players/creators, but today’s Snapshot introduces a brand new set of features that are sure to bring a little more ambiance and life to the Overworld.

Bees, along with their naturally generated Nests, will take to the skies in several biomes in the Overworld. They bring with them Honeycombs, which can be used to craft a Bee Hive, and Honey, which can be eaten to restore some hunger.

Bees will swarm you if you attack them (though they will die if they sting you and give a poison effect), and can also be angered by taking some of their Honey by right-clicking on a Nest or Hive with a glass bottle. But the little buzzing friends also bring with them another trick: they can help your crops grow faster.

As Bees fly around pollinating nearby flowers and filling their Hives/Nests with Honey, crops that are in their path will be given something like a Bonemeal treatment.

Take a Comparator output off of a Hive (because they are “Redstone friendly”), and place the Hive in the middle of a farm with Farmer Villagers tending the crops, and you could have a very efficient crop-growing system with a built-in circuit based on how much Honey is in the Hive. Use that circuit to power a Dispenser (which now has the ability to shear Hives/Nests to get Honeycombs), and you’ve got a fully automated farm that’s super fast.

Under The Hood

There are, of course, a number of bugs left over from 1.14 that have also gotten some attention. Ghost blocks caused by instamining have been removed again, and chunks are handled more consistently. There are also a few bugs related to shift-clicking that have been resolved.

Over on Twitter, MrMakistein has also uncovered some data tags that can be attached to Bees. You can set a Bee’s home Nest/Hive, for example, and also define other qualities of the Bees on an individual level, which could make for some interesting uses by map makers.

With the new Bee feature, we do have one concern: Server performance. It is of utmost important to server owners and map creators that Bee AI and pathfinding doesn’t become a major headache like the Villagers were in early versions of 1.14, or the different types of Fish in 1.13. It’s something to keep in mind through the Snapshot process, at any rate.

Download Snapshot 19w34a Now

Click the button below to read more about the newest features, bug fixes, and other info about the first Java 1.15 Snapshot right now, and download it for yourself to give it a test run!

Don’t forget to report any bugs you run into on Mojang’s bug tracker, or send the team your ideas for future updates on the Official Minecraft Feedback Site. As we can see by this update, every tip sent to Mojang can help make the game better for all of us.

Download 1.15 Snapshot 19w34a

Source: @minecraft