BUZZZZZ: Bee Themed GamesJanuary 27, 2020
We take a quick glance of some different bee themed games.
Lately, bee-themed games seem all the buzz, so we thought we put together a list of some of the games out there for any budding melittologists and honey enthusiasts out there. Keep in mind, that some of these games will be out later in 2020.
Games for Pupa Bees (Games for Younger Kids)
- Publisher: HABA
- Year Released: 2016
Hanna Honeybee is a 1-4 player game for small children around the age fo 2 and 3. The description from the publisher:
“Hanna Honeybee flies over the colorful wildflower meadow. And just like a busy bee, she collects loads of nectar to bring back to the hive. Hanna’s friends are waiting to turn the nectar into wonderfully sweet honey. Who will help Hanna to make enough honey to fill the whole honey pot?
In this game you have 10 disks each with a colored flower on one side and a drop of honey on the other side. When you insert a disk flower side up into the top slot of the beehive it comes out of the bottom slot with the honey side up. It also comes with a honeypot board with 6 spaces on it to put the drops of honey when they come out of the beehive. There is also a die with the flower colors for faces. You roll the die and pick out that colored flower disk, insert it into the beehive then place it honey side up onto the honey pot board, if the flower symbol comes up on the die discard a disk. If you run out of disks before the honeypot is filled you lose, fill up the honey pot and you win.”
- Publisher: Peaceable Kingdom
- Year Released: 2013
For those looking for a game for smaller ones, there is Buzz! Which is geared for that 5-7 age group. It is a co-op game where players are trying to work together to collect all the nectar before the bear reaches the hive in the middle of the board.
Games for the Hive (Family Games)
- Publisher: Golden Seal Games
- Year Released: 2015
Honey Wars is a 2-4 player take-that dice and card game. The object of the game is to build up to three hives and have 13 cubes of honey. However, things aren’t as easy as they would see. Other players besides dealing their own honey and hives are playing cards on your hive that are real-world problems that honey bees face, these problems need to be dealt with or you can lose some of your honey. The designer Andrew Smith, worked with the University of Florida Bee Research and Extension Lab to make sure he got his facts straight, because of that this one would be good to do with older elementary school kids and higher in a Bee unit, as they can then research themselves some of the issues the cards are named after.
On a side note, this is one we own (via a preview copy for an honest review), and my two sons have really loved Honey Wars for years now. It can be purchased from the publisher at: https://www.goldsealgames.com/product/honey-wars
Bees: The Secret Kingdom
- Publisher: Van Ryder Games
- Year Released: 2019
Bees: The Secret Kingdom is a family game for 2-6 players (ages 8+). This one comes with two modes of play – rules for families and young kids and adult play. In the game, the players are trying to gather pollen to make it into honey. While the game sometimes has players working together, in the end, the player with the most points wins.
- Publisher: Calliope Games
- Year Published: 2016
Hive Mind is a party game for 3-12 players designed by Richard Garfield (designer of Magic the Gathering and King of Tokyo). In it, players are trying to stay in the hive, by answering questions like you think everyone else will. Get it wrong and your one step closer from being kicked out of the hive. Hive Mind can be found on Amazon.com for purchase.
Buzzing into 2020
- Publisher: Next Move Games
- Year Published: 2020
For 2-4 players, Beez is the next in Next Move Games line of games with 4 letter titles (which includes AZUL and REEF). Designed by new designer, Dan Halstad. Here is how he describedBeez on Twitter:
“Its an abstract puzzle game. Core mechanism is the bees’ movement which is based on the waggle dance (distance + direction). Your movement also dictates how you can store the nectar in your personal hive. Scoring is based on public and private pattern building goals.”
- Publisher: Elf Creek Games
- Year Published: 2020
Honey Buzz had a very successful Kickstarter in 2019 and should be hitting the market in the Summer/Fall of 2020. For 1-4 players, Honey Buzz is a bee worker placement game where you are bees trying to fulfill other forest animals’ specific honey needs. It also has some light economics in the game, as when more a honey type floods the market, the cost you make off that honey goes down as well. You can learn more at its now finished Kickstarter, and even pre-order/late pledge the game from there.
Queenz: To Be or Not to Bee
- Publishers: Mandoo Games/Rio Grande Games
- Year Released: 2019/2020
Though technically Queenz came out in 2019 from Korean publisher Mandoo Games, Queenz has been picked up by the US Publisher, Rio Grade Games. In the game, for 2-4 players are playing beekeepers trying to bloom flowers in their fields. Players move around a public board to try to collect flowers and put them into storage or from storage to your own polyomino shaped field. The player at the end of the game with the most points (from flowers and bees collected) wins.
- Publisher: Elixir Games
- Year Published: 2020
Queen Bee is another 2019 Kickstarter, that is slated for 2020 release. In Queen Bee 2-4 players (or up to 6 with expansion), players are trying to take the other players hives out and have the last Queen standing. This one is unique on the list as it includes miniatures. Readers can learn more at its now finished Kickstarter, and even pre-order/late pledge the game from there.
Not Enough Buzz For You?
This list is hardly exhaustive, just a way to put some bee-themed games on your radar. There are plenty not covered, including (but not limited to) the real-time dice game, Beeees!, the abstract game Hive, the tile-laying family game The Bears and the Bees, the worker placement game, Waggle Dance, and the medium-weight euro game Bee Lives: We Only Know Summer. Of course, you can also find more bee games by looking at the “bees” family at BGG at: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/7564/animals-bees