Guide to using honey blocks in Minecraft for building and more

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Back at Minecon 2019, Mojang announced a whole host of new additions coming to Minecraft, one of which is the arrival of bees and bee-related items, blocks and mechanics. We’ve compiled a full guide on bees and everything coming in that update this holiday season, but for now, let’s focus on a single disruptive change you should be excited about: honey blocks.

What can honey blocks do?

The honey block is a versatile new block coming to Minecraft that adds never-before-seen mechanics, as well as a rehash of some existing ones. It can be crafted with four bottles of honey harvested from bees and shares a lot of similarities with the much-loved slime block. However, the honey block has a few unique characteristics.

  • Honey blocks can be placed and moved just like any other building block in the game, and aren’t affected by gravity like sand or gravel.
  • Honey blocks are defined by their stickiness. Honey blocks tend to stick to everything. Unlike slime blocks, which only stick to other building blocks, honey blocks stick to items, players, mobs, and other building blocks. Terracotta blocks are the only exception since they refuse to stick to anything.
  • Honey blocks affect the player and mob movement. It’s not possible to sprint while on honey blocks, and walking speed is slowed similarly to soul sand.
  • Honey blocks also severely handicap jumping while on them. More specifically, players and mobs will be unable to scale a single standard block while standing on top of the honey. Half slabs are still fair game, so it’s not impossible to escape.
  • One of the more amusing aspects of honey blocks is how they reduce fall damage. Not only does falling directly onto a honey block reduce the corresponding damage by up to 80%, but the player or mob will not bounce at all. This is in stark comparison to slime blocks, which reduce fall damage by 100% but with a significant amount of bounce.

In a nutshell, all of these different traits add up to a unique proposition. There are many possibilities, but one of the most significant applications for the honey block will undoubtedly be in the magical world of Redstone.

Redstone contraptions with honey blocks

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Redstone represents the culmination of everything that makes Minecraft supremely unique. This is far from that architecturally-accurate medieval castle you spent three months building. Now, you can have a modern super home with working automatic doors and lights. Plus, there’s a fully functioning metro connecting multiple sections of the map, and secret trapdoors and rooms to boot. Honey blocks promise to be an intriguing addition for people devoted to Redstone, mostly due to the comparisons drawn to slime blocks.

  • Honey blocks can effectively replace slime blocks in almost any Redstone contraption. Both blocks stick to everything except immovable blocks and terracotta blocks. Honey blocks are a low-cost alternative for early game if a player is interested in designing complicated Redstone contraptions or wants automatic doors.
  • Redstone signals do not pass through honey blocks, while they do pass through slime.
  • Unlike slime blocks, players, mobs, and items stick to honey blocks. This ability has several interesting effects on Redstone contraptions, which are detailed further below. Plus, it is the most significant difference between slime blocks and honey blocks.

One point of contention for Minecraft players is the fact that slime blocks and honey blocks stick together. Since this behavior is identical to how multiple slime blocks or honey blocks behave with each other, it does limit what can be done with honey blocks. Mojang may change this before the public release, but for now, let’s look at what you can do!

Building conveyor belts

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The issue with building conveyor belts in the past has been the strange workarounds players need to employ to make it functional. Items and mobs don’t stick to slime blocks. Players have to use other methods like cauldrons or more mundane things like minecarts and chests. A proper, functioning conveyor belt is now possible with honey blocks, as discovered by this Reddit user.

The idea behind the conveyor belt is that you have a system of alternating honey and terracotta blocks with pistons at every junction. You set up your Redstone wires to keep the cylinders running on a loop so that they continuously push the terracotta blocks around the next section of the conveyor belt. Since terracotta blocks stick to neither pistons nor honey blocks, you can build a fully functioning conveyor belt that only adheres to items, mobs, and players.

Is this the most efficient method of moving items from one place to another? Not exactly, but this is yet another way players can continue making awesome creations. Anyone up for recreating Factorio in Minecraft?

Constructing flying machines

That title is accurate. In all current editions of Minecraft, you’re able to construct an actual flying machine. I wouldn’t call it a plane, exactly, but it is something you can build to travel in a single direction virtually endlessly. It’s relatively limited in that it can only go in a single direction horizontally, and isn’t able to move vertically from the point you build it. It’s still a fun build that is more efficient for traveling long distances.

The premise is simple. You use slime blocks and pistons to create a perpetual cycle of movement. Pistons push the slime blocks forward while opposing pistons pull the slime blocks towards them. Set up correctly with an observer, you can create a loop in which the piston/slime block combination pulls itself forward for eternity. Since none of the components are affected by gravity, you essentially have a flying machine!

In this contraption, honey blocks aren’t the best substitute for slime blocks, since Redstone currents don’t travel through them. This makes the “engine” of any flying machine needlessly complicated. What the honey block is handy for is the cockpit. Usually, the player remains stationary whenever the blocks change position below them. Because of the sticky nature of honey blocks, the player moves with the rest of the flying machine! This opens up the possibilities for players to design their own awesome flying machine, rather than using a boat or an awkward-looking pen/container.

This Reddit user shows exactly what this might look like in a flying machine’s purest form. It’ll be exciting to see what changes players will be able to make to their own flying machines because of this.

Honey block: Building ideas

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We’ve already covered much of what honey blocks can do. So, here are a few ideas you can build using honey blocks.

  1. Build a house: This one’s a bit more silly, but can you imagine? An entire home constructed primarily out of a sticky substance that impedes mobility and is a hindrance to anyone who lives there! But it looks nice, and it’ll certainly be different than whatever your neighbor is building. Because of the nature of honey blocks, you’d be forced to get creative with stairs and ways of getting around with some semblance of speed.
  2. Animal pens: Corralling animals in Minecraft has always been predictable. A bit of floor and a wooden fence does the trick. If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe you substitute your fence with cobblestone walls. Fortunately, honey blocks shake up the formula. They restrict jumping, so you can line any animal pen with honey blocks. After that, you can use anything you want to build your wall. In the future, Mojang says it intends to make it so that mobs generally avoid walking on honey blocks if possible.
  3. Perimeter defense: An evolution of the previous idea, you can use honey blocks to increase the security of your home or area. More than that, you wouldn’t have to obstruct your view of the surrounding landscape with giant walls. A simple lining of honey blocks placed before a one block high wall would do the trick. Eventually, it should prove to be a natural deterrent for any hostile mobs. It might require a lot of honey blocks, though, so you’ll want to get to work breeding those bees.

  4. Parkour/obstacle courses: The ability to restrict player movement at your behest? A new mechanic that allows for actual wall riding? A way of catching items and players in mid-air? Yeah, honey blocks can do all of that and more. If you want to build something fun for you and your friends to do, honey blocks are a fantastic option for building extreme obstacle courses. This is already a popular game style for online Minecraft, and honey blocks should allow those map creators to take their levels to the, well, next level. Anyone up for some parkour?

Get your build on

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Honey blocks should be an exciting new thing to play with come this holiday season. And I’m positive that once more creative people than myself get a chance to brainstorm their potential uses, a whole flurry of neat ideas will flood the internet.

What do you think about the honey block? Have a few ideas for it of your own? Sound off in the comments!

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