Beeswax and honey

Salve Soldais,

I have a character that might want to create moon duration Beeswax for the covenfolk to turn into candles. The secondary benefit is that this is a good material to play around for scuplting, and so might allow budding artists to be more creative (The Maga is a Boni-snatched Jerbiton, so she wants to encourage artistic endeavours in other people)

Thus although magical lighting/conjouring olive oil is cheaper, developing a spell to create beeswax is on her (long) list of projects.

The problem is I don't quite know what a reasonable base would be for beeswax. The Animal base guidelines are too wishy washy, and a search of the forum finds that this was last considered in about 2009, and the answer was "um".

Would a reasonable base individual be a hive? Would the same base be reasonable for creating honey? Would adding a magnitude allow for the same spell to create a beeswax hive filled with honey?

If you have any other ideas I would be glad to read them.

thank you!


There's a level 5 guideline in the main book "Create an animal product, such as spidersilk or wool. (Note than an individual is a single hair, a single hide, or a single tusk.)"

Based on that, you definitely want base 5, and I think you'd get a single honeycomb from it (although said single honeycomb could potentially be quite large, up to size +1 - I'm not very sure how large honeycombs can get naturally).

Honey would be the same base. Still mulling over exactly what you'd need to get both honey and honeycomb at once - they're conceptually linked, which I think helps.

Hrrrm, Lion and the Lily had a touch of honey magic, I think?

"Wax" isn't a discrete object, IMO. A honeycomb is, but you don't want a honeycomb. You might argue that wax is processed in the sense it has been purified.

IKC, but ask IYC, I'd allow CrAq(An) 2 (Fill a container with water or another natural liquid, with requisites) if you'd argue it's a Terram, then I'd allow MuTe(An) Level 2.

As to what an individual is, it depends how you read the rules. Here are the two competing reads:

In either read:

An individual for Animal is described as being as massive as a pony (Size +1 or smaller). p 117.

The No Case:

it's specified as a single insect in the spell guideline which is the "or smaller" bit. You can get a heck of a lot of bees in a swarm just by upping the magnitudes for quantity.

The basic spell is CrAn5: Create an insect, +1 Touch, +2 Sun (presumably) so that's Level 20. If you have Group, for 10 bees,that's level 30.

Now, at this point you are probably thinking, "But for Lvl 35 I can create a horse..." and that's true. The thing is, that for each magnitude you add, you get a power of 10 individuals, so the two magnitudes you get up to horse sized, give you 1000 bees. If you just want 100, you can scale it back to 35. If you want them to last for Mom or Circ you can drop it back to 30. So, as an attack spell "I send a swarm of a hundred bees..." just works, kind of, although you might want to have them furether away than touch, or add 1 magnitude and a Rego requisite to control them.

The Yes Case:

One of the example spells ("Curse of the Ravenous Swarm" p 117) has a modifier which reads "+2 size for a swarm weighing as much as a thousand pigs". This suggests that a pig (which I assume is a size 0 animal but I haven't looked) is an Individual by mass. Where "pigs" come from is not clear in this case. A bee, or other insect, is treated as a special case of a fraction of an Individual mass, and that's built into the guideline.

So, if you are creating bees (or locusts) you need to start with a group, and then your scaling up the group is based not on the number of insects (as it might be in Terram) but on the weight of a pig/pony carcass. You may not need to control them to make wax.

(I'd note that the second printing has an error: "Curse of the Ravenous Swarm (p. 117): Change the level to 50, and replace "+1 Group" with "+2 Group" in the level calculation. " from the offical errata at, which doesn't affect this discussion,but I'll flag if you are building a character around this.)

IMC, you'd get the yes case, because I go high fantasy wherever I can.

Can you get a hive out of all that mass? I'd argue that you should try it, IYC, and be ready to rework it if it breaks anything. It seems fine to me. I did stat up a faerie bee queen once, somewhere, but in terms of actual play, I think mostly I used social spiders, and I did them by mass with a requisite for their magical ability. (Mentem, catching ghosts)

That's not how Group works. You'll get a lot more than 10 bees. Group doesn't provide for 10 times the number you get for an individual, it provides for a total mass of 10 times the mass a base Individual can handle, which would be a huge swarms of bees. For instance, assuming Size 0 humans, a Group Corpus spell can affect about 20 humans.

So such a spells at Group could make as many bees as would equal the mass of 10 ponies.

Don't forget the ReAn guideline and rules in A&A (box on page 30), if you're looking at getting bees instead of bee products. The tail end of the worms section on page 31 specifically mentions bees as emerging from rotting flesh.

Yup. The great thing about that is you can essentially do permanent creation through Rego without Vis. It isn't really permanent creation in-game, as that's like saying making a blade out of a bar of steel is permanent creation of a blade.

according to wikkipedia a beehive is a manmade structure used for keeping bees, while a bees nest can vary from 10 to 100 litres for a western honeybee. An individual hive is going to be at the small end of the size of a nest for ease of harvest. However if you are producing wax instead of a bees nest then the question becomes one of form- since wax is only liquid when heated. At that point you may as well just make candles directly...

Remember that, when you create a Base Individual of Animal:

  1. You can create a single "natural" animal product, such as a single hair, a single tooth etc., with a size no larger than +1 (roughly, a pony).
  2. By adding +1 or +2 magnitudes to the cost of creating a dead animal, you can create treated, or treated and processed animal products of equivalent size.
    What "treated" and "processed" means is a bit vague. However, from the examples, it seems that "treated products" are raw materials obtained from animals: examples include include "jointed meat" and "cloth" - I'd include beeswax-in-a-blob too. "Treated and processed" products seem to include finished, "crafted" items: examples include clothing (as opposed to cloth) - I'd include beeswax sculptures.

Base 5 allows you to create a single (bee) nest or honeycomb.
Base 10 allows you to create the corpse of an animal up to size +1 (a few hundred pounds - I typically assume 500).
Base 15 allows you to create "treated" animal products up to size +1, such as a blob of beeswax up to a few hundred pounds.
Base 20 allows you to create "treated and processed" animal products up to size +1, such a beeswax sculpture.

So, to create beeswax for D:Moon with CrAn, I would probably either:
a) create a large blob of beeswax, a few hundred pounds, as CrAn35 (R:Touch, D:Moon, T:Ind) as Base 15, +1Touch, +3 Moon, OR
b) create a largish number of honeycombs/nests, with a largish number of castings of CrAn 25 as Base 5, +1Touch, +3Moon, and then use some Rego craft magic to extract the beeswax from them - you'll probably need hundreds to get the same amount of was as a); then again, if you can cast level 25 magics without fatigue, this is about an hour's work, once per Moon.

As for creating wax as a liquid with CrAq ... I'd be wary of that, because it would imply one could create e.g. molten gold with CrAq.

Then again, nothing prevents you from using CrTe to create an "unnatural" clay that burns like coal, and looks/smells/feels "nice". That would be Base 3 (Base 1, +2 magnitudes for the burning and pleasant species properties), to which one would add 4 magnitudes for R:Touch and D:Moon, for a final Level 15. And you'd get a huge amount of it.