Wingpsan publisher reveals board game about space bees (?!)

Apiary board game components laid out
(Image credit: Stonemaier Games)

Yes, the newest board game from Wingspan and Scythe's publisher will star space bees conquering the cosmos. 

Tasking you with colonizing galaxies as sentient, super-advanced bees while "leaving each ecosystem better than when they arrived" (ouch, shots fired), 'Apiary' will land in early October via the publisher's webstore. The board game will then be available at some point in late November for mass retail. We don't know how much it'll cost just yet, but we do know that it's an endearingly bizarre idea we're all for. Plus, it's coming from a publisher that's responsible for some of the best board games.

Described as a "worker-placement, hivebuilding challenge," you have to gather resources and show off your faction's achievements via carvings to earn victory points. Because your hive will soon go into hibernation, you've got a limited amount of time to do all this - meaning careful planning is needed to get ahead.

Much like Wingspan, Apiary isn't a game about conflict. Although you can 'bump' rival workers from their actions, it doesn't necessarily block the player from doing something. In fact, it increases that worker's strength. As a result, it's competitive in terms of building the best score while still avoiding any upset around the table.

Its story helps it stand out too. It takes place in a world where humans have mysteriously vanished, and they've been replaced by sentient honeybees (called 'Mellifera') who evolved to fill the void. Along with making an advanced technological society, they adapted humanity's tech as their own to travel the cosmos. 

Seeing as Apiary is described as a 'medium weight game,' you don't need to worry about it being too complex. While it's not exactly a party game you can learn in a couple of minutes, it's not going to require hours of homework to learn the rules either. In other words, it's in a similar boat to many other board games for adults, and should be a good fit for games night with friends. 

If that sounds up your street, the publisher revealed on its announcement post that "for every launch notification request we receive via this signup form before October 4, Stonemaier Games will donate $1 to, the Center for Native Pollinator Conservation, or Heifer International (honeybee gift)." 

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Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to the latest Lego news. I've been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.