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When building a hive, try and set one up away from crowded areas. The /crowd command can return the relative crowding of an area - under 14% is best.
When first built, the apiary is empty and must attract a queen bee before it begins producing. Important: after you check for a queen and it has one and about 1000 bees check immediately again. The hive will not produce any Honey or Beeswax until you do this. You can wait but no one has reported so far losing the queen.
When harvested, the apiary may lose half its bees (max is 1000), slowing production of the next batch. An apiary produces at most 10 Honey and 10 Beeswax between harvests. After you have checked it for the first time wait approximately 16 hours for first full 10 Honey/Beeswax. After this you can collect about every 7 hours.
The higher your speed stat, the less bees escape when you check the apiary, and thus less time before another 10 Honey/Beeswax. Removing the Honey & Beeswax does not allow the bees to escape. This only happens when you check the apiary.