The killer bee, a, is a monster that appears in NetHack. They are capable of flight and can outrun an unburdened character with fast speed. While not especially strong individually, they are quite fast and their sting is poisoned, which can drain strength and even instantly kill you if you are not resistant. Their corpses are poisonous and may also drain strength on top of damaging you, but have a 30% chance of granting poison resistance.
All killer bees are female, oviparous and inediate.
The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.Killer bees can now eat royal jelly to become queen bees if no queen already exists on the level. Pet killer bees will actively seek out nearby royal jelly to do this. This will kill them if queen bees are genocided.
Despite their offensive threat, killer bees have low HP, and will often die in a couple of hits; however, they have a low natural AC, making them hard to hit in the first place. Discretion is the better part of valor; if you are low-level, burdened, and/or lack poison resistance, you will want to get away as quickly as possible, using a suitable wand or escape item. Elbereth can also offer some breathing room if you find it difficult to avoid them.
If you plan to actually fight back, then drawing them into narrow corridors is a valuable tactic, either to handle them one at a time or else decimate them with wands or spells;&mdashkiller bees have no monster magic resistance, and even a wand of striking or magic missile will suffice. An effective alternative, especially for pacifists, is to lead the bees to a falling rock trap, which will dispose of them quickly. A source of extrinsic poison resistance, such as an alchemy smock or amulet versus poison, will prevent the worst of the damage from the stings; high magic cancellation from armor can offer some protection as a last resort.
As killer bee corpses are poisonous and also confer intrinsic poison resistance, extrinsic resistance will also prevent strength loss and significantly reduce damage from the poison until you finally obtain the intrinsic, which should not take too long. You can also nullify the strength penalty through the use of a ring of sustain ability, or reverse it with a unicorn horn; you may also want a tinning kit, which removes the poison and slightly increases the nutrition provided per corpse.
This giant variety of its useful normal cousin normally
appears in small groups, looking for raw material to produce
the royal jelly needed to feed their queen. On rare
occasions, one may stumble upon a bee-hive, in which the
queen bee is being well provided for, and guarded against