“Know Your Bixies,” by Pearl Honeywine — Being an exhaustive study into the habitat, social structure and culture of the Rivervale bixies.
I am Pearl Honeywine, creature behaviorist and sociologist. It is my goal to spend time learning more about some of the denizens of Norrath, in order to understand how they live and how best to eliminate them when they become too aggressive. This current study is about the Rivervale bixies.
It wasn’t until very recently that the survival of bixies could be reliably confirmed, post-Shattering. With the chaos brought about by years of uncertainty and the inability for most travellers to make the dangerous crossing of the Sea of Mist to the Enchanted Lands, many folk assumed the bixies had perished. Fortunately, these folk have been proven wrong with the discovery of the Stone Hive bixies of Rivervale.
Bixies are often seen as merely overgrown bees, as members of a bixie hive serve many of the same functions as bees. There are workers, drones and the hive’s queen. Workers gather honey for the hive and are not usually interested in creatures (such as you!) in their vicinity, unless they feel threatened. In that case, look out for their stingers!
You will know you are close to a bixie hive if you encounter bixie drones. The drones serve as guards for the hive, protecting the queen and nearby bixie workers. If you encounter a drone on patrol and are wearing something sparkly, be careful! Some drones will try to wrest that item from you in order to present it to the hive queen. Bixie drones will use their poisonous stingers to attack.
The leader of every bixie hive is the bixie queen, who directs the work of all the bixies in her hive. Bixie queens are renown for producing a variety of herbal or alchemic honey mixtures which have various of interesting properties. Each hive produces their own special blend which can vary in potency and color, depending on the quality of ingredients available.
Bixie queens are not aggressors; their job is to organize and run the hive. Therefore, even when they are attacked, they will often sting and retreat behind their drone protectors. These drones will defend their queen to the death, which is quite a noble and breath-taking sight to behold! The drones are very skilled at teaming up to deal as much damage as possible to anyone who they feel is threatening their queen.
One item which I must say is a particular favorite, is collecting the honey jum created by the bixies. This sweet, sticky substance is very useful in concocting traditional halfling dishes, including jumjum cakes and jumjum-infused drinks. My favorite treat is biscuits with jumjum-flavored cream and berries, which I will share with you, my readers, for the first time in print —
— Combine one cup of whipping cream with one large spoonful of buttermilk, letting it sit out for a day to thicken. Whip the thickened cream together with a small spoonful of honey jum. Make your favorite biscuits, adding two large spoonfuls of honey jum to the batter before baking. Split the cooked biscuits, drop a dollop of jumjum-flavored cream on them, top with berries and then drizzle with more honey jum. Place the other biscuit half on the top and serve. Remember: jumjum equals yum yum!
Male bixies are very, very rare. While I have spent considerable time gathering honey jum and information from the Stone Hive bixies, I did not encounter a single male bixie! Still, given the fact that there are still bixies in Norrath, one can only assume that there is at least one male bixie per hive in service to the hive’s queen.
There are no confirmed sightings of bixies beyond the Enchanted Lands at this time. This makes honey jum rare outside the region. With travel between the Enchanted Lands and the rest of Norrath so limited, those who can manage the journey across the Sea of Mist and back will find themselves beseiged with requests for this intoxicatingly sweet substance.
I hope this information provides you with enough basic information about bixies that you will be able to learn more about them on your own. Bixies are complex, fascinating and useful. We need to take advantage of their work rather than exterminate them on sight simply because we can.