Stock Beehive

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stock_beehive.jpg
A beehive in fiction is going to look like a bunch of golden stacked donuts with a little hole in the bottom or side, right? Because that's what beehives look like, right? But, wait, aren't they honeycombs?

Whenever a beehive appears either in cartoon or a video game - or even in live-action works sometimes - it's always guaranteed to look a bit like a wasp-nest, usually the type most Americans are more familiar with: that of a bald faced hornet. However, these nests are grey and flaky, which can be hard to animate and just plain unsuitable for a story so Stock Hives may actually look more like a mix of different bee and wasp species' hives.

Another aspect of the artistic license is that wasp nests are a greyish, light-brown colour, whereas fictional beehives seem to be as golden as the honey stored inside. As if that wasn't enough, honey drops may fall from the entrance just like a water drop from a dripping tap. A bees' honeycomb may be golden, but won't actually leak.

Confusing things further, domestic beehives ("skeps") prior to the invention of the moveable comb hive in the 19th century did look a bit like this, being dome-shaped structures made of (yellow) straw, although they weren't suspended from trees.

But Wait, There's More!!

Similarly to Chekhov's Volcano, it's almost certain the bees will come out from the hole and chase the character carrying the Idiot Ball and, obviously, their honey. (Usually this is the Butt-Monkey, villains or gluttonous characters.)

Keep in mind this behaviour is anything but true in nature; most honey bees (except for africanized hybrids, a.k.a. "killer bees") will defend their hive only in desperate situations. Instead, stinging the intruder to death is a key behaviour of larger eusocial insects, such as wasps and hornets. Moreover, beehives tend to be curtain-like structures in the real world. Bees start making their honeycombs from a branch and the completed hive would look like a curtain made out from wax, either perfectly straight and flat or wrapping around a branch like a spiral.

Before the actual chase, many of the designated victims get their head stuck into the hive; another reason the animators tend to move the entrance to its bottom.

Almost always the ultimate source of Bee Afraid. Generally averted in movies and non-Disney comics. Partly caused by Small Reference Pools (it's quite hard to find a wild beehive nowadays) and justified in older works by the Grandfather Clause.

Examples

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    Films — Animated 
  • Believe it or not, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh started as an aversion of this trope, as the only beehive seen there (cfr. Winnie the Pooh and the honey tree) is inside a tree, which is in keeping with how real honeybees build their hives. Other incarnations of the franchise, such as The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Winnie-the-Pooh, play it straight. While in the animated series beehives are as brown and egg-shaped as a large wasp nest, movies tend to shorten its length, put the entrance below and lighten its outer shell. Because of the sheer popularity of the franchise, it can be clearly considered the Trope Codifier.
  • Br'er Rabbit finds a grey one hidden in a bush in Song of the South. He tricks Br'er Bear inside saying that it's his "laughing place". Bear gets the hive stuck on his nose.

    Live Action TV 
  • As a rare non-cartoonish example, Lost first season's sixth episode, "House of the Rising Sun", has a few key characters dealing with a MASSIVE, paper-made underground beehive. It looks more like a dome-shaped, hollow mushroom rather than your stereotypical beehive, but it's clearly different from real world beehives nonetheless.
  • Rebuses on Concentration used this design whenever the sound of hive was needed, not only on the actual show, but also in Milton Bradley's home games.

    Video Games 
  • Don't Starve: Beehives resemble a wasp nest crossed with an old style of artificial beehive called a skep. Interestingly, Killer Bee Hives are of a different appearance but are referred as Wasp Hives in the in-game files, implying that Killer Bees were originally meant to be wasps.
  • Animal Crossing: If you shake a tree, a beehive resembling a paper wasp nest could possibly fall out, and the swarm will try and get you.
  • Terraria has giant hives deep underground in the jungle that resembles Wasp Nests. Usually forming giant hive with honeycomb patterns and honey, as well as a Queen Bee Bonus Boss.
  • In the Minecraft Game Mod Growthcraft, bees are originally acquired from hives that look like yellowish globes dangling from tree foliage.
  • Vespiqueen from Pokémon plays with this trope. Although she's a giant bee-wasp hybrid, her abdomen is shaped like a wasp hive and contains a small pattern of hexagonal cells.
  • The casual computer games Royal Envoy 2 and Royal Envoy: Campaign for the Crown have wild beehives depicted as a pineapple-shaped stack of alternating yellow and dark rings, with the hole at the bottom and the branch also at the bottom (to allow them to be placed anywhere on the scene). The bees fly over nearby building sites, rendering them inhospitable to homeowners (and lowering the happiness score). One task on some levels is to build a proper hive for the bees (tiny house-like structures with smooth walls and a roof) and thereby domesticate them.
  • Averted in Banjo-Kazooie by the regular beehives (which are shaped like a Langstroth Hive - aka, a "Bee Box"), but played straight by the Zubba Nest in Click Clock Wood. Weirdly, the Zubbas look more like hornets or wasps, but their hive is full of honey.

    Western Animation 
  • Nutty from Happy Tree Friends, in the episode "Take a Hike", finds a rare purple-colored variety. Bonus points for the spilling honey hitting his forehead.
  • Averted in one episode of Jungle Cubs. Baloo finds a beehive set on a cliff while sleepwalking, and said hive looks exactly like its Real Life counterpart. Oddly, the swarming bees are dumb enough to let one huge chunk of their honeycombs to fall down and be picked up by him.
  • Pluto the Pup plays with one in Springtime for Pluto as if it were a ball. Not soon after that he has to deal with the bees living inside.
  • On SpongeBob SquarePants, jellyfish live in stock hives full of jelly. As with everything in the show, it falls under Rule of Funny.

    Real Life 
  • A beehive looking very similar to a wasp nest was used until the 20th century on many farms. It was known as skep, a basket placed open-end down, which had been used for about 2,000 years. Unfortunately, they were too risky to use and the honey removal procedure often resulted in massive colony losses.
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