There are small city-states of Bee-kinden in surprisingly many places. They are a quiet, industrious people who do their best not to trouble their neighbours. Bees work tirelessly for Spider overlords in the south, and cling to the inhospitable western coast. Most of all, however, Bee-kinden are slaves of the Empire. They are an Apt people, but they lack the fierce martial fervour and ambition of the Ants, and especially of the Wasps. The Bee-kinden of Szar, especially, are key to the Empire's western expansion. With their queen held captive in the Emperor's harem they are reckoned more loyal to the Wasp throne than most Wasps themselves.