Girl Genius
Girl Genius

Hive Engines are known to be created by The Other, or at least they appeared in conjunction with The Other War. Although hive engines are believed to be constructed by the Other, it seems that the Geisterdamen can construct them, too . While most technology associated with the Other has been destroyed, some of it has been kept by Baron Klaus Wulfenbach for study.


The hive engine aboard Castle Wulfenbach was found in the laboratory of Tarsus Beetle who was maintaining the hive engine for his own uses. These uses are not explained due to his untimely death.

Prior to his murder by Mr. Rovainen, Dr. Vg mentions that:

  • Hive engines contain "brines"; and
  • these crystalize over time, allowing the engine's creation to be dated.

This is confirmed by Mr. Rovainen, who has slipped back into his revenant state. We also learn:

  • Hive engines must be activated , and otherwise exist in a dormant state.
  • Hive engines can sit inert for some time and be reactivated.

Different Types[]


Hive engine small enough to be carried by a man.

Hive Engines come in different sizes. So far we have seen three, some of which perform different functions, but there is no reason to believe that others sizes or types don't exist.

Large Model with Queen and Warriors[]

The first type of hive engine shown in the story is very large, approximately four times the height of a man, and apparently contains a queen and warriors in some kind of suspended animation. The wasp generated by this type of hive cannot infect Sparks.

Miniature Spark-wasp model[]

An (at least initially) unique hive engine created for use against Sparks is of a miniature size.

Portable Hive Engine[]

It has been revealed that this machine, which can be carried about in a rucksack, does have a small queen in it. She will release clouds of mosquito-sized wasps, capable of infecting even the smallest of persons like Susa, once it has been activated by the bearer. It is not known at this time if this machine also carries warriors.