"Hudson? I'm not making that out too well, what is it?"
"You tell me, man, I only work here."
―Lt. Gorman and Pvt. Hudson, upon discovering the Acheron Hive (from Aliens)
Queen Hive

A Queen stalking through her Hive.

The Hive, also known as the Nest, is the nesting ground of a Xenomorph Queen, constructed from Hive resin, a gelatinous fluid secreted by Drones or Workers. It is where the Queen will reside while she is laying Eggs, a state that renders her immobile, and is where those Eggs are subsequently stored. Potential hosts captured by other Xenomorphs are brought to the Hive and cocooned to the walls — a process sometimes referred to, particularly by Colonial Marines, as being "hived" [1] — to be implanted with Chestburster embryos.


See also: Hive resin
"Visibly damp and lustrous in spots, the peculiar material that had been used to construct the addition resembled a solidified liquid resin or glue. In places light penetrated the material to a depth of several centimitres, revealing a complex internal structure. At other locations the substance was opaque. What little color it dispalyed was muted: greens and grays, and here and there a touch of some darker green."
Aliens novelization, chapter 7
Hive Webbing

Hive resin.

Hives are built from a clear, gelatinous resin that Xenomorph Drones vomit from their mouths[2] and eventually hardens to form a dark, strong, resinous substance, also referred to as "webbing".[3] This resin is used to construct a warren-like maze of tunnels spreading outwards from a central Egg chamber,[4] where the Queen will reside, and also to cocoon potential hosts to the walls, immobilizing and restraining them so that they can be impregnated with a Chestburster. It should be noted that while a Queen is typically found overseeing a Hive, one is not necessarily required for a Hive to form. Indeed, construction of a Hive may be a precursor to Queen development in many cases. In this respect, a Xenomorph Hive shares similarities in its architecture with both spider webs and wasp nests, while being directly comparable to neither.

The atmosphere within a Hive is typically very warm. A Queen will often locate her Hive in an area where these properties are already apparent, such as large industrial facilities where there is an abundance of ambient heat.[5][1] It is also possible the Hive structure, or perhaps the resident Xenomorphs themselves, somehow raise atmospheric temperatures within the Hive to meet this requirement.

Host cocoons[]

One of the most notable features of a Hive is the restraint of any captured host organisms by cocooning them to the walls of the nest. When cocooned in this way, hosts are enveloped in resin which, when hardened, prevents them from escaping or otherwise interfering with the Chestburster implantation process. While such restraint is comprehensive, the head and neck are generally left free, to allow a Facehugger to subdue the victim.[4] It is not unknown for hosts to be mutilated in order for them to "fit" into the Hive structure.[6] Xenomorphs have also been known to use their resin to seal any potentially life-threatening wounds suffered by the host during the capture process,[7] stemming blood flow and thereby ensuring the individual's survival long enough to serve as a successful host.

After the host has served their purpose, no effort is made to remove them and their corpse is generally left in place to rot,[5][8] although there is at least some evidence that the Xenomorphs may use the bodies as a food source.[6]


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Club Eden at the Freya's Prospect colony, turned into a small Hive by the Xenomorphs.

Hives can vary in size from extensive nests with hundreds of members headed by an Egg-laying Queen to small chambers occupied by only a few Drones or Warriors. Occasionally, in larger infestations, smaller "satellite" Hives will be set up in the areas surrounding the main nest. While these subsidiary Hives are occasionally used for the cocooning and impregnating of hosts, more often they are simply an outlying base of operations for Xenomorph Warriors.[1] Even individual Xenomorphs operating in isolation have been known to establish small nests,[9] although this is thought to be rare as a solitary creature has little need for a Hive of its own. The largest known Hive ever discovered is that on Xenomorph Prime, which covers half a continent.

The size of a Hive is thought to be related to how many Queens it holds. It is known that larger hives may have several Queens and that the chiefest among them may be ruled by an Empress or Queen Mother.

Hive Node[]

Main article: Hive Node

Hive nodes create the Alien life web. Drones carry dormant hive nodes in their stomachs and using a gag reflex, release hive nodes on walls and on the ground. Once deposited the node uses up available organic materials from plants, carcasses, and even microorganisms to produce the hive's structure. This demonstrates the species' complete hostility toward all life forms. The life web slowly destroys the natural ecosystem of entire planets. If not in a fight an Alien can stand near a hive node and heal itself, making hive nodes a very valuable asset when infesting a planet. (Aliens versus Predator: Extinction)

Notable Hives[]

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A Warrior Xenomorph camouflaged in the walls of the hive.

A Hive was originally seen in Alien, when the Alien on board the Nostromo set up a nest in the ship's hold where it was converting its victims into new Eggs. However, this scene was ultimately cut from the theatrical release of the film, and consequently the first appearance of a Hive on film was in Aliens. The scene from Alien was reinstated in the 2003 Director's Cut.

Below is a list of notable Hives seen in various media from the Alien franchise.

  • Alien vs. Predator: Xenomorphs within the Yautja pyramid on Bouvet Island set up a small Hive in the structure's sacrificial chamber. It is destroyed by Scar's Self-Destruct Device.
  • Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem: The Gunnison Predalien establishes a small Hive inside the city's sewers, as well as a much larger one in the County Hospital. They were vaporised, along with the rest of the town, in a tactical nuclear strike.
  • Predator: Concrete Jungle: A sizable Hive existed inside the Borgia Industries headquarters in Neonopolis, under the control of MOTHER, the supercomputer that ran the city. It was infiltrated by the Yautja known as Scarface and largely decimated, although many Xenomorphs survived the incident.
  • Alien: Isolation: The Alien aboard Sevastopol Station constructed a Hive in the lower engineering levels, where it entombed many of its victims and created numerous other Xenomorphs. The Hive was destroyed when Amanda Ripley overloaded the station's reactor, although several Xenomorphs escaped. Later, these escaped Xenomorphs began constructing a new Hive, but this too was destroyed when the station burnt up.
  • Alien: Out of the Shadows/Alien: Sea of Sorrows: A cluster of Xenomorphs that were born from human miners in a buried Drukathi spacecraft on LV-178 set up a Hive in the ship itself. A second, smaller Hive was constructed by four Xenomorphs aboard the dropship Samson, but the four Aliens were killed by the miners. The greater Hive on LV-178 was thought to have been obliterated by explosive charges set up by the miners, but when the planet was revisited by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation centuries later, it was found that this was not the case. Not only had a portion of the Hive in the derelict survived the explosion, but a much larger, more expansive Hive was found to have been set up in in an adjacent Drukathi settlement. The area in which the Hives were located were later orbitally bombarded by the company.
  • Aliens: A large Hive is set up within the Atmosphere Processing Plant at the Hadley's Hope colony on LV-426. It is ultimately destroyed when the Processor explodes.
  • Aliens: Colonial Marines: Xenomorphs bred on LV-426 by Weyland-Yutani, led by a second Queen, set up a new Hive in the caves beneath the derelict ship and the ship itself. Separate Hives were also established in the sublevels of the derelict Hadley's Hope colony and aboard the USS Sulaco orbiting the moon. During a major Xenomorph outbreak, parts of the Origin Facility were also turned into a Hive. The Sulaco was later completely destroyed and the Queen on the surface was killed, but the Hives and many Xenomorphs remain on the moon.
  • Aliens: Rogue: Several Xenomorphs were allowed to create a Hive in the uninhabited tunnels at Charon Base as part of Professor Ernst Kleist's research. The Hive, along with the rest of the base, was destroyed when an overloading Sound Cannon detonated in the Queen's chamber, obliterating the site.
  • Aliens: Labyrinth: A Farmed Hive was overseen by humans and found by the passengers aboard the Incunabulum. Unlike most hives, this one lacked a Queen (who had died previously) and the Xenomorphs were sickly and weak. They were behaviorally very strange in comparison to the average Xenomorph.
  • Aliens versus Predator 2: The Xenomorphs left on LV-1201 set up a Hive in the Engineer ruins that grew in size over the thousands of years that followed. By the time the Weyland-Yutani team discovers the planet, the Hive has encompassed a good portion of the planet's surface. A smaller hive is set up in the Primary Operations Complex.
  • Fire and Stone: The Xenomorphs who were unwittingly brought from Hadley's Hope to LV-223 aboard the Onager set up multiple Hives around the planet, though one particularly large Hive was constructed around the Juggernaut. The creatures actively avoided constructing a hive within the vessel, as they seemed reppelled by the presence of Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15.
  • Alien Resurrection: The Cloned Queen sets up a Hive in a waste tank aboard the USM Auriga. It is destroyed when the Auriga explodes above Earth.
  • Aliens vs. Predator: The Matriarch on BG-386 sets up a Hive in the Freya's Prospect Refinery, as well as numerous smaller Hives throughout the colony and it's surroundings. The Matriarch was killed and the remaining structures on the planet apparently destroyed by a Yautja Self-Destruct Device.

Behind the Scenes[]

The Hive scenes in Aliens were filmed at Acton Lane Power Station in West London. The Hive itself was first sculpted in clay and then molded in latex and fiberglass pieces.[10] The set's construction was overseen by Peter Lamont.[11] While Acton Lane was being cleaned for asbestos, Lamont's effects team spent three weeks painting the individual Hive pieces, before they were transported to the now prepared power station and assembled.[10] The further three weeks set aside for construction proved just barely sufficient; while shooting was taking place on the lower floors, the upper floors were still being built. According to Lamont, "As Jim [Cameron] came up shooting, we were gradually retreating behind."[10] The cocooned victims trapped in the Hive were mostly portrayed by sculpted dummies with faces cast from actors.[10]




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Aliens vs. Predator, Microsoft Windows version, Rebellion, 2010.
  2. James A. Moore. Alien: Sea of Sorrows, p. 309 (2014), Titan Books.
  3. S. D. Perry. Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report, p. 21 (2014), Insight Editions.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Weyland-Yutani Archives (2008), 20th Century Fox [Blu-ray]
  5. 5.0 5.1 James Cameron (writer and director). Aliens (1986), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  6. 6.0 6.1 Alan Dean Foster. Aliens, p. 150 (2014), Titan Books.
  7. Alex White. Alien: The Cold Forge, p. 258 (2018), Titan Books.
  8. Alien: Isolation, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One version, Creative Assembly, 2014.
  9. Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (writers), Ridley Scott (director). Alien Director's Cut (2003), 20th Century Fox [DVD].
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Monster Legacy - StarBeast — Part IIa: Aliens". Retrieved on 2015-02-24.
  11. Jody Duncan. The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio, p. 88 (2006), Titan Books.