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Insect Swarm Slide 4.png
Nothing clears a room like swarms of stinging bees.
― Plasmid advertisement

Insect Swarm is a Plasmid available in BioShock, BioShock 2 and the BioShock 2 Multiplayer. It is an active Plasmid which instantly releases a swarm of killer bees, at the cost of EVE.

Once released, the swarm becomes a singular entity, circling an area and seeking out enemies. The swarm travels into different rooms and upstairs, making it useful in scouting. When a group of enemies is found, the swarm will pick a single target enemy and continuously attack it until it expires, or until the time limit on the swarm runs out, causing it to disperse. If the target dies before the swarm disperses, it will immediately move to attack a new target.


Insect Swarm is one of the few Plasmids that must have been a real head-scratcher for the general public when it first debuted, yet would prove to be an invaluable addition to the genetic arsenal of both beekeepers and workers of Arcadia, and therefore Rapture! After all, without bees, pollination would only occur via indirect air currents, and Arcadia's production of oxygen and food would be greatly hampered. As a result Gatherer's Gardens near apiaries such as the Silverwing Apiary would stock the Plasmid to allow beekeepers and workers of Arcadia to help keep the ecosystem alive and produce fresh honey to be sold on the Farmer's Market.

Its specialized usage would not stop marketing departments though, and they soon marketed Insect Swarm as the solution against pesky salesmen.[1]


Main article: BioShock

In BioShock, Insect Swarm has no effect on Security Bots or Turrets, but Splicers that are unaware of the player and neutral or friendly Big Daddies will be targeted indiscriminately. Only a single swarm may be active at a time. Unlike most Plasmids, Insect Swarm’s manifestation does not change after each upgrade.

Upgrade Path[]

Unleash insects against groups of enemies! Attack lots of enemies at the same time!
― "Insect Swarm" training
Insect Swarm 2 Icon.png
Insect Swarm 3 Icon.png

Challenge Rooms[]

In Worlds of Hurt, Insect Swarm 3 can be bought at the Gatherer's Garden in the central hub for 80 ADAM.

Combat Strategy[]

  • Insect Swarm can help the player flush out enemies pretending to be dead. It also helps against Cohen's Plastered Splicers.
  • Cyclone Trap, Incinerate!, and Sonic Boom should not be used in conjunction with Insect Swarm, as a group of attacking bees will disappear when enemies are hit with these Plasmids. Electro Bolt will not stun an enemy being attacked by bees.
  • Two things make this Plasmid unique: First, it homes in on enemies. Second, it distracts enemies even in the middle of combat. This makes it particularly useful if the player is not very accurate, but also if they wish to use it for stealth and escape tactics. It is also a good choice when sniping faraway enemies, as they do not attack the player upon being swarmed.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • EVE Saver will reduce the cost in EVE when casting this Plasmid.
  • Natural Camouflage will help the player if they are using Insect Swarm as an escape tool.
  • The Wrench Lurker line of Tonics will increase Wrench damage versus swarmed enemies, as they count as unaware.

Appearance in BioShock[]

BioShock 2[]

Main article: BioShock 2

Insect Swarm is also available to the player in BioShock 2. The bees spawned by Subject Delta are smarter and more aggressive, seeking out hidden enemies and moving across several rooms.

Upgrade Path[]

Summon a swarm of insects! Laugh as they seek out hidden enemies!
― "Insect Swarm" training

Minerva's Den[]

First available at a Gatherer's Garden in Minerva's Den for 60 ADAM.

Release a nastier swarm! Snicker as they seek out one enemy after another!
― "Insect Swarm 2" training
Insect Swarm 2 Icon.png

Minerva's Den[]

First available at a Gatherer's Garden in Minerva's Den for 100 ADAM.

Breed better insects! Swarms hide in expired enemies, awaiting further prey!
― "Insect Swarm 3" training
Insect Swarm 3 Icon.png

Minerva's Den[]

Can be purchased for 130 ADAM in Gatherer's Gardens onward the first machine in Operations.

Combat Strategy[]

  • Using Insect Swarm 3 with Cyclone Trap is very useful for defense. If the bees from the original trap kill the enemy, the dead body becomes another trap in the form of an "insect bomb." This could continue to kill enemies and create a chain of traps, especially since the swarm will target multiple enemies each time.
  • Telekinesis can be used to pick up the aforementioned insect bombs, which will release a swarm of bees when in proximity with a nearby enemy.
  • Using Insect Swarm creates a continuous yellow cloud around enemies, which follows them everywhere. This is particularly useful against Houdini Splicers as it gives away their position.
  • While gathering ADAM through an adopted Little Sister it is recommended to launch a few Insect Swarms out in advance, as they take a small amount of time to home in on an enemy. Spawn more of them continuously, so that they may take out a few Splicers on their own.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • EVE Saver will reduce the EVE cost when casting this Plasmid.
  • Fountain of Youth restores Health and EVE when in water, which can allow constant (and free) use of this Plasmid without using any EVE Hypos.
  • Drill Specialist will greatly decrease the casting cost of this Plasmid, although it will significantly reduce the player's weapon selection.

Appearance in BioShock 2[]

BioShock 2 Multiplayer[]

Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer
When it comes to pesky salesman, this plasmid is the bee's knees
― Advertisement

Insect Swarm is the last Plasmid received by the player in the multiplayer. Unlike Incinerate!, Electro Bolt or Winter Blast, the Plasmid has to physically move from the caster to the target to take effect.

Send an army of angry insects to blind your foes! They'll feel every last sting!
― "Insect Swarm" multiplayer training

Combat Strategy[]

  • If hit by this Plasmid, performing an Aero Dash will instantly dispel its effects.
  • Although Insect Swarm will blur the target's vision, they can still partially see their surroundings. Avoid getting too close, as moving makes it easier for the victim to see the player.
  • Enemies hit by this Plasmid usually tend to become much more aggressive. Try shooting them from a distance to avoid bearing the brunt of their shooting frenzy.
  • Insect Swarm takes a little time to hit its target, and a little more to take effect. Don't attack them too soon.
  • Moving around the victim in circles after hitting them with this Plasmid will disorient them, preventing them from hitting the player effectively.
  • This Plasmid is particularly effective against enemies who use the Elephant Gun, as it'll prevent them from landing any accurate shots, let alone a headshot.
  • When cast, the swarm will head straight towards the nearest enemy in the player's vision but will disappear if the player misses.
  • Using Insect Swarm creates a continuous yellow cloud around enemies, which follows them everywhere. This is particularly useful against enemies who use the Houdini Plasmid, which reveals the invisible enemy's location.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • EVE Saver will reduce the EVE cost when casting this Plasmid.
  • Metabolic EVE will allow the player to regenerate EVE after casting this Plasmid.

Appearance in BioShock 2 Multiplayer[]


Introduction to Insect Swarm in BioShock.
Introduction to Insect Swarm 3 in BioShock 2.



  •  Icon mac.png Icon pc.png Icon xbox.png Icon ps3.png When the player uses Insect Swarm from a distance in an area with Splicers that are playing dead (areas from Hephaestus onward) the Swarm will attack the Splicers but they will not stand up, merely twitching and yelling until they die.
BioShock 2 Multiplayer
  • Using Insect Swarm on an enemy player near death and scoring a kill with it will give the player the "Heat Stroke" Trial as if the player had used Incinerate! instead.[confirmation needed]
  • If there is an enemy standing directly up against a wall another player can stand on the opposite side of the wall and use Insect Swarm to send the swarm through the wall.[confirmation needed]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • The Insect Swarm Plasmid was first developed to appear in the BioShock X06 Teaser Trailer.[2] Afterwards, the developers decided to include it in the game itself, due largely to its popularity with the fans.[3]
  • This Plasmid may be a reference to Insect Swarm from Thief: The Dark Project, a game co-created by Ken Levine.


  1. Advertisement for Insect Swarm.
  2. BioShock X06 Trailer on
  3. "Introducing Irrational Behavior" podcast by Shawn Elliott on