This updates the Beehives and gives the bees a new lease of life. The hives will still refill the honey jars as before but can now be used in two other direct ways; one way is a brute force way of getting honey out of the hive and involves a norn shaking the hive to get to the honey! Try and encourage them to be nice to hives - it's usually less painful and more rewarding.
The bees will now roam the world and show defensive behaviour if a hive-brother is killed near them. Bees are good for the garden so should be encouraged, but if your norns are determined to kill them all you can release some more from the hive by shaking it (click with the hand).