Here are some of the variants that I've tried during these years and so far these are the more recurring themes [ not all the 'deviations' are my idea, but a collection of them from this forum and others] .... ;-)
By the way... I did my own personal hive set from big hex nuts with a wooded center where the insect icons were stamped [My set has all what I describe here]....
Blue Lizard House Rules:
Queen bee is a tile with two images, one face has it with wings, the other face is the Queen without wings.
When the queen is placed it is with the winged face up.
During the game The Queen has just one chance to fly away, the hive rule stands up, and it has to have a chance to slide away.
In its new position, The Queen has to be placed with the unwinged face up and after this one chance it can not fly again.
Spider has the ability to immobilize any adjacent tile until it moves to a new position.
Spider will retain either the player tiles as the opponent tiles.
The Beetle will be immobilized either if it is at ground level or standing up in an adjacent tile.
2 Caterpillar/Butterfly tiles
This tile has two faces, one with a caterpillar, the other face with a butterfly.
When this tile is first placed it has the caterpillar face up.
As a Caterpillar it moves one tile at the time [ like the Queen ] at the hive's edge and it can move up on the hive just one time in order to return at ground level as a Butterfly.
As a Caterpillar when this tile is placed up in the hive, it needs to go down to become a Butterfly by moving exactly 3 tile places above the hive [ The third displacement should put the Caterpillar at ground level again but flipping the tile to have now a Butterfly, it has to 'land' where it would touch the hive with just one side!!]
The Caterpillar can move only one time up on the hive and can move only one time to go down. It means that until the Caterpillar can move down it will pin just one tile
Once a Caterpillar becomes a Butterfly, the Butterfly will move to any place in the hive without any adjacent tiles [ it moves just like the ant but the Butterfly can make contact with the hive only with one side when placed ]
1 Mantis tile
Again, this is a double faced tile. one side shows a mantis with their forearms extended and the other joined to the body.
You start by placing the Mantis with the forearms joined to the body.
Mantis moves just like the Queen, one place at the time but after each move you should flip the mantis tile, [ mantis are slow! ], so, Mantis moves in a sequence of displacement and flipping
Only when the Mantis' forearms are extended, in the next turn, you could place the mantis above a tile, and such tiles would be returned to their owner to be placed on the game later except the Queen. When a mantis disengages a tile, it takes its place but with the forearms joined. Mantis only affects tiles that won't break the hive rule.
This is a double face tile too. One side portraits a flower, the other a shifter.
This tile starts the game as a flower and it can not move or displace at ground level at all. When its turn comes you should place the tile by flipping it up into a nearby [adjacent tile]. Such tile should be a tile free to move or should be free once the shifter is above it.
Once a Shifter is pinning a tile at its turn it has the option to shift [ copycat ] the tile it is placed on and displace as such tile or displace exactly 3 tiles by the edge of the hive and sit there, in a tile free to move to be ready to copycat such tile.
When the shifter ends moving as the copycat'ed file you should flip it and end its movement as a flower.
The shifter only copies the movement so it can not pin several tiles like the Beetle or remove tiles as the Mantis does.
Man that tattoo guy is going to run out of space!