The first known mention of the Hive was by a woman named Rigane the Mad, who dedicated her life to observing the Shifting Sands and Sand Beasts. Rigane made five expeditions into the Sands to study and observe its creatures. Much of the information known about the Sands and the Hive can be credited to her. The Hive drew Rigane in, and her last expedition resulted in her death. She left a letter saying she was happy to die in the Sands and let her bones serve the Hive.
Before leaving on her final expedition, Rigane left a warning stone outside the Sands that said:
"THE SHIFTING SANDS
Death swarms within Its rocky wall,
Where all are one, one will rules all,
Below the dead, the living strive,
Secrets of Deltora
The explorer Doran mentions the Hive in Secrets of Deltora, but does not know what it truly is and would not like to find out. Rigane's descriptions are enough for him. However, he has felt the Hive's pull, and warns travellers to stay out of the Sands for fear of the Hive's influence.
The Shifting Sands
The Hive became aware of Lief, Barda, and Jasmine as soon as they entered the Sands. It desired the Belt of Deltora and other things the companions carried, and worked to separate them and take their valuables. The Hive's pull was stronger on Lief than it was on Barda or Jasmine, because it fiercely desired the Belt. When the Grey Guards who had followed the companions into the Sands were eaten by a Sand Beast, the Hive took their bones, along with the medal and gold they carried from the Rithmere Games. Lief stamped out the circles the Hive had left in place of the gold, not knowing his actions would enrage it and cause it to agitate into a sandstorm. In the sandstorm, Jasmine's dagger fell into the sand. The Hive then ceased the storm, satisfied with its 'offering.'
Night fell, and the companions lit a fire. The fire caused the Hive to create a sandstorm even more violent than the first, separating the companions. They met up again and arrived at the Centre. Lief lit a torch and had Barda lower him into the cone with a rope. As he was lowered into the cone, Lief compared himself to a grub unwisely entering a nest of wasps. The Hive wanted to attack the intruder and strip the flesh from his bones to claim the Belt, but the smoke from the torch held it at bay. Lief plucked the Lapis Lazuli from the pyramid and replaced it with Jasmine's little wooden bird. Angered at the disturbance, the swirling sands of the Hive surrounded Lief and stripped some skin from his chest. As Barda hauled Lief up and out of the cone, Lief snatched Jasmine's dagger from the top of the pyramid. The Hive was too confused by the smoke to realise it had been robbed, and it did not attack the companions as they left the Sands, for the Lapis Lazuli protected them.
The Hive behaves somewhat like a bee hive: the queen lives in the centre of the cone, laying eggs, and workers collect food and materials such as bone, jewels, and metal to further construct the nest. The Hive creatures whirl within the Centre, protecting their treasure. When the Hive takes an object of value to the Centre, it leaves an imprint of what it has taken on the surface of the Sands. If the Hive is disturbed, it will whip the Sands into frenzied earthquakes and sandstorms. Fire disturbs the Hive, but smoke has the ability to calm it. The Hive generates a droning, buzzing sound that gets louder the closer one is to the Centre. The Hive also has the ability to pull people to the Centre and bend them to its will.
The Hive creatures are microscopic red creatures the size of a grain of sand. It is unknown if they are indeed insects, or something else completely. The Shifting Sands are made of the dead Hive creatures, and the living ones exist underneath them, causing the Sands to move. Inside the Hive's conical mountain at the Centre is a huge pyramid-like tower of polished-white bone, gems, metals, and any other material that lasts for a long time. The minuscule creatures of the Hive swarm inside the mountain, and the Hive Queen and her young dwell inside the cone. 
The Hive is located in Lapis Lazuli territory. It creates its own habitat, because the dead Hive creatures build up and make more "sand." Its territory was slowly expanding until the Mere built a wall of boulders to stop the growth.
In the anime, the Hive was depicted as a colony of bees, rather than bee-like creatures. They appeared to be sentient, as they formed human faces when interacting with the companions. Also, it is never made clear why the Hive takes gold and weapons in the anime. Unlike the book, they do not use it to build their nest with the exception of the Lapis Lazuli, which was lodged into a pillar.
Upon entering the Shifting Sands, the Hive constantly tried to get Lief to give it the Belt of Deltora as an offering. After Lief retrieved the Lapis Lazuli, Jasmine threw a blister at the bees, burning most of them.