Beekeeping terms - a glossary

Note: to be added to as I find smaller things, worth mentioning, but not requiring a full node.

Adult bee - Fully developed winged bee after emergence from cocoon.

Apiary - A unit consisting of one or more colonies of bees.

Apiarist - One who engages in apiculture (beekeeping).

Bee bread - Pollen that has been treated by the bees and stored in the combs.

Box Hive - An illegal hive consisting of a box without movable frames in which bees are allowed to establish their combs.

Brace comb - Spurs of comb linking main combs to give strength.

Breeder - A progeny-tested queen, specially selected for quality, to be used for breeding.

Brood - Eggs and juvenile bees (larvae and pupae).

Brood nest, brood chamber - Part of the hive in which the brood is reared. Usually refers to the lower section of a multi-storey colony.

Burr comb - Similar to brace comb but found on tops of frames, sides of boxes, an undersides of frames when certain types of deep bottom boards are used.

Candy - Granulation process in honey; a food for bees made from honey and sugar, or sugar and water.

Cappings - The wax caps found on brood and honey cells.

Colony - Refers to the honeybee community - queen, workers, drones and brood - as distinct from the term hive, which refers to the domicile of the bees.

Demaree - A system of swarm prevention.

Density - The 'body' of a honey. In the United States, density is defined as weight per litre (go figure!), specific gravity, refractive index, or with Brix or Beaume hydrometer readings.

Drawn comb - Comb that has cells built on or drawn out from foundation.

Drifting - Of bees; bees returning from field may drift and enter the wrong hive because of prevailing wind or lack of landmarks; -Of sprays; occurs when aerial or other sprays are blown beyond the target area by wind.

Drone layer - A queen that has lost the ability to lay fertile eggs. All her progeny will be drones.

Excluder (or queen excluder) - A device for confining a queen to the particular section of a hive.

Extractor - A machine to remove honey from the comb, without destroying the comb.

Foundation - A sheet of beeswax impressed with the pattern of cell bases on which the bees build comb.

Frame - A movable framework in which hangs foundation, and where bees build comb. see - Frame Construction

Hive - The domicile of a colony of bees. Strictly, it does not include the bess, brood, and combs, but the term is often loosely applied to the complete unit of home and colony. see - hive construction

Honey dew - An exta-floral sugary exudation of certain species of plants.

Honey Knife (or uncapping knife) - A sharp, heated knife for removing cappings from honeycombs for extracting.

Honey Flow - A source of nectar available to the bees for the production of honey.

Hydbrid - In modern usage, in relation to bees, it refers to a cross between two or more strains of one race of bees. It can also refer to crosses betwnn races.

Introducing - The process of putting a new queen into a colony of bees.

larva (plural larvae) - Grub, one of the immature stages of the life cycle of the bees.

Laying workers - Worker bees that, in the absence of the queen and her pheromones, are able to lay only unfertilised eggs.

Migratory beekeeping - The system of beekeeping where apiaries are moved from place to place to obtain honey flows.

Nectar - The sugary secretion of the nectar glands of flowering plants.

Nucleus - A miniture colony of bees usually consisting of three or four frames of bees, a queen, brood and honey.

Pollen supplement - A mixture of fat-free soybean flour and other ingregredients, used to supplement the protein supply of a colony during a pollen shortage.

Pollen trap - A device fited to a hive to remove pollen pellets from the legs of bees returning from the field.

Pollination - the transfer of pollen to the female parts of a plant.

Prime swarm - The first swarm that leaves the parent colony. Swarms that issue later are refered to as 'after swarms'.

Propolis - A resinous substance used as a cement and caulking compond by bees.

Papa (plural pupae) - Intermediate stage in the growth of the bees from egg to adult.

Robbing - When the apiarist removes combs from the colony for extracting; When bees from one colony attack another to steal honey.

Section - a square of honey in the comb (as built by the bees) in it's own wooden frame.

Slum-gum - the refuse from melted comb and cappings after the wax has been rendered or mostly removed.

Spring dwindle - the normal drop in population at the end of winter when the old bees have died off and have yet not been replaced by young bees; a condition associated with nosema disease.

Starter - A strip of foundation fitted into a frame (instead of a full sheet). Starters are not recommended.

Super - Refers to the hive bodies, in excess of one, used to house a colony of bees.

Supersedure - Replacement by the bees of an old queen with a new young queen raised in the colony.

Swarm - part of the population of a colony, including the queen, that leaves the parent colony to form a new colony elsewhere. a natural means of spreading species.

Transfering - The process of transferring a box hive or bush nest into a movable fram hive.

Uniting - the precess of converting two colonies (usually weak) into one.


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.