Beekeeping Terminology For Beginners


Beekeeping Glossary For Beginners


AFB and EFB:
are highly contagious and infectious diseases caused by a spore-forming bacterium; they are fatal to your bee brood.

apiary:
a place where honeybees are kept.

attendant bees:
worker bees that take care of the queen; they groom her and feed her.

bearding:
when a large number of bees congregate on the front of the beehive, making it look like the hive has a beard; they do this to cool the interior of the hive.

beauticians:
worker bees that clean off debris and groom the other bees.

beebread: 
a mixture of collected pollen, bee secretions, and nectar or honey that is a food source for bees, especially for eggs and larvae.

bee brush:
a long brush used for gently brushing bees into or off the hive and frames.

bee eggs:
fertilized eggs laid by the queen that will develop into bees.

bee food:
a sugar water supplement used to feed your bees when nectar is not available.

bee louse:
a small, wingless member of the fly family that is occasionally found on bees.

bee space:
the ideal amount of space (⅜ inch) between structures in a beehive.

bee suit: 
a protective suit beekeepers wear to avoid getting stung; generallythey’re white, which is a calming color to bees.

beekeeping journal:
a book used for all of your beekeeping records.

beeswax:
a natural wax produced by bees to make their comb.

brood:
the developing bee cells; they might be eggs, larvae, or pupae, and drones, workers, or queens.
caged queen: 
a queen that is not the colony’s queen, and can be bought seperately; she comes in a cage and must be freed by the worker bees.


candy plug:
a sugary plug sealing the bottom of a caged queen’s cage.

capped cells: 
cells that are filled with either brood or honey.

cells:
honeycomb consists of hexagonal walls of wax, each enclosing a cell.

cleansing flight:
a quick flight outside the hive to poop.

cluster: 
when bees huddle in the center of a hive to keep warm.

colony: 
a collective group of bees that live together; it consists of one queen, drones (male bees), workers (female bees), eggs, larvae, and pupae (developing bees).

colony collapse disorder: 
an unexplained occurrence when either all or most of the bees in the hive disappear.

comb:
a group of six-sided cells made of beeswax where bees store their honey and pollen and raise baby bees; the comb is made up of two layers that are attached at the base.

construction crew:
the worker bees that build the honeycomb and repair damaged combs.

deformed wing virus: 
a viral disease associated with Varroa mite infestations.

drawn combs:
cells that have been built out by honeybees from a foundation in a frame.

drawn frame:
(or drawn comb) a frame on which the bees have built the comb from beeswax; it is now ready for pollen, honey, or brood.

drone: 
a male bee; its only job is to mate with the queen.

entrance reducer:
a small block of wood that reduces the size of the entrance to the beehive.
established colony: 
also known as a full hive, this consists of a fully established colony with drawn combs on frames, with wax, brood, pollen, honey, drones, workers, and a queen bee that is the queen of that colony.

extractor: 
a machine used to extract honey by spinning the frames.

fixed-comb hive:
a beehive without removable frames.

foragers:
worker bees that gather nectar and pollen.

foundations:
the wax forms installed in the frames of hives; the bees then build their comb off of these foundations.

frame:
racks or frames inside a hive on which the bees make honeycomb.

full hive:
also known as an established colony.

full super: 
eight to ten established drawn combs on frames, with wax, brood, pollen, honey, and bees.

hive: 
beehives are structures made by people to house bees; technically,humans make a hive, while bees make a nest.

hive body: 
the main box part of the hive, where the bees live.

hive tool:
a tool that resembles a pry bar and is great for prying open the hive box, scraping propolis, moving frames, and more.

honey: 
a sweet food substance produced by bees.

honey cells:
cells in the comb that are used to store honey.

honey flow:
the time when bees produce a large amount of honey.

honey sac:
a gland at the end of a bee’s esophagus in which nectar gathered while foraging is stored.

honeybee:
a flying insect that produces wax and honey.

house bees:
worker bees inside the hive that gather the nectar and pollen from the foragers.

housekeepers:
worker bees that perform every duty a housekeeper would: take out the trash, remove dead bugs, clean the honeycomb, and keep things nice and tidy.

inspection:
when you open a beehive to inspect the inside and see what your bees are up to.

larva (plural, larvae):
a white, legless, grublike insect that represents the second stage of bee metamorphosis.

livestock:
food-producing animals; the honeybee is classified as livestock.

moisture quilt:
also called an absorption blanket, it’s something made of absorbent material and added in cold weather to the top of the hive, where condensation tends to collect.

morticians:
worker bees that remove the dead bees from the hive.

nectar:
a sweet liquid produced by flowers that bees collect to make honey.

nectar collectors:
worker bees that collect nectar for the hive.

nectar flow:
the time of the year when flowers produce nectar.

nuc:
an already established frame with wax, brood, pollen, honey, and bees; nucs include drones, workers, and a queen bee.

nurses:
worker bees that feed and care for the growing larvae.

orientation flights:
when new bees take their first flights out of their hive to get to know their surroundings.

pack:
an actual pack of bees, generally weighing around three pounds; it wil contain both worker and drone bees, and should include a caged queen.

pheromones: 
bee pheromones are chemical messengers produced by bees that they use to communicate with one another.

pollen:
a yellow to orange powdery substance produced by plants to facilitate pollination.

pollen basket:
an area on the hind legs of honeybees where they collect pollen while foraging to transport it back to the hive; hairs hold the nectar-moistened pollen in place.

pollination:
the act of fertilizing plants by transferring pollen from a male plant to a female plant.

pollinators:
animals or insects that pollinate plants by transferring pollen from one plant to another.

propolis:
also known as bee glue, it’s a substance bees make from saliva and botanical sources to protect the hive.

pupa (plural, pupae):
the third stage in honeybee metamorphosis, during which it changes (pupates) from a larva to an adult bee.

queen:
an adult female bee that is the only one in a hive capable of laying fertilized eggs.

queen cells:
cells that are formed when the workers need to replace the queen; they are larger than the other cells.

queenless:
a beehive without a queen; the bees will not be able to reproduce, and the hive is doomed.

queenright:
a colony that has a queen that is producing eggs and is productive.

quilting box:
a box added to the top of the hive that contains a filler that helps absorb moisture from condensation during the colder months, keeping the bees drier and warmer.

raw honey:
honey that has not been heated and pasteurized as part of commercial production.

refractometer:
a tool used to measure the moisture level in a hive or in the honey.

removable-frame hives:
hives with frames that can be taken out, allowing beekeepers full access to their hives for inspection and honey collection.

requeening:
deposing the old queen and replacing her with a new one.

royal jelly:
a nutritious secretion produced by the nurse bees and fed to all of the larvae.

sacbrood:
a viral disease that affects honeybee brood.

scouts: 
worker bees that search for a new source of pollen, nectar, propolis, water, or a new home.

security:
worker bees that protect the hive from unwanted guests.

small hive beetle:
an invasive pest that inhabits nearly all honeybee colonies.

smoker: 
a small device that produces smoke; used to keep bees calm.

super: 
a hive box that you add to an already established stack of hive boxes.

supersedure cell:
a cell for a queen bee that is made when the existing queen needs to be replaced for health reasons.

swarm:
when half of a bee colony leaves with the old queen to form a new colony.

swarm cell: 
when the colony has expanded and they are ready to swarm to make room in their hive, the workers will develop swarm cells; when the new queen emerges, a portion of the colony will leave with the old queen.

tracheal mite:
a parasite of the honeybee that infects the respiratory system.

uncapping:
when you remove or puncture the beeswax cap of sealed comb cells.

uncapping tool:
a little metal pick used to puncture the wax cappings on the honey cells.

Varroa mite:
a parasite that attacks honeybees and brood.

veil:
a hat with netting, used by beekeepers for protection against stings to the face, head, and neck.

waggle dance:
a series of movements that bees use to communicate with each other; the duration and direction of the bee dance can instruct other worker bees where to locate food.

water girls:
worker bees that collect water for the hive.

wax moth:
a pest that damages beeswax combs, comb honey, and bee-collected pollen.

worker bees:
female bees,they do all the work in the hive: gathering nectar, producing honey, guarding the hive, caring for the queen and the larvae, and keeping the hive clean.

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