Beekeeping Basics

basic terms of beekeeping with which a beginning beekeeper might want to become familiar. Selected in part from the glossary of Kim Flottom's book The Backyard Beekeeper and The New Starting Right with Bees A Beginner's Handbook on Beekeeping 21st Edition by A.I. Root Co.., Publisher

Terms in this set (...)

the action of all bees leaving the hive due to extreme stress, disease, pests, or danger such as a fire
African honey bees
a subrace of honey bees, originally from Africa, brought to Brazil, that has migrated north into the U.S. They are extremely defensive and nearly impossible to work.
Alarm pheromone
Pheromone released by worker bees during an emergency
American foulbrood (AFB)
a brood disease of honey bees caused by the spore forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae.
The part of a flower that produces pollen: the male reproductive cells.
where honey bee colonies are located: often called a beeyard
The science and art of keeping honey bees.
Bait hive
a box, often an old brood box, composed of a comb or two, a top and bottom and a small entrance hole, used to attract swarms. It is often placed in an apiary.
Balling the Queen
The action of worker bees attacking a new queen, or a queen cage, intent on killing her because she is foreign. Often occurs during queen introduction.
Bee bread
a mixture of pollen and honey used as food for the bees
Bee escape
a device used to remove bees from honey supers during harvest by permitting bees to pass one way but preventing their return.
bee space
1/4"-3/8" space between frames for bees to move around and in which bees live.
a complex mixture of organic compounds secreted by eight glands on the ventral side of the worker bee's abdomen: used for molding six-sided cells into comb. Its melting point is from 144-147 degrees F (62-64 degrees C)
Bee veil
a cloth or wire netting for protecting a beekeepers face, head and neck from stings.
bee venom
the poison secreted by glands attached to a bee's stinger
Bee Yard
a location where honey bee colonies are kept
Bottom board
the floor of a bee hive. May be screened or solid
Brace/burr comb
comb built between parallel combs, adjacent wood, or two wooden parts such as top bars.
The term used for all immature stages of bees, eggs, larvae, and pupae.
Brood chamber
the part of the hive in which the brood is reared
Capped brood
pupae whose cells have been sealed as a cover during their nonfeeding pupal period
the thin, pure wax covering of cells filled with honey: the coverings after they are sliced from the surface of the honey-filled comb when extracting the best beeswax.
dark colored race of bees from Eastern Europe which are very gentle.
grayish-colored race of bees from Europe, use excessive propolis
A single hexagonal (six-sided) compartment of a honey comb.
Chilled brood
developing bee brood that have died from exposure to cold.
Cleansing flight
a quick, short flight bees take after confinement to void feces.
a group of bees hanging together for warmth.
adult bees and developing brood living together including the hive in which they are living
Colony Collapse Disorder
a pathogen-driven condition in the honey bee colony in which the adult bees are stricken and leave the hive to die. Ultimately only the queen, a very few young bees, and (depending on the time of year), a large quantity of brood are left. It is suspected to be virus driven but concrete proof has not been discovered.
a sheet of six-sided cells made of beeswax by honey bees in which brood is reared and honey and pollen are stored
Comb foundation
a commercially made sheet of plastic or beeswax with the cell bases of worker or drone cells embossed on both sides.
Comb honey
honey produced and sold in the comb, made in plastic frames and sold in round, plastic packages.
Cremed (Crystallized) honey
honey that has been allowed to crystallize under controlled conditions
Cut-Comb Honey
Comb honey, cut-comb honey and chunk honey are all derived from a full frame of capped honey, made on foundation without wires. Cut-comb honey is a piece of comb honey cut to fit into a container. The edges are drained before being packaged. Chunk honey is a piece of cut-comb honey placed in a jar, which is filled with liquid honey.
a series of repeated movements of bees on comb used to communicate the location of food sources and potential home sites
a time when nectar or pollen or both are not available
partitioning a honey bee colony to form two or more units, often called divides or "splits".
Drawn comb
comb with cells built out by bees from a foundation
Drone comb
comb measuring about four cells per inch in which the queen lays unfertilized eggs that become drones.
Drone layer
a queen able to produce only unfertilized eggs, thus drones
the first stage of a honey bee's metamorphosis
Entrance reducer
a wooden or metal device used to reduce the large entrance of a hive to keep robbing bees out and to make the entrance easier to defend, and to reduce exposure to wind and the elements outside.
European foulbrood (EFB)
an infectious brood disease of honey bees caused by the bacterium Melissococcus (formally Streptococcus) pluton.
Extracted honey
liquid honey removed from the comb with an extractor.
worker bees producing Nasanov pheromone and sending it out to bees away from the colony as a homing beacon
any one of a number of devices used to feed honey bees sugar syrup including pail feeders, in-hive frame feeders, hive top feeders, and entrance feeders.
Fertile queen
a queen that can lay fertilized eggs
worker bees that work (forage) outside the hive, collecting nectar, pollen, water and propolis.
Formic Acid
a chemical treatment for varroa and tracheal mites. Pads of absorbent material are soaked in a strong solution of formic acid which are added to a bee hive. The acid volatizes and the fumes are toxic to mite populations.
four pieces of wood/plastic (top bar, a bottom bar and two end bars) designed to hold foundation/drawn comb.
a chemotherapy used in the prevention and suppression of Nosema, sometimes sold under the brand name Fumidil-B
Fume board
a rectangular frame, the dimensions of a super, covered with an absorbent material such as cloth or cardboard, on which a chemical repellent (Bee Go or Bee-Quick) is placed to drive bees out of supers for honey removal
the formation of sugar (glucose) crystals in honey
Grease patty
a mixture of vegetable shortening and granulated sugar placed near the brood area of a bee hive for tracheal mite control
Guard Bees
after bees have been house bees, but before they become foragers, many spend time as guard bees: stationed at the front door or other entrance, checking incoming bees to make sure they belong to their hive.
sections of whole tree trunks with a complete, natural honey bee hive inside. There are then moved to a bee yard and are tended like a manmade beehive. The word comes from the tree species often preferred by bees: gum trees in the Appalachian region of the U.S.
a man-made home for bees
Hive tool
a metal tool used to open hives, pry frames apart and remove wax and propolis.
a sweet material produced by bees from the nectar of flowers, composed of glucose and fructose sugars, dissolved in about 18% water: contains small amounts of sucrose, mineral matter, vitamins, proteins and enzymes.
Honey flow
a time when nectar is available and bees make and store honey
Honey stomach
a portion of the digestive system in the abdomen of the adult honey been used for carrying nectar, honey, or water.
Hygienic Bees
honey bees that have a genetic trait that pushes them to remove dead, diseased or mite-infested larvae from a beehive are said to be hygienic
the order of insects that all bees belong to, as do ants, wasps, and sawflies.
Inner cover
a lightweight cover used under a standard telescoping cover on a beehive
Italian bees
most widely used race of honey bees in the United States: originally from Italy.
Langstroth Hive
our modern-day, man-made, moveable frame hive named for the original designer.
Larva (plural larvae)
the second (feeding) stage of bee metamorphosis, a white, legless, grublike insect.
Laying worker
a worker that lays drone eggs, usually in colonies that are hopelessly queenless.
Marked queen
A queen, usually produced by a commercial producer, that has been marked with a spot of colored paint on the top surface of the thorax to make her easier to find in a hive and to insure a beekeeper that the queen has not been replaced by a new one produced by the colony.
Mating flight
the flight or flights made by a virgin queen when she mates in the air with several drones.
the four stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult) through which a bee passes during its life.
a sweet liquid secreted by the nectaries of plants to attract insects.
A digestive disease of honey bees, treated with Fumigillin.
Nuc or Nucleus (plural nuclei)
a small, two to five frame give used primarily for starting new colonies.
Nurse bees
young bees, three to ten days old, that feed and take care of developing brood.
simple eyes (3) on top of a honey bee's head. Used primarily as light sensors.
Package bees
screened shipping cage usually containing three pounds of bees, usually a queen, and food.
paradichlorobenzene crystals used as a last resort as a fumigant to protect stored drawn combs against wax moth infestation.
the general name for chemicals used to kill pests of many varieties. Subcatagories include insecticides and fungicides.
a chemical secreted by one bee that stimulates behavior in another bee. The best known bee pheromone is queen substance secreted by queens that regulate many behaviors in the hive.
the male reproductive cells produced by flowers, used by honey bees as their source of protein
Pollen basket
a flattened area on the outer surface of a worker bee's hind legs with curved spines used for carrying pollen or propolis to the hive.
Pollen trap
a mechanical device used to remove pollen loads from the pollen baskets of returning forager bees.
the transfer of pollen from the anthers to the stigma of flowers.
sap or resinous materials collected from the buds and wounds of plants by bees, then mixed with enzymes and used to strengthen wax comb, seal cracks and reduce entrances, and smooth rough spots in the hive.
the third stage in the metamorphosis of the honey bee, during which the larva goes from grub to adult.
a fully developed female bee capable of reproduction and pheromone production. Larger than worker bees.
Queen cage
a small cage used for shipping and/or introduction of a queen into a colony.
Queen cell
a special elongated cell in which the queen is reared. Usually an inch or more long, has an inside diameter of about 1/3 inch and hangs down from the comb in a vertical position, either between frames or from the bottom of a frame.
Queen cell cup
A round, cup-shaped structure that workers build on the bottom of frames to accommodate a future queen cell.
Queen excluder
metal or plastic grid that permits the passage of workers but restricts the movement of drones and queens to a specific part of the hive.
a colony of honey bees with a healthy queen is said to be "queenright".
a narrow ledge on the inside of the upper end of a hive body or super from which the frames are suspended.
beens stealing honey, especially during a derth and generally from weaker colonies.
Royal jelly
a highly nutritious glandular secretion of young bees, used to feed the queen and young brood.
Russian bees
a line of honey bees that had spent generations exposed to varroa mites without miticides. They were brought to the U.S. from eastern Russia for their innate resistance to mites.
Scout bees
foraging bees, primarily searching for pollen, nectar, propolis, water or a new home.
a woven basketlike container, often covered with mud or dung used to house honey bees. Not legal in the U.S.
Small hive beetle
a destructive beetle that is a beehive/honey house pest living generally in the warmer areas of the U.S. Originally from South Africa.
a device used to produce smoke, used when working a bee colony
Solar wax melter
a glass-covered insulated box used to melt wax from combs and cappings.
an internal organ of the queen that stores the sperm of one or more drones.
the modified ovipositor of a honey bee used by workers in defense of hte hive and by the queen to kill rival queens.
principal sugar found in nectar
a hive body used for storying surplus honey placed above the brood chamber.
a natural or emergency replacement of an established queen by a daughter in the same hive.
Surplus honey
honey stored by bees in the hive that can be used by the beekeeper and is not needed by the bees.
about half the workers, a few drones, and usually the queen that leave the parent colony to establish a new colony.
developing queen cells usually found on the bottom of the frames: reared by bees before swarming.
The middle section of a honey bee, that has the wings and legs and most of the muscles.
Tracheal mite
Acarapis woodi. The tracheal infesting honey bee parasite
Uncapping knife
a specially designed knife used to remove the cappings from sealed honey
combining two or more bee colonies to form a larger colony.
the chemical injected into the skin when a honey bee stings. It's what makes being stung painful.
Virgin queen
an unmated queen
Varroa Sensitive Hygiene. Honey bees can locate a larva in a capped cell that contains varroa. VHS bees remove the infected larva and mites, and thus reduce varroa populations in a honey bee colony.
Wax moth
larvae of the moth Galleria mellonella., which damages brood combs.
Worker bee
a female bee whose reproductive organs are undeveloped. Worker bees do all the work in the colony except for laying fertile eggs.
Worker comb
comb measuring about five cells to the inch in which workers are reared.
The posterior or third region of the body of the bee that encloses the honey stomach, stomach, intestines, sting and the reproductive organs.
Swarms which leave a colony with a virgin queen, after the first (or prime) swarm has departed in the same season; afterswarms are also referred to as secondary or tertiary swarms.
Bee brush
a soft brush or whisk (or handful of grass) used to remove bees from frames
Boardman feeder
a wooden or plastic device that fits into the entrance of a bee hive and holds a quart jar that can be filled with syrup or water.
Bottling Tank
a plastic or stainless steel tank holding five or more gallons of honey and equipped with a honey gate to fill honey jars.
Buckfast Hybrid
A strain of bees developed by Brother Adam at Buckfast Abbey in England, bred for disease resistance, disinclination to swarm, hardiness, comb building and good temper.
Cage shipping
Also called a package, a screened box filled with two to five pounds of bees, with or without a queen, and supplied with a feeder can; used to start a new colony or to boost a weak one (see package bees)
Candy plug
A fondant type candy placed in one end of a queen cage to delay her release.
Capping scratcher
A fork-like device used to remove wax cappings covering honey, so it can be extracted.
A disease affecting bee larvie, caused by a fungus Ascosphaera apis, larvae eventually turn into hard, chalky white "mummies".
Chimney effect
The tendency for bees to fill only the center frames of honey supers; happens when bees are given too much room too fast.
A thin, silk covering secreted by larval honey bees in their cells in preparation for pupation
Also known as glucose (grape sugar), it is a simple sugar (or monosaccharide) and is one o fhte two main sugars found in honey; forms most of the solid phase in granulated honey.
The movement of bees that have lost their location and enter other hives; common when hives are placed in long straight rows where returning foragers from the center hives tend to drift to the row ends.
Drone congregating area (DCA)
A specific area to which drones fly waiting for virgin queens to pass by; it is not know how or when they are formed, but drones return to the same spot year after year.
Fermenting honey
Honey which contains too much water (greater than 20%) in which a chemical breakdown of the sugars takes place producing carbon dioxide and alcohol; caused by naturally occurring osmophylic yeasts of the genus Saccharomeyces (formerly Zygosaccharomyces)
The activity of young bees, engorged with honey, hanging on to each other and secreting beeswax.
Field bees
Worker bees which are usually 21 or more days old and work outside to collect nectar, pollen, water and propolis; also called foragers.
Natural food source of bees (nectar and pollen) from wild and cultivated flowers.
Foundation, wax
Thin sheets of beeswax embossed or stamped with the base of worker (or sometimes drone) cells pn both sides on which bees will construct a complete comb (called drawn comb); also referred to as comb foundation, it comes wired or unwired.
Foundation, wired
Comb foundation which includes evenly spaced vertical wires for added support; used in brood and extracting frames.
Foulbrood, American (AFB)
A malignant, contagious bacterial disease affecting bee larvae caused by a spore-forming bacteria Bacillus larvae.
Foulbrood, European (EFB)
A serious, infectious larval disease of honeybees caused by Melissoccoccus pluton formerly Streptococcus pluton, a spore-forming bacteria.
The process by which honey, a super-saturated solution (more solids than liquid) will become solid or crystallize; speed of granulation depends on the kinds of sugars in the honey.
An excreted material from insects in the order of Homoptera (aphids) which feed on plant sap; since it contains almost 90% sugar, it is collected by bees and stored as honeydew honey.
Honey house
A building used for activities such as honey extraction, packaging and storage.
Honey supers
Refers to hive bodies used for honey production.
Honey plants
Plants whose flower (or other parts) yields enough nectar to produce a surplus of honey; examples are asters, basswood, citrus, eucalyptus, goldenrod, and tupelo.
Langstroth, L.L.
A Philadelphia native and minister (1810-95). Lived for a time in Ohio where he continued his studies and writing of bees, recognized the importance of the bee space, resulting in the development of the movable-frame hive. Generally recognized as the "father of modern beekeeping"
The jaws of an insect; used by bees to form the honey comb and scrape pollen, in fighting and picking up hive debris.
Migratory cover
An outer cover used without an inner cover that does not telescope over the sides of the hive; used by commercial beekeepers who frequently move hives.
Moisture content
In honey, the percentage of water should be no more than 18.6%; any percentage higher than that will allow honey to ferment.
Natural honey
Unfiltered and unheated honey
Nectary glands
Special nectar secreting glands usually found in flowers, whose function is to attract pollinating insects, such as honey bees for the purpose of cross pollination, by offering a carbohydrate-rich food source.
Orientation flights
Short flights taken in front and in the vicinity of the hive by young bees to aquaint them with hive location; sometimes mistaken by beekeepers as robbing or swarming preparation.
Outer cover
The last cover that fits over a hive to protect it from rain; the two most common kinds are telescoping and migratory.
Also called an out apiary, it is an apiary kept at some distance from the home or main apiary of a beekeeper; usually over a mile away from the home yard.
The egg producing part of a plant or animal
Play flights
Short flights taken in front and in the vicinity of the hive by young bees to acquaint them with hive location; sometimes mistaken by beekeepers as robbing or swarming preparation.
Poison sac
Large oval sac containing venom and attached to the anterior (front) part of the sting; stores venom produced by the poison gland, and it's primary ingredients are peptide and mellitin.
Pollen pellets
The cakes of pollen packed in the pollen baskets of bees and transported back to the colony.
To fill with propolis, or "bee glue"; used to strengthen the comb and seal cracks, it also has antimicrobial properties.
Naturally occurring complex organic substances, such as pollen; composed of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
Radial extractor
A centrifugal force machine to throw out honey but leave the combs intact; the frames are placed like spokes of a wheel, top bars towards the wall, to take advantage of the upward slope of the cells.
A device which measures moisture content of honey. Optical or digital models are available.
To introduce a new queen to a queenless colony.
A brood disease of bees caused by a filterable virus which interferes with the molting process, the dead larva resembles a bag of fluid.
To divide a colony for the purpose of increasing the number of hives.
Sugar Syrup
Feed for bees, containing sucrose or table (cane) sugar an hot water in various ratios.
Varroa mite
an external parasite of honey bees which lives it's life cycle - part of the time inside the larval cell, feeding on the pupating larvae and reproducing, part of the time as a phoretic mite, riding on the adult bee, using it for transport both within the hive it originated at and beyond.
Winter cluster
A tight ball of bees within the hive to generate heat; forms when outside temperature falls below 57 degrees F
allergic reaction
A systemic or general reaction to bee venom.
antenna (pl.antennae)
One of two long, segmented, sensory filaments extending from the head of insects, includes taste and odor receptors.
Apis cerana
The scientific name for Indian or Asian honey bees. This species is found throughout Asia, and in certain countries it is the honey bee of commerce. It is the natural host of the varroa mite.
Apis dorsata
The scientific name for the largest of the species of honey bees, often referred to as the giant bee. This species is found only in Southeast Asia.
Apis florea
The scientific name for the smallest of the species of honey bees, often called the dwarf bee. This species is found in Asia, though it is more western in distribution than the other Asian species.
Apis mellifera
The scientific name for the European honey bee, which is found throughout the Western World though originally it is thought to be Near Eastern in origin. This bee has been carried from Europe to all areas of the world except the Artic and Antarctica.
bee louse
The common name for Braula coeca (Diptera: Braulidae), a flightless fly found only on honey bees. The fly steals food from a bee's mouth but is not considered a serious problem. Since the introduction of the varroa mite and the chemicals used to control it, the bee louse is rarely seen.
bee paralysis
The condition which affects adult bees that are unable to fly or work normally. It is now known to be introduced by a virus or carried by parasite bee mites, such as the varroa mite.
bee suit
Coveralls, usually white, that fit over normal clothing with or without an attached veil. This apparel is worn when working with bees.
A box or receptacle for housing a colony of bees. Modern beehives are made of wood or plastic and adhere to the bee space dimensions.
brood foundation
Heavier wax foundation sheets, usually wired with vertical wire and used in broodnest frames; designed for frames to be placed in the broodnest.
brood rearing
The raising of young bees from eggs to adults.
candied honey
Crystallized, granulated, or solidified honey; see Dyce process.
Worker and queen bees are both members of the female gender but differ in both form and function. Drones are male bees with the same form and function, and therefore do not belong to a caste.
cell bar
A wooden strip on which queen cups are placed for rearing queens.
cellar wintering
The placing of bees in an unheated cellar or special building during the winter months. In some cases these sites are temperature controlled.
Membrane or shell covering a bee egg.
chunk comb honey
Honey cut from teh comb and placed with liquid honey in glass containers.
The removal of any foreign material or wax from honey usually by allowing the honey to settle , at either room or a higher temperature. Wax and most other material will float to the top and can be skimmed off.
compound eyes
The two large lateral eyes of the adult honey bee composed of many lens elements called ommatidia.
conical escape
An escape board made with cones set in a frame to permit a one-way exit for bees, to clear honey supers of bees.
Granulation of honey; when honey as a supersaturated solution has candied or become solid instead of liquid. Cremed honey is a commercially made soft form of granulated honey.
deep super
Hive furniture that holds standard, full-depth frames; the usual depth is 9 1/2 inches or 9 5/8 inches (24-25 cm).
The beekeeper G. Demaree, who invented a popular method of swarm control in 1884; also used as a verb "to demaree", in describing this method. It consists of separating the queen from most of the brood.
Removal of a queen from a colony.
An enzyme in honey that assists in the conversion of starch to sugar.
disease resistance
When strains of bees selected from stock show high survival despite the presence of diseases.
division board
A thin vertical board of the same dimensions as a frame; also called dummy board or follower board. It is used to reduce the size of the brood chamber (to a few frames) or to fil up the gap in a hive body using only nine frames. It is also used to permanently divide the hive into two or more parts.
division board feeder
A plastic or wood container the shape of a frame, hung in a hive and filled with syrup to feed bees.
The male honey bee, developing from unfertilized eggs, which are haploid, or have half the chromosome numbers. The development of individuals from unfertilized eggs is known technically as parthenogenisis.
drone brood
Brood that is reared in larger cells and produces drone bees. When drone cells are sealed the cappings have the appearance of bullet heads and can therefore be easily distinguished from the cappings over worker brood and those covering honey.
Pounding on the sides of a hive or other bee dwelling to drive the bees upward. This method is used to transfer bees from bee trees into a bee hive or to drive from one hive body into another or completely out of a given hive body.
Dyce process
A patented process involving pasteurization and controlled granulation to produce a finely crystallized or granulated honey product that spreads easily at room temperature; also sometimes called "cremed" honey.
A condition of adult bees resulting from an accumulation of feces on the inner or outer surface of hive furniture. Dysentery is first detected by finding small spots of feces around the entrance and within the hive, and its presence usually occurs during winter. It is caused by unfavorable wintering conditions that restrict cleansing flights and/or low-quality food; can be confused with nosema disease, caused by a microsporidian fungus.
To force wire into wax foundation by heat, pressure, or both in order to strengthen the foundation. Such additional support to the foundation keeps it intact, especially when honey is being extracted from the comb.
emerging brood
Young or teneral bees chewing their way out of the capped brood cells.
escape board
A board having one or more bee escapes in it that is used to remove bees from honey supers.
A machine used for removing honey from combs by spinning the frames and throwing the honey against the extractor walls; the combs remain intact.
Usually refers to eggs laid by queen bees, which become fertilized when sperm stored in the spermatheca is mixed with the egg while it is being laid. Can also refer to the process where a pollen grain grows down a flower's female stigma to fertilize eggs in the ovary, producing eggs and fruit.
flight path
Refers to the direction bees fly leaving their hive. If obstructed by a beekeeper standing in front of the hive entrance, bees will collect behind the obstruction and may become defensive.
food chamber
A hive body filled with honey, used as extra food or for winter stores.
Excreta of insects, used especially in reference to moths and butterflies; the black droppings found on comb infested wtih wax moth larvae.
A simple sugar (or monosaccharide); formerly called levulose (fruit sugar). It is a disaccharide found in honey.
galleria mellonella L.
The scientific name of the greater wax moth. The larvae of this moth chew and destroy honeycomb. They are used for fish bait and for scientific research.
A simple sugar; formerly called dextrose (grape sugar). It is one of the two main sugars found in honey and forms most of hte solid phase in granulated honey.
A process of removing newly hatched worker larvae from their cells and placing them in artificial queen cups, for the purpose of raising queens.
Having both male and female organs and/or body parts.
A chemical substance produced in the mandibular glands of worker honey bees that elicits an alarm reaction.
The front (anterior) part of an insect containing the eyes, antennae, and mouthparts.
hive body
A wooden (or plastic) box or rim that contains the frames.
hive stand
A structure that serves as a base support for a hive. Such a stand keeps the bottom board off the damp ground.
honey bee
The common name for Apis mellifera (honey bearer). The word is written as two words (in American publications) and as one word in Europe. An arthropod in the class Insecta, order Hymenoptera, and superfamily Apoidea that is a social, honey-collecting insect living in perennial colonies. Also known as A. mellifica (honey maker).
hybrid queen
The result of crossing different bee races of lines to produce a queen of superior qualities.
hypopharyngeal glands
A pair of organs located in the head of a worker bee that produce brood food and royal jelly.
To add to the number of existing colonies in an apiary by dividing those already on hand or in hiving swarms or packages.
As in worker bees, not able to lay fertile eggs. In plants, it means unable to reproduce.
instrumental insemination
The introduction of drone spermatozoa into the genital organs of a virgin queen by means of special instruments; sometimes called artificial insemination.
introducing or queen cage
A small box mzde of wire screen and wood or plastic, used in shipping queens or introducing a new queen to a colony.
An enzyme that speeds the transformation of sucrose (a complex sugar) into the monosaccharides (or simple sugars) fructose and glucose.
Isle of Wight disease
An early name for acarine disease, the infestation of bees by tracheal mites. It is names after the place where these mites were first discovered in the early 1900's.
isopentyl acetate
The alarm odor in honey bees produced in the sting chamber.
The appearance of the bee's wing in the shape of the letter K, in which the hind wind is held in front or over the fore wing; caused by an infestation of tracheal mites or by a virus, or both.
Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB)
Several species of bacteria able to tolerate acidic conditions and responsible for fermentation, especially of sugars; special strains are commonly used for probiotics (such as in yogurt). New research as discovered LAB living in the honey stomachs of bees and other pollinators, which could help protect the bees from pathogens and help in the preservation and conversion of their food.
see fructose
local reaction
Bee stings that elicit a brief, sharp pain at the site(s) of the sting(s). The sting site may swell, turn red, and itch but the symptoms will usually subside in a matter of minutes or hours.
A wine made with honey as the main source of food for the yeast.
menthol crystals
Crystalline form of the essential oil of the mint plant Mentha avensis; used to control tracheal mites.
migratory beekeeping
The moving of bee colonies from one locality to another during a single season to pollinate crops or to take advantage of more than one honeyflow.
an eight-legged creature or acarine (like the tick and spider). At least three species are currently parasitic on bees: Tropilaelaps, tracheal, and varroa mites.
movable frame
A wooden or plastic frame containing honeycomb constructed to provide the bee space between frames. When placed in a hive it remains essentially unattached by brace comb and heavy deposits of propolis, thus permitting its removal with ease.
Nasonov gland
The gland associated with the seventh abdominal tergite of the worker honey bee. This gland is commonly called the scent gland because its contents attract bees to gather in a cluster.
Nosema apis
The scientific name of a microsporidian parasite (now considered a fungus) of honey bees, causing nosema disease. Since the 1990's, a new species, N. ceranae, has been identified and is reported to be more virulent than N.apis and may have replaced it in many areas. The parasite Nosema spp. is also found in other insects such as locusts and bumble bees.
observation hive
A hive made largely of glass or plexiglass with an outside entrance to permit observation of the bees at work from inside a building.
ommatidium (pl. ommatidia)
One of the visual units or lenses comprising the compound eye.
osmophilic yeasts
yeasts that occur naturally in honey and are responsible for fermentation in honey that has more than 18% water. These yeasts belong to the genus Zygosacchzromyces.
The antibiotic sold as Terramycin, registered to control American Foulbrood (AFB). Some report that AFB is resistant to this antibiotic and are using tylosin instead.
The current scientific genus name of the organism (bacterium) that causes American foulbrood disease; formerly known as Bacillus.
The development of young from unfertilized eggs. In honey bees, the unfertilized eggs are laid by virgin queens, laying workers, or mated queens are produce only drone bees.
A series of sounds, a loud shrill tone followed by shorter ones, made by queens. These sounds are usually made by newly emerged virgin queens to illicit quacking from queens still in their cells, which enables her to locate and destroy them.
pollen insert
A device inserted into the entrance of a colony into which hand-collected pollen is placed. As the bees leave the hive and pass through the trap, some of the pollen adheres to their bodies. This allows the pollen to be carried to the target blossoms, resulting in cross-pollination.
pollen patty
A cake or patty made of pollen pellets and sugar syrup. These patties are fed to stimulate brood rearing.
pollen substitute
A food material used to substitute whoilly for pollen in the bees' diet; commonly made from soy flour or other products.
pollen supplement
A bee food that is mixed with pollen to augment the bees' diet. It can contain brewer's yeast (distiller's soluble from a brewer), soybean flour, natural pollen, and other ingredients formulated in different ways to be digestible to bees.
The agent that transmits the pollen
The plant that furnishes pollen. Crab apple trees are often pollenizers in apple orchards.
prime swarm
The first swarm to issue from the parent colony; usually contains the old queen.
A structure formed from the free parts of the bees' maxillae and labium, forming a tube for ingesting nectar, honey, honeydew and water.
The first abdominal segment fused to the bees thorax, which connects the thorax to the abdomen and is typical "wasp waist" of the Apocrita suborder that includes bees, ants, and wasps. The propodeum has a pair of spiracles.
prothoracic/mesothorax spiracle
This spiracle lies between the pro- and mesothorax. It is the largest of the spiracles; by way of this spiracle the parasitic mite Acarapis woodi enters the tracheal system of the bees.
rendering wax
The process of melting combs and cappings to separate wax from its impurities and thus refining the beeswax. Wax is usually melted using a hot water tank or solar wax melter.
To exchange places of different hive bodies of the same colony, usually to expand the nest. Done in the spring, the upper hive box full of bees and the brood is reversed with teh lower, emptier box on the bottom board.
round sections
Section comb honey made in plastic rings instead of square wooden or plastic boxes. Also called Ross Rounds.
sex attractant
A chemical substance that attracts an animal of the same species, male or female, for the purpose of mating. The sex attractant in Apis mellifera is [t]9-oxo-2-enoic acid (9-ODA) from queen mandibular gland.
shallow super
Any one of several super sizes less than the depth of a deep super. Commonly, shallow supers vary from 4 1/4 to 6 1/4 inches (11-16 cm) in depth.
The refuse from melted comb and cappings after the wax has been rendered or removed.
Male reproduction cells (gametes) that fertilize eggs.
Openings in the body wall connected to the tracheal tubes through which insects breath.
The act of placing supers on a colony in anticipation of a honey crop.
swarming season
The time of year, usually late spring, when swarms normally occur.
systemic reaction
A reaction from a bee sting(s) that can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Such a reaction is far more serious than stings that elicit pain at the site of the sting and symptoms include: urticaria (hives), throat tightness, difficulty breathing, and a drop in blood pressure. An EpiPen is often used when someone has a systemic reaction, followed by a trip to the hospital.
The trade name of an antibiotic used to combat European or American foulbrood disease, generic name is oxytetracycline. Research has shown that AFB is not resistant to this antibiotic in many areas.
thin comb-honey foundation
A thin, wireless wax foundation that is used for section comb or chunk honey production.
top bar
The top part of a frame
trachea (pl. tracheae)
The breathing tubes of an insect opening into the spiracles.
travel stain
The darkened or stained surface of comb honey, which is caused by bees walking on its surface over a long time; usually from propolis.
Tropilaelaps spp.
The scientific name for one of two common mites associated with Asian honey bees; the other is Euvarroa spp. These mites are not currently present in the New World.
Newer antibiotic used for treating colonies with American foulbrood disease, sold as Tylan.
An ovum (egg) that has not een united with the sperm. Insect eggs not fertilized usually become males.
unripe honey
Honey that is more like nectar, containing over 18% water.
unsealed brood or open brood
Immature or larval bees not yet capped over with wax; the term can include cells containing eggs.
A disease due to the actions of the varroa mites feeding on honey bees.
The stomach of the bee, located in teh abdomen behind the honey stomach but before the hindgut; also called the midgut.
virus (Latin for toxin)
An infectious agent (100x smaller than bacteria) that must grow and reproduce in a host cell; viruses infect all cellular life. Tobacco mosaic virus was the first one discovered, in 1899. Currently 5000 viruses have been described; honey bees have about 18 known viruses.
A close relative of a honey bee, usually in the genus Vespula. Wasps are carnivorous, and some species prey on bees.
Wax bloom
A powdery coating forming on the surface of beeswax. It is composed of volatile components of beeswax.
wax glands
The eight glands that secrete beeswax. They are located in pairs on the last four visible ventral abdominal segments (sternites) of young workers.
wax scale
A drop of liquid beeswax that hardens into a scale; so named because it has the appearance of a fish scale. These scales, once extruded by the bee's wax glands, harden on contact with the air and serve as the building material for honeycomb.
Specifically constructed fences or natural barriers to reduce the force of wind in an apiary during cold weather as well as to reduce drifting in ares of frequent prevailing wind or breezes.
winter hardiness
The ability of some strains of bees to survive long winters by frugal use of honey stores and low bee populations.