March 30, 2020

Beekeeping Glossary



The posterior or third region of the body of the bee that encloses the
honey stomach, stomach, intestines, sting and the reproductive organs.

Absconding Swarm
An entire colony of bees that abandons the hive generally because of
disease or other problems.

Acarine Disease
The name of the disease caused by the tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi).

Acarapis Woodi
A mite, called the Tracheal mite, which infests the bees’ breathing or
tracheal system; sometimes called Acarine Disease, this refers to bees
that are heavily infested with the Tracheal mite.

The state of being acid or sour; the acids in honey, called organic acids,
including gluconic acid, formed by the enzyme glucose to produce the
acid and hydrogen peroxide.

Adulterated Honey
Any product labeled “Honey” or “Pure Honey” that contains ingredients other than honey but does not show these on the label. (Suspected mislabeling should be reported to the Food and Drug Administration.)

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.

Africanized Bee
A term used indiscriminately to describe the African honey bee
Apis mellifera scutellata A.m. adansonii) or its hybrids; an African bee released in Brazil and known for its volatile nature, its aggressive behavior may cause concern to the non-beekeeping public.

Alarm Odor
A chemical (iso-pentyl acetate) substance released near the worker
bee’s sting, which alerts other bees to danger; also called alarm pheromone.

Alighting Board
A small projection or platform at the entrance of the hive.

Allergy Kit
First aid kit that is used in a case of emergency to lessen allergy symptoms or prevent anaphylactic shock.

Allergic Reaction
A systemic or general reaction to some compound, such as bee venom,
characterized by itching all over (hives), breathing difficulty, sneezing or
loss of consciousness.

American Foulbrood
A brood disease of honey bees caused by the spore-forming bacterium, Bacillus larvae and characterized by a ropy or gummy condition of affected larvae. It is the most widespread and destructive of the brood diseases, afflicting queen, drone, and worker larvae alike. Adult bees, however, are not affected by AFB. Bacillus larvae occurs in two forms: vegetative (rod-shaped bacterial cells) and spores. Only the spore stage is infectious to honey bees. The spores germinate into the vegetative stage soon after they enter the larval gut and continue to multiply until larval death. American foulbrood spores are highly-resistant to desiccation, heat, and chemical disinfectants. These spores can remain virulent for more than forty years in combs and honey. Spores are easily transported by either infested bees or infected equipment. Beekeepers moving
contaminated equipment are, by far, the greatest source of AFB spread.
Considerable progress was made in the application of chemotherapeutic
agents to control American foulbrood. Of the ulphdrugs, sulphathiazole and sulphadiazine showed greatest effectiveness as preventive agents, though it was important to point out that the application of such drugs required careful supervision and that indiscriminate use, with undue reliance on their effectiveness, could result in masking the disease and therefore aid in its dissemination . The effect of antibiotics was also examined under laboratory and field conditions. Terramycin, fed in honey or syrup, provided the most effective protection; however, the sulpha drugs retained their potency on storage much longer than the antibiotics tested. Visual signs of AFB begin to show up in the hive after young, susceptible larvae eat the spores that have been mixed in the brood food fed by nurse bees. If left untreated, infection spread rapidly until the colony population is so weakened it dies during cold months by the ravages of the wax moth, or just by sheer lack o population, since all larvae die.

Anaphylactic Shock
Constriction of the muscles surrounding the bronchial tubes of a human, caused by hypersensitivity to venom and resulting in sudden death unless immediate medical attention is received.

Forming an angle rather than a curve.

Toward the head or on the head side of a segment being described.

From the Greek anthros (flower), referring to the pollen-bearing portion on top of the stamen or male part of a flower.

Antenna (pl–ae)
One of two long segmented sensory filaments located on the head of the bee, which enable bees to smell and taste.

The end of any structure.

A beekeeper.

Apiary (pl-ies)
The location and total number of hives (and other equipment) at one
site; also called bee yard.

Near or at the apex or end of any structure.

Blend of beehive products (pollen, propolis, royal jelly and/or bee venom) with honey or other carrier as nutritional supplement.

The science and art of raising honey bees.

Processed drone bee larvae used as food, nutritional supplement or cosmetic ingredient.

ApiMixx Capsules
Capsules containing bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly in
the right ration to support bee venom therapy.

Apis Dorsata
The giant honey bee, is native to south and southeastern Asia, and
usually makes its exposed combs on high tree limbs, or on cliffs, and
sometimes on buildings. It is wild and can be very fierce. It is robbed
of its honey periodically by human honey gatherers, a practice known as honey hunting. Its colonies are easily capable of stinging a human
being to death when provoked.

Apis Florea and Apis Cerana
Small honey bees of southern and southeastern Asia. The former
makes very small, exposed nests in trees and shrubs, while the latter
makes nests in cavities and is sometimes managed in hives in a similar
fashion to Apis mellifera, though on a much smaller and
regionalized scale.

Apis Mellifera
A native European bee that is kept for its honey and wax in most parts
of the world, has developed into several races differing in size, color,
disposition, and productivity, and has escaped to the wild wherever suitable conditions prevail;  subspecies include: a. m. ligustica (Italian), the most common domesticated bee; a.m. caucasia (Caucasian); a.m.
(Carniolan) a.m. mellifera (German black); and a.m. scutellata
/ a.m. adonsonii / a.m. intermissa

Apis Mellifera Ligustica
A subspecies of Mellifera, Classified by Spinola, 1806 – the Italian bee. The most commonly kept race in North America, South America and southern Europe. They are kept commercially all over the world. They are very gentle, not terribly inclined to swarm, and produce a large surplus of honey. They have few negative characteristics. Colonies tend to maintain larger populations through winter, so they require more winter stores (or feeding) than other temperate zone races. Italians are light colored, most leather colored, but some strains are golden.

Apis Mellifera Carnica
A subspecies of Mellifera, classified by Pollmann, 1879 -Slovenia – better known as the Carniolan honey bee – popular with beekeepers due to its extreme gentleness. The Carniolan tends to be quite dark in
color, and the colonies are known to shrink to small populations over
winter, and build very quickly in spring. It is a mountain bee in its
native range, and is a good bee for cold climates. It does not do well
in areas with long, hot summers.

Apis Mellifera Caucasica
subspecies of Mellifera, classified by Pollmann, 1889 -Caucasus Mountains – This sub-species is regarded as being very gentle and fairly industrious.  Some strains are excessive propolizers. It is a large
honeybee of medium, sometimes grayish color.

Apis Mellifera Cecropia
A subspecies of Mellifera, classified by Kiesenwetter, 1860 – Southern Greece.

Apis Mellifera Cypria
A subspecies of Mellifera, classified by Pollmann, 1879 – The island of Cyprus – This sub-species has the reputation of being very fierce compared to the neighboring Italian sub-species, from which it is isolated by the Mediterranean Sea.

Apis Mellifera Iberiensis
A subspecies of Mellifera, classified by Engel, 1999 – the bee is from the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal).

Apis Mellifera Sicula
A subspecies of Mellifera, classified by Montagano, 1911 – from the Trapani province and the island of Ustica of western Sicily.

Apis Mellifera Remipes
A subspecies of Mellifera, classified by Gerstäcker, 1862 – Caucasus, Iran, Caspian lake.

Apis Mellifera Mellifera
A subspecies of Mellifera, classified by Linnaeus, 1758 – the dark bee of northern Europe also called the German honey bee – domesticated in modern times, and taken to North America in colonial times. These small, dark-colored bees, sometimes called the German black bee, have the reputation of stinging people (and other creatures) for no good reason at all; this, however, applies to the hybrid A. m. mellifera x A. m. ligustica populations found in North America and Western Europe, not to the near-extinct “pure” A. m. mellifera.

Apis Venenum Purum
Pure honeybee venom obtained from European honeybees. Biological substance, homeopathic remedy (HPUS). New definition in homeopathy for Pure Honeybee Venom that is collected by electrical shocks stimulation and used in preparations in place of Apium Virus. Synonyms: Apisinum, Apis Virus.

Apis Virus
Homeopathic term for bee venom that is gathered from the venom gland (sac) of honeybees by removing their stingers.

The combination of bee sting therapy and traditional acupuncture by applying bee sting into specific acupuncture point or points.

Lay, self-taught or trained individual who provides educational materials, training, and treatment including occasionally free of charge treatment for lay individuals using api-products.

A division of therapy that uses bees and bee products for therapeutic and medical purposes.

Tight and flat against the body of the bee, usually used to describe hair.

Curved like a bow.

An integumental (skin) sculpture pattern: divided into a number of
small irrgular spaces, very similar if not used interchangeably with reticulate.

The pads between the claws found at the ends of some bees legs.

Automatic Uncapper
Automated device that removes the cappings from honey combs, usually by moving heated knives, metal teeth, or flails.

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Bacillus Larvae
The bacterium that causes American foulbrood.

Refers to the action of worker bees surrounding a queen who is unacceptable,they are trying to kill her by pulling her legs, wings,
and by stinging and suffocation; the bees form a small cluster or ball around this queen.

Usually refferring to the bands of hair or bands of color that traverse
across an abdominal segment from sides to side.

Basad (Basally)
Toward the base.

Base (Basal Area)
On whatever part being described, this would be the section or the area
at or near to the point of attachement, or nearest the main body of the
bee, the opposite end of which would be the apical area.

The segment of the tarus that is nearest the to the bees body, it’s usually the largest of all the tarsal segments.

Basitibial Plate
A small plate or saclike projection at the base of the hind tibia (like a bee knee pad).

Cleft or divided into 2 parts; forked.

Basket Extractor
A honey extractor that spins out one side of the frame at a time.

Bee Blower
A gas or electrically driven blower used to blow bees from supers full of honey.

Bee Box
A box used for catching honey bees with honey or sugar syrup.  See Bee Lining.

Bee Bread
A mixture of collected pollen and nectar or honey, deposited in the cells of a comb to be used as food by the bees.  It has a “bready” taste and hence the name “beebread”.

Bee Brush
A soft brush or whisk (or handful of grass) used to remove bees from frames.

Bee Cellar
An underground room used for storing bee hives during long cold
winters; difficult to use as constant temperature and humidity must be
maintained to ensure colony survival.

Bee Diseases
Diseases affecting adult larval honey bees, not all of which are infectious (such as dysentery); important diseases are American and European foulbrood, highly infectious larval diseases.

Bee Escape
A device constructed to permit bees to pass one way, but prevent their
return; used to clear bees from supers or other uses.

Bee Go
A chemical, such as benzaldehyde, repellent to bees and used with a
fume board to clear bees from honey supers.

Bee Glue
See Propolis.

Bee Tree
A tree with one of more hollows occupied by a colony of bees.

Someone who has bees, but is not at the level of manipulation representative of a beekeeper.

A box or receptacle with movable frames, used for housing a colony of

This is the person who keeps bees.

Bee Lining
The Process of locating feral bee hives by catching a bee in a bee box, feeding it sugar syrup or honey until it’s full, letting it go, and following it.  Then catching another bee, repeating the process until the bees lead you to their feral hive.

Bee Metamorphosis
The three stages through which a bee passes before reaching maturity:
egg, larva, and pupa.

Bee Space
A space big enough to permit free passage for a bee but too small to
encourage comb building, and too large to induce propolizing activities; measures ¼ to 3/8 inch (9.5mm).

Bee Sting Therapy
Bee venom treatment with live honeybees.

Bee Suit
A pair of coveralls, usually white, made for beekeepers to protect them
from stings and keep their clothes clean; some come equipped with zip-on veils.

Bee Tree
A tree with one of more hollows occupied by a colony of bees.

Bee Vacuum
A gas or electrical powered vacuum used to collect swarms or gather bees for packaging.

Bee Veil
A cloth or wire netting for protecting the beekeeper’s head and neck
from stings. It’s generally attached to a hat or helmet.

Bee Venom
Poisonous matter secreted by honeybees, used primarily in defense and communicated by stinging; the poison is secreted by special glands
attached to the stinger of the bee [Middle English venom, venum, venim, from Old French venim, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin venimen, alteration of Latin venenum drug, poison, magic potion, charm; akin to
Latin venus love, sexual desire].

A substance that is secreted by bees by special glands on the underside
of the abdomen, deposited as thin scales, and used after mastication and mixture with the secretion of the salivary glands for constructing the honeycomb.  After the bee forms it into comb, beeswax is glossy and hard but plastic when warm, insoluble in water but partly soluble in boiling alcohol and in ether, and miscible with oils and fats.  Beeswax is a mixture consisting of the palmitate of myricyl alcohol and other higher esters, free cerotic acid, and hydrocarbons. Its melting point is from 143.6º to 147.2ºF. 2. A wax obtained as a yellow to brown solid by melting a honeycomb with boiling water, straining, and cooling and used especially in polishes, modeling, and making patterns.

Beeway Super
The shallowest or section super used with wooden section boxes to make comb honey; has a built-in beeway or bee space.

A colorless nontoxic liquid aldehyde C6H5CHO that has an odor like that of bitter almond oil, that occurs in many essential oils (as bitter almond oil and peach-kernel oil) and is usually made from toluene; used to drive bees out of honey supers, but is used chiefly in flavoring and perfumery, in pharmaceutical preparations, and in synthesis (as of dyes) — called also artificial bitter almond oil [German benzaldehyd, from benz- + aldehyd aldehyde].

Biological Control
Controlling pests by using predatorr, parasites, and disease-producing organisms instead of pesticides.

Black Scale
Refers to the appearance of a dried down larva or pupa which died of a
foulbrood disease.

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 5 or more gallons of honey and
equipped with a honey gate to fill honey jars.

Bottom Board
This piece of beekeeping equipment that is the floor of a bee hive.  It rests on the ground, providing a place to set the first Brood Chamber.

Brace Comb
A bit of comb built between two combs to fasten them together, between a comb and adjacent wood, or between two wooden parts such as to bars.

Braula Coeca
The scientific name of a wingless fly commonly known as the bee louse.

Immature stages of bees not yet emerged from their cells; the stages are egg, larvae, pupae.

Brood Chamber
The part of the hive in which the brood is reared; may include one or more hive bodies and the combs within.  Also called a “Brood Box”.

Brood Diseases
Diseases that affect only the immature stages of bees, such as American or European foulbrood.

Brood Nest
The part of the hive interior in which brood is reared; usually the two bottom supers.  Sometimes called the “Hive Body”.

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.

Buff Comb
A bit of wax built upon a comb or upon a wooden part in a hive but not
connected to any other part.

Build Up
The natural seasonal increase of bee population within a colony that coincides with the start of the main nectar flow.

Burr Comb
Small pieces of comb made as connecting links between combs or between a frame and the hive itself; also called brace comb.

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Cage Shipping
Also called a package, a screened box filled with 2 to 5 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.

A covering that closes a cell containing pupa or honey.

Candy Plug
A fondant type candy placed in one end of a queen cage to delay her release.

Capped Brood
Immature bees whose cells have been sealed over with a brown wax cover by other worker bees; inside, the non-feeding larvae are isolated and can spin cocoons prior to pupating.

Capped Honey
Honey stored in sealed cells.

Capping Melter
Melter used to liquefy the wax from cappings as they are removed from honey combs.

The thin wax covering over honey; once cut off of extracting frames
they are referred to as cappings and are a source of premium beeswax.

Capping Scratcher
A fork-like device used to remove wax cappings covering honey, so it
can be extracted.

A food (organic compound) composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen with the hydrogen to oxygen ratio frequently 2:1, as in water.

A clearly defined ridge or keel, not necessarily high or acute, usually
appears on bees as simply araised line.

Keeled; having keels or carinae.

Carnolian Bees
A grayish race of honey bee Apis mellifera carnica named for Carniola,
Austria but originating in the Balkan region; while they are gentle and do not propolize, they tend to swarm more than other races.

The three types of bees that comprise the adult population of a honey bee colony: workers, drones, and queen.

Caucasian Bees
A black race of honey bee Apis mellifera caucasica, originating in the
Caucasus mountains; gentle but tend to propolize excessively.

Towards the tail, or on the tail side of a segment being described.

The hexagonal compartment of a honey comb.

Cell Bar
A wooden strip on which queen cups are placed for rearing queen bees.

Cell Cup
Base of an artificial queen cell, made of beeswax or plastic and used for
rearing queen bees.

A disease affecting bee larvae, caused by a fungus Ascosphaera apis, larvae eventually turn into hard, chalky white “mummies”.

The lateral part of the head beyond the compound eyes, includes the
gena and the subgena.

Chilled Brood
Immature bees that have died from exposure to cold; commonly caused by mismanagement.

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 group of nuclear bodies (from the nucleus) containing genes; responsible for the differentiation and activity of a cell, and undergoing characteristic division stages such as mitosis.

Chunk Honey
Honey in the comb, but not in sections, frequently cut and packed into
jars then filled with liquid honey.

Removing visible foreign material from honey or wax to increase its purity.

Clarifying Tank
Any tank or holding vessel that is use to temporarily store honey while
the wax and other material separate from the honey.

Cleansing Flight
The flight made by a bee to cleanse it’s digestive track after a long period of confinement.

Clipped Queen
A Queen whose wing (or wings) have been clipped to prevent flying. Also for identification purposes (right wings usually clipped in even years, left wings in odd).

A large group of bees hanging together, one upon another.

A section of the face below the antennae, demarcated by the epistomal

A thin silk covering secreted by larval honey bees in their cells in preparation for pupation.

The aggregate of worker bees, drones, queen, and developing brood living together as a family unit in a hive or other dwelling.

Colony Division
Exiting of a part of a bee colony to form a new hive.

The wax portion of a colony in which eggs are laid, and honey and
pollen are stored.

Comb, Drawn
Wax foundation with the cell walls drawn out by the bees, completing
the comb.  The area the eggs are laid, pollen, and honey are stored in.

Comb Foundation
A commercially made structure consisting of thin sheets of beeswax
with the cell bases of worker cells embossed on both sides in the same manner as they are produced naturally by honey bees.

Comb Honey
Honey in the wax combs, usually produced and sold as a separate unit,
such as a wooden section 4-1/2” square, a plastic square, or round ring.

Commercial beekeeper
One who operates a sufficiently large number of colonies for honey production or crop pollination as a business for profit.

Compound Eye(s):
The large lateral eye of the honey bee comprised of multiple visual elements named ommatidia.

A cone shaped, with a flat base, tapering to what is usually a blunt or rounded top.

Conical Escape
A cone-shaped bee escape, which permits bees, a one-way exit; used in a special escape board to free honey supers of bees.

The outer curved surface of a segment of a shere, as opposed to concave.

The vein in a wing.

The basal segment of the leg.

The appearance of bees that are unable to fly; often found crawling on
the landing board or hive entrance. If noted repeatedly, possible causes
are mite infestation (Acarapis woodi or Vorroa Jacosoni) or poisoning.

Creamed Honey
Honey that has been pasteurized and undergone controlled granulation to produce a finely textured candied or crystallized honey which spreads easily at room temperature.

Crimp-Wired Foundation
Comb foundation into which crimp wire is embedded vertically during
foundation manufacture.

The transfer of pollen from the anther of one flower to the stigma of
another flower of the same species.

See Granulate.

Cut-Comb Honey
Comb honey cut into various sizes, the edges drained, and the pieces wrapped or packed individually.

The vien in a wing.

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A series of movements made by a forager bee or a scout bee to
communicate the location and type of resource.

A period of time when there is no available forage for bees, due to
weather conditions (rain, drought) or time of year.

Decoy Hive
A hive placed to attract stray swarms.

The method of swarm control that separates the queen from most of the brood within the same hive.

A small tooth-like projection.

To remove a queen from a colony.

One of the two principal sugars found in honey; forms crystals during granulation. Also known as glucose.

A hibernation like state in insects.

A starch digesting enzyme in honey adversely affected by heat; used in
some countries to test quality and heating history of stored honey.

A generic term for the middle surface of a plate (usually in reference
to a abdominal segment) as apposed to what might be going on along the sides.

Disease Resistence
The ability of an organism to avoid a particular disease; primarily due
to genetic immunity or avoidance behavior.

Away from the body or a discription of a place on a sement that is
furthest from the place of attachemnt with the body of the bee.

Separating a colony to form two or more units.

See Split.

Division Board
A Flat board of the same inside vertical and horizontal dimensions of a super used to separate a hive body into two parts or reduce the size of the chamber.

Division Board Feeder
A wooden or plastic compartment which is hung in a hive like a frame
and contains sugar syrup to feed bees.

In general, the upper surface.

Double Screen
A wooden frame, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, with two layers of wire screen
to separate two colonies within the same hive, one above the other. An
entrance is cut on the upper side and placed to the rear of the hive for the upper colony.

Double Story
Referring to a beehive comprised of two deep supers, one for brood and one for honey.

To shape and build, as to draw comb from a sheet of foundation.

Drawn Combs
Combs with cells built out by honey bees from a sheet of foundation.

The failure of bees to return to their own hive in an apiary containing
many colonies. Young bees tend to drift more than older bees, and bees from small colonies tend to drift into larger colonies. 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.

The male honeybee which comes from an unfertilized egg (and is
therefore haploid) laid by a queen or less commonly, a laying worker.

Drone Brood or Drone Comb
Brood, which matures into drones, reared in cells larger than worker

Drone Congregating Area (DCA)
A specific area to which drones fly waiting for virgin queens to pass
by; it is not known how or when they are formed, but drones return to the same spots year after year.

Drone Egg
Unfertilized egg.

Drone Layer
A drone laying queen or laying workers.

Drone Laying Queen
A queen that can lay only unfertilized eggs, due to age, improper or no
mating, disease or injury.

Pounding on the sides of a hive to make the bees ascend into another
hive placed over it.

Dry Swarm
Swarm that due to inclement weather or other reasons, has depleted its food supply. Bees in dry swarms are often aggressive until a hive is found (or given) and the bees are able to feed.

The rapid dying off of old bees in the spring; sometimes called spring
dwindling or disappearing disease.

An abnormal condition of adult bees characterized by severe diarrhea and usually caused by starvation, low-quality food, moist surroundings, or nosema infection.

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Thickly set with short, stout spinnes or prickles.

The first phase in the bee life cycle, usually laid by the queen, is the
cylindrical egg 1/16in (1.6 mm) long; it is enclosed with a flexible
shell or chorion.

Electric Embedder
A device allowing rapid embedding of wires in foundation with electrically produced heat.

A notched or cut out place in an edge or margine, can be dramatic or
simply a subtle inward departure from the general curve or line of the
margine or structure being described.

Emerging Brood
Young bees first coming out of their cells.

The science of insects.

Entrance Reducer
A notched wooden strip used to regulate the size of the bottom entrance.

Escape Board
A board having one or more bee escapes in it; used to remove bees from supers.

Ether Roll
A technique used to test for, or estimate, Varroa mite hive infestation.
Approximately 100 bees are placed in a jar and given a one second “blast” of ether (or starter fluid). The sealed jar is then rolled, causing mites to dislodge and stick to inside of jar. A similar technique is to shake the bees in a jar that is one-half full of detergent and water, then strain to separate bees from mites. The number of mites found represents a sampling that can be used to determine approximate total hive infestation.

European Foulbrood
An infectious brood disease of honey bees caused by Streptococcus pluton.

Eyelets, Metal
A small metal piece fitting into the wire-holes of a frame’s end bar; used to keep the reinforcing wires from cutting into the wood.

Extender Patty
A patty made from 1 part vegetable shortening and 2 parts granulated or powdered sugar. One or two 1/4-pound patties are placed on the top bars of the brood chamber to combat the Acarapis woodi tracheal mite from entering the honey bee’s spiracles in its travel to the tracheae. Extender patties may also be medicated with Terramycin for foulbrood prevention.

A machine that rotates honeycomb with great speed to remove honey.

Extracted Honey
Honey removed from combs by means of a centrifugal force; the combs
remain intact.

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The act of bee’s rapid beating of the wings near the entrance that causes air to move through the hive for ventilation. Also occurs when swarm has found a hive and releases pheromone from Nassonoff gland.

A transverse band or broad line, in bees often created by
a band of light colored hairs on the abdomen.

Various types of appliances for feeding bees artificially.  A jar used to
supply sugar syrup to bees as a supplemental source of food. Feeders
may be purchased that are attached to the front of the hive with the
opening inserted into the hive opening, or may be devised by using
quart or gallon jars with several very small holes punched into the
lid. The filled jar is inverted and placed over the opening on the
inner cover, inside an empty hive box and the hive cover placed over

The honey bee’s organs of smell and touch.

Domesticated animals that have escaped captivity.

Fermentation – related to 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).

A color described as:  rusty, red-brown, orange-brown.

Fertile Queen
A queen, inseminated instrumentally or mated with a drone, which can lay fertilized eggs.

Usually refers to eggs laid by a queen bee, they are fertilized with
sperm stored in the queen’s spermatheca, in the process of being laid.

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.

Finishing Colony
A colony into which grafted queen cells are placed for care, feeding and development; usually queenright.

Fixed Comb
Comb in feral colony attached to sides of hollow tree or building, and is
not removable without damage. Old-fashioned skeps or box hives, lacking removable frames, resulted in fixed combs. Honey bees kept in these hives were often killed to collect the honeycomb.

The third and remaining part of the antenna beyond the pedicel and
scape, containing most of the antennal segments.

Flash Heater
A device for heating honey very rapidly to prevent it from being damaged by sustained periods of high temperature.

Flight Path
Usually refers to the direction bees fly leaving their colony; if obstructed, may cause bees to become aggravated.

Flower Fidelity
The term applied to the trait of honey bees in visiting only one kind of
flower on a foraging trip; plays a vital role in pollination of visited
plant species.

Follower Board
A thin board used in place of a frame usually when there are fewer than
the normal number of frames in a hive.

Food Chamber
A hive body filled with honey for winter stores.

Usually refers to the first pair of legs, the ones closest tot he head.

Natural food source of bees (nectar and pollen) from wild and cultivated flowers.

The act of gathering pollen and nectar from flowers by worker bees.

Forager Bee
The foraging worker bee.

Foreign Matter
In honey, unusually high amounts of wax, bee bodies, pollen grains, or
other objectionable debris.

Foundation, Wax
Thin sheets of beeswax embossed or stamped with the base of a worker (or rarely drone) cells 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 or extracting frames.

Foulbrood, American
A malignant, contagious bacterial disease affecting bee larvae caused
by a spore-forming bacteria Bacillus larvae. see American Foulbrood.

Foulbrood, European
A serious, infectious larval disease of honeybees caused by Melissoccoccus pluton formerly Streptococcus pluton), a spore- forming bacteria.

A depressed region of cuticle, in bees this depressed area is usually
only very slightly hollow and usually on the face.

Four pieces of wood forming a rectangle, designed to hold honey comb, consisting of a top bar, two end bars, and a bottom bar (one or two pieces); usually spaced a bee-space apart in the super.

Frame Grip
A handle-shaped clamping tool used by some beekeepers; when pressure is applied to handle, is used to grip topbar of frame for removal from hive. Frame grips can be useful when removing frames from supers to brush bees away.

The predominant simple sugar found in honey; also known as levulose.

A brownish yellow-tawny color to orange brown.

A devise used to hold a set amount of a volatile chemical (A bee repellent like Bee Go) to drive bees from supers.

Bicyclohexyl-ammonium fumagillin, whose trade name is Fumadil-B (Abbot Labs), is a whitish soluble antibiotic powder discovered in 1952; it is mixed with sugar syrup and fed to bees to control Nosema disease.

The trade name for Fumagillin, an antibiotic used in the prevention and
suppression of nosema disease.

Fume Board
A rectangular frame, the size of a super, covered with an absorbent material such as burlap, on which is placed a chemical repellent to drive the bees out of supers for honey removal.

Dark brown, approaching black; a plain mixture of brown and red.

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Galleria Mellonella
Scientific name of greater wax moth.

A surface without hairs.

Part of the tongue.

Leather, cloth or rubber gloves worn while inspecting bees.

See Dextrose.

Gluconic Acid
See Acidity.

A line that runs from side to side on the abdominal segments of some
bees that is formed by the step between two regions that differ in height, often that difference is only apparent upon very close inspection.

Removing a worker larva from its cell and placing it in an artificial queen cup in order to have it reared into a queen.

Grafting Tool
A needle or probe used for trans ferring larvae in grafting of queen cells.

The formation of sugar (dextrose) crystals in honey.

The process by which honey, a super-saturated solution (more solids
than liquid) will become solid or crystallize; speed of granulation depends on the kind of sugars in the honey.

Grease Patty
See Extender Patty

Insects that live in groups but don’t form a true social colony.

Guard Bees
Worker bees about three weeks old, which have their maximum amount of alarm pheromone and venom; they challenge all incoming bees and other intruders.

The action of a bee which detects invaders and examines entering bees.

A hollow log beehive, sometimes called a log-gum (Appalachia), made by cutting out that portion of a tree containing bees and moving it to the apiary; since it contains no moveable frames, it is therefore illegal.

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The emergence of adults insects.

Hay Fever
An allergic condition that afflicts many people; caused by various plant particles, airborne fungal spores or pollen.

This is a biological system that allows for sex determination.  The Queen honey bee is able to lay, at will, a fertilized egg or an unfertilized egg.

The front section of a insect body containing antennae and other sensory apparatus.

Six-sided, the shape of cells in honeycomb.

A man made home for bees including a bottom board, hive bodies, frames enclosing honey combs, and covers.

Hive Body
A wooden box containing frames intended for raising brood.

Hive Stand
A structure serving as a base support for a beehive; it helps in extending the life of the bottom board by keeping it off damp ground; it also keeps
the hive up away from such pests as skunks.

Hive Staples
Large C-shaped metal nails, hammered into the wooden hive parts to
secure bottom to supers, and supers to super before moving a colony.

Hive Tool
A flat metal device with a curved scraping surface at one end and a
flat blade at the other; used to open hives, pry apart and scrape frames.

Hobbyist Beekeeper
One who keeps a small number of bee hives for pleasure or occasional income (Backyard Beekeeper)

Hoffman Self-Spacing Frame
Frames that have the end bars wider at the top than the bottom to
provide the proper spacing when frames are placed in the hive.

Holding Open
A term used when the workers leave drawn brood comb un-used so the queen can lay eggs.

A sweet viscid material produced by bees from the nectar of flowers,
composed largely of a mixture of dextrose and levulose dissolved in
about 17 percent water; contains small amounts of sucrose, mineral matter, vitamins, proteins, and enzymes.  Honey is also hydroscopic.

Honey, Green
Nectar or partially cured honey in the comb that the bees have not
finished evaporating the moisture to the final honey product.

Honey, Raw
A term used to describe unprocessed honey that has not been heated or filtered. Another term is natural honey.

The common name for Apis mellifera (Honey bearer), a highly social
insect, Order Hymenoptera (membranous wings); correctly printed as two words. An insect with three pairs of legs, four wings, a stinger and a special stomach which holds nectar. The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.  The honey bee is but one of an estimated 20,000 species of bees but is likely the most important of them all the species.

Honey Color
Measured by a Pfund grader, honey colors are classified between water
white to white, to amber to dark amber (7 gradations).

An excreted material from insects in the order Homoptera (aphids) which feed on plant sap; since it contains almost 90% sugar, it is collected by bees and stored as honeydew honey.

Honey Extractor
A machine which removes honey from the cells of comb by centrifugal

Honey Flow
A time when enough nectar-bearing plants are blooming such that bees
can store a surplus of honey.

Honey Gate
A faucet used for removing honey from tanks and other storage receptacles.

Honey House
A building used for activities such as honey extraction, packaging and

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.

Creamed honey blended with a specific amount of bee venom.

Honey Pump
A pump used to transfer honey from a sump or extractor to a holding
tank or strainer.

Creamed honey blended with bee pollen and a specific amount of bee venom.

Honey Sac
Also called honey stomach, an enlargement at the posterior (back) end
of a bees’ esophagus but lying in the front part of the abdomen, capable of expanding when full of liquid such as nectar or water.

Honey Stomach
An organ in the abdomen of the honey bee used for carrying nectar, honey, or water.

Honey Sump
A clarifying tank between the extractor and honey pump for removing the coarser particles of comb introduced during extraction.

Honey Supers
Refers to hive bodies used for honey production.

Hornets and Yellow Jackets
Social insects belonging to the family Vespidae. Nest in paper or foliage
material, with only an overwintering queen. Fairly aggressive, and carnivorous, but generally beneficial, they can be a nuisance to man. Hornets and Yellow Jackets are often confused with Wasps and HoneyBees. Wasps are related to Hornets and Yellow Jackets, the most common of which are the paper wasps which nest in small exposed paper combs, suspended by a single support.  Hornets, Yellow Jackets and Wasps are easy to distinguish by their larger size, shiny hairless body, and aggressiveness. HoneyBees are generally smaller, fuzzy brown or tan, and basically docile in nature.

House Bee
A young worker bee whose activities are confined to the hive.

Transparent, glassy

Means it draws moisture from it’s surrounding environment.

Order to which all bees belong, as well as ants, wasps and certain parasites.

A condition in which reactions to any environmental stimulus are life-threatening; such as honey bee venom.

An area on the thorax.

The notched region underneath the head and behind the mandible that
holds the folded tongue.

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Not fully formed, such as a worker, considered an imperfect female.

Impressed Area
Almost always refers to the rear part of the upper abdominal segments,
these areas often being very slightly (often very difficult to detect) lower than the front part of the segment.

Not punctate or marked with puntures or pits.

To add to the number of colonies, usually by dividing those on hand.
See Split.

To maintain in an environment suitable for development or hatching. In leafcutting bees, cocoons with mature larvae are warmed after diapause to promote adult emergence.

Incapable of producing a fertilized egg, as a laying worker.

Smoky gray-brown, with a blackish tinge.

Antibacterial effect of honey caused by an accumulation of hydrogen peroxide, a result of the chemistry of honey.

Injections, Desensitzing
A series of injections given to persons with allergies (such as bee venom) so they might build up an immunity.

Usually refers to the legs and refers to the part that faces the body.

Inner Cover
An insulating cover fitting on top of the top super but underneath the outer cover, with an oblong hole in the center.

Any chemical that kills insects.

Inspectors, State
Persons usually employed by state agriculture departments to inspect
colonies of bees for diseases and pests.

Instrumental Insemination
The introduction of drone spermatozoa into the genital organs of a
virgin queen by means of special instruments.

The outer layer of the bee; the skin or cuticle.

Wing vein

When describing veins it refers to the end of one approximating the
beginning of another, as in a grid intersection.

An enzyme in honey, which splits the sucrose molecule (a disaccharide)
into its two components dextrose and levulose (monosaccharides).

Isle of Wight Disease
A name given to what was once thought to be a disease that literally
devastated honey bees on Great Britain’s Isle of Wight in the early
1900’s; the cause is now known to have been Acarapis woodi tracheal mites.

A bacterial enzyme used to convert glucose in corn syrup into fructose,
which is a sweeter sugar; called isomerose, is now used as a bee feed.

Italian Bees
A common race of bees, Apis mellifera ligustica, with brown and yellow
bands, from Italy; usually gentle and productive, but tend to rob.

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Abutting the clypeus in front of the month.

Landing Board
A place where bees can land in front of the entrance. Usually sloped, often sold as a separate (optional) hive component that fits underneath the bottom board.

Langstroth, L. L.
A Philadelphia native and minister (1810-95), he 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.

Grub-like, immature form of bee, after it has developed from the egg
and before it has gone into the resting stage in preparation for the
change to adult form.

Larva, Capped
The second developmental stage of a bee, ready to pupate or spin its
cocoon (about the 10th day from the egg).

Laying Worker
A worker bee which will lay eggs in a colony hopelessly queenless; such
eggs are infertile, since the workers cannot mate, and therefore become drones.

Leg Baskets
Also called pollen baskets, a flattened depression surrounded by curved
spines located on the outside of the tibiae of the bees’ hind legs and adapted for carrying flower pollen or other dusts.

Also called fructose (fruit sugar), a monosaccharide commonly found in
honey that is slow to granulate (such as Robinia or locust honey); chemical formula is like glucose, but has it’s carbonyl group in a different place.

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A spot or mark.

Spotted or made up of several marks.

Making a Beeline For
Describes the shortest and quickest route the nectar-gathering bee follows to return to the hive.

Malar Space
The shortest distance between the base of the mandible and the margin of the coumpound eye often completely absent in bees.

Malnourished Hive
A colony of bees that lacking the proper nutritional requirements to produce brood.

The jaws of an insect; used by bees to form the honey comb and scrape pollen, in fighting and picking up hive debris; bee teeth, usually crossed and folded in front of the mouth.

Marginal Cell
A wing cell located on the edge (margin) of the wing.

Marked Queen
Queens shipped from queen breeders are often marked at the buyers request for identification purposes. A marked queen is easier to spot when examining the brood nest. Marking colors may also correspond to an international color coding system; queens marked with blue indicate
years ending in 0 or 5, white a 1 or 6, yellow a 2 or 7, red a 3 or 8
and green for years ending in 4 or 9. Marking is indicated by a very
small colored adhesive or paint dot applied to top of thorax.

From the mother’s side of the family.

Mating Flight
The flight taken by a virgin queen while she mates in the air with several drones.

Wine made from honey as the carbohydrate.

Medium Super
A super of height taller than a shallow super, but not as high as a deep super; usually 6 5/8 inches in depth.

An organic crystalline substance used to treat hives of honey bees for the Acarpis woodi tracheal mite. Works best in temperatures of over 80° F, when packets of menthol crystals are placed on top bars of upper brood chamber, for full vaporization to occur.

Mesally (Medially)
Pertaining to, situated on, in or along the middle of the body or segment.

Mesopleura   or Mesothorax
The second or middle segment of the thorax bearing the middle legs and
the forewings.

Thorax segment bearing the hind legs and the hind wings.

Midnight Hybrid
A combination of the Caucasian and Carniolan races.

Migratory Beekeeping
The moving of colonies of bees from one locality to another during a single season to take advantage of two or more honey flows.

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.

Miller (hive top) Feeder
A wooden feeder, up to several inches tall, with parameter dimensions of a super with screened entrance(s) to a one or more divisions containing syrup. Placed on top of hive and covered; used to feed the bees.

A chemical or biological agent which is applied to a colony to control parasitic mites.

Moisture Content
A major difference between nectar (20% to 40% water) and honey (less than 18% water).  In honey, the percentage of water should be no more than 18.6; any percentage higher than that will allow honey to ferment.

Moveable Frames
A frame constructed in such a way to preserve the bee space, so they can be easily removed; when in place, it remains unattached to its surroundings.

Moveable Frame Hive
Although tried by many inventors in many Countries the movable frame hive was first patented by L.L. Langstroth in 1851. Opening from the top with ten frames it allowed the beekeeper for the first time to remove, examine and re-position combs.

Moving Board
A framed screen that fits over the top as a hive cover; used to move bees in hot weather to provide sufficient ventilation to keep bees from suffocating.

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Nassonoff Gland
A gland just under the second to last segment on the top of the abdomen that releases an assembly pheromone. Best noticed when a swarm is hived, as bees will face hive entrance with abdomens pointed upward exposing gland and fanning their wings.

Natural Honey
Unfiltered and unheated honey.

A liquid rich in sugars, manufactured by plants and secreted by nectary glands in or near flowers; the raw material for 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.

Nectar Flow
A time when nectar is plentiful and bees produce and store surplus

Nectar Guide
Color marks on flowers believed to direct insects to nectar sources.

The organs of plants which secrete nectar, located within the flower
(floral nectaries) or on other portions of the plant (extrafloral nectaries).

Newspaper Method
A technique to join together two strange colonies by providing a temporary newspaper barrier.

Non-Apis Bee
A bee not belonging to the genus Apis. A bee other than the Honeybee.

Nosema Disease
A widespread adult bee disease caused by a one-celled spore forming organism Nosema apis; it infects the gut lining.

A pair of lines on some bees that appear on either side of the scutum nearthe base of the wings.

Nuc, Nuclei, Nucleus (plural, nuclei)
A small colony of bees often used in queen rearing or for starting additional hives.  It consists of a queen, workers, and brood.

Nuptial Flights
A series of mating excursions made by a young queen.

Nurse Bees
Young bees, three to ten days old, which feed and take care
of developing brood.

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Observation Hive
A hive made largely of glass or clear plastic to permit observation of bees at work.

Ocellus (ocelli)
The 3 simple eyes or lenses that sit at the top of the head of bees.

A pale yellow color.

The foraging from a few species of flowers.

Orientation Flights
Flights taken by house bees in preparation for becoming foragers.

Osmotic Pressure
The minimum pressure that must be applied to a solution to prevent it from gaining water when it is separated from pure water by a permeable membrane; in honey, its ability to absorb water from the air or other microscopic organisms, about 2000 milliosmols/kg.

Usually refers to legs and specifically to the surfaces facing away
from the body.

Outer Cover
The last cover that fits over a hive to protect it from rain; the two
most common kinds are telescoping and migratory covers.

Out Yard
Also called 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.

An immature female germ cell, which develops into a seed.

An antibiotic sold under the trade name Terramycin; used to control American and European foulbrood diseases.

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See Shipping Cage.

Package Bees
A quantity of adult bees (2 to 5 pounds), with or without a queen,
contained in a screened shipping cage.

Papillae (Papilate)
A very tiny short hard cone-like projections usually in bees only found on the wing or legs and often having small hairs arising from the top.

Relatively rare bee disease similar to European Foulbrood; caused by bacterium Bacillus para-alvei, Burnside.

A virus disease of adult bees which affects their ability to use legs or wings normally.

An insect that feeds on or in another insect, and causes death in the host insect; one host is killed in the life of the parasitoid.

The development of young from unfertilized eggs laid by virgin females (queen or worker); in bees, such eggs develop into drones.

A white crystalline substance whose vapors are heavier than air and are used to fumigate wax moths in stored hive bodies.

Comb-like, having large comb-like teeth that are clearly separate from one another.

Having a Stalk

Chemical secretions created by honey bees. Workers secrete pheromones from the so-called Nasanov gland at the tip of the abdomen when they cluster, enter a new nesting site, or mark a source of nectar or water. The colony scent is recognizable by bees of the same colony because of its unique combination of components derived from the colony’s particular collections of nectar and pollen.

When queens fly to mate, a mandibular-gland pheromone attracts the drones. The same gland produces another pheromone, called queen substance, which workers lick from the queen’s body and pass along as they exchange food with one another. The eaten pheromone inhibits the ovaries of workers; when the queen’s secretion is inadequate, the colony produces queen cells to supersede her.

The mandibular, or mouth glands of workers produce an alarm odor, which serves to alert the colony when it is disturbed. Workers also produce a sting odor, which is released at the site of the sting and serves to direct other bees to the sting area. Stingless bees bite leaves at intervals along their flight path to provide a scent trail of mandibular secretions.

Glossy brownish black in color, pitch-like.

A series of sounds made by a virgan queen, frequently before
she emerges from her cell.

The flower part that contains the ovules.

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 for robbing or swarming preparations.

The lateral or side areas of the thorax, excluding the lateral surfaces of the propodeum.


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 its primary ingredients are peptide and mellitin.

The dust-like male reproductive cells (gametophytes) of flowers, formed in the anthers, and important as a protein source for bees; pollen is essential for bees to rear brood.

Pollen Basket
A flattened depression surrounded by curved spines or hairs, located on the outer surface of the bee’s hind legs and adapted for carrying pollen gathered from flowers or propolis to the hive.

Pollen Bee
Any bee other than the honeybee. See non-Apis bee.

Pollen Bound
A term referring to when comb cells surrounding brood area are filled with pollen, preventing queen from maximizing egg laying.

Pollen Cakes or Pollen Pellets
The cakes of pollen packed in the leg baskets of bees and transported back to the colony.

Pollen Insert
A device inserted in 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 and is carried to the blossom, resulting in cross-pollination.

Pollen Patty
Patty or cake of sugar, water, and pollen or pollen substitute supplied to bees for use as food. Often given to colonies in very early spring
before abundant natural pollen sources are obtainable for brood rearing.

Pollen Substitute
A food material which is used to substitute wholly for pollen in the bees’ diet; usually contains all or part of material such as soybean flour, powdered skim milk, brewer’s yeast, or a mixture of these used in place of pollen as a source of protein to stimulate brood rearing. Typically feed to a hive in early spring to encourage colony expansion.

Pollen Supplement
A material mixed with pollen, used to stimulate brood rearing
in periods of pollen shortage.

Pollen Trap
A device for collecting the pollen pellets from the hind legs of worker bees; usually forces the bees to squeeze through a screen mesh, which scrapes off the pellets.

Pollen Tube
A slender thread-like growth, containing sperm cells, which penetrates the female tissue (stigma) of a flower until it eventually reaches the ovary; there the sperm cells unite with the ovule.

A thumb, the stout spur at the inside of the tip of the tibia.

The transfer of pollen from the anthers to the stigma of flowers.

The agent that transfers pollen from an anther to a stigma: bees,
flies, beetles, etc.

The plant source of pollen used for pollination.

Foraging from many species of flowers.

Insects that have multiple generations in a year.

Porter Bee Escape
Introduced in 1891, the escape is a device that allows the bees a
one-way exit between two thin and pliable metal bars that yield to the bees’ push; used to free honey supers of bees but may clog since drone bees often get stuck.

Toward the tail end or on the tail end of a segment being described.

refering to a section of a bee that is just physically found just
before the outermost (or apical) end of the section or segment.

An animal (can be an insect) that feeds on other animals (also can be an insect) and consumes many prey in it’s life.

A fully mature larva prior to becoming a pupa.

Prime Swarm
The first swarm to leave the parent colony, usually with the old queen.

The mouthparts of the bee that form the sucking tube or

A collar-like segment on the thorax and directly behind the head;
extends down the sides of the thorax toward the first pair of legs.

The last segment of the bees thorax (although you wouldn’t know to look at it, it is considered anatomically part of the abdomen).

Plant resins collected and modified by bees; used to fill in small
spaces inside the hive.  Propolis reportedly has antibiotic, antioxidant, and antiviral properties.

This is a sticky brown filler or type of glue that bees produce to seal gaps in the hive. it is made from many differing sources, the main one being tree sap. Propolis has many amazing antiseptic medicinal uses and is produced commercially for sale in tincture or tablet form.

Naturally occurring complex organic substances, such as pollen;
composed of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

This pertains to the prothorax.

Rising or produced above the surface or the general level, often used as a term to define asingle or pair of small bumps.

That part nearest the body.

Downy; clothed with soft, short, fine, loosely set hair.

The third stage in the development of the bee during which it is
inactive and sealed in its cocoon; the organs of the sealed in its cocoon; the organs of the larva are replaced by those which will be used as an adult.

Pygidial Plate
Unusually flat area (a plate) surrounded by a ridge or line and
sometimes sticking well off of the end of the bee.  If present,
found on the sixth upper abdominal segment in females, seventh in males.

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A fully developed female bee, larger and longer than a worker bee.  She’s recognized by other bees from her special pheromones (odors).

Queen Breeder
A beekeeper specializing in the breeding and production of queens,
usually for commercial purposes; often breeding for a selective trait.

Queen Cage
A special cage in which queens are shipped and/or introduced to a
colony, usually with 5 or 6 young workers called attendants, and a candy plug.

Queen Cage Candy
Candy made by kneading powdered sugar with invert sugar syrup until it forms a stiff dough; used as food in queen cages.

Queen Cell
A special elongated cell resembling a peanut shell in which the queen is reared; usually over an inch in length, it hangs vertically from the comb.

Queen Clipping
Removing a portion of one or both front wings of a queen to prevent her from flying.

Queen Cup
A cup-shaped cell hanging vertically from the comb, but containing no egg; also made artificially of wax or plastic to raise queens.

Queen Excluder
A device made of wire, wood or zinc (or any combination thereof) having openings of .163 to .164 inch, which permits workers to pass but excludes queens and drones; used to confine the queen to a specific part of the hive, usually the brood nest.

Queen Rearing
The raising of queens.

Queen Space
The queen space is the measurement of 5/32 of an inch.  This is
the space that worker bees can freely pass through, but a queen is left behind. If this space is just slightly larger, the queens  will be able to pass through it.

A hive without a queen.

A term used to describe a hive or colony of bees that has a producing queen.

Queen Substance
Pheromone material secreted from glands in the queen bee and transmitted throughout the colony by workers to alert other workers of the queen’s presence.

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A Rabbet is a type of wood joint.  A narrow groove cut out of the upper inside end of the hive body and supers from which the frames are suspended.  A rabbet is also the term given for the metal protector that covers this edge that the frames rest on.

Races of Bees
The four most common races of Apis are mellifera, cerana, dorsata and florea;other newly discovered races are currently under investigation.

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.

Raw Honey
See Natural Honey.

Bent up or away.

Rendering Wax
The process of melting combs and cappings and removing refuse from the wax.

In a retracted physical state.

The practice of replacing the queen in a beehive; to introduce a new queen to a queenless hive.

Resmethrin (SBP-1382)
A synthetic pyrethroid insecticide used to kill diseased honey bee colonies.

Made up of a network of lines that creates a set of netlike cells,
similar to areolate except perhaps more of a network of cells,
undoubtedly both have been used to describe the same patterns at times.

The act of exchanging places of different hive bodies of the same
colony; usually for the purpose of nest expansion, the super full of brood and the queen is placed below an empty super to allow the queen extra laying space.

Ripe Honey
Honey from which bees have evaporated sufficient moisture so that it contains no more than 18.6 percent water.

Robber Bees
Bees which sneak into weak or dying
hives to steal honey or wax.

The act of bees stealing honey/nectar from the other colonies; also applied to bees cleaning out wet supers or cappings left uncovered by beekeepers.

Ropy Characteristic
A diagnostic test for American foulbrood in which the decayed larvae
form an elastic rope when drawn out with a toothpick.

Round Sections
Sections of comb honey in plastic round rings instead of square wooden

Royal Jelly
A highly nutritious, milky white glandular secretion of young (nurse)
bees; used to feed the queen and young larvae.

A wrinkled set of bumps that are rough and raised like a short nappy

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Minor disease of bees caused by filterable virus. Conditions look similar to foulbrood, but usually with fewer affected brood cells in spotty locations in brood nest, and occurs predominantly in spring. The larval remains, unlike the foulbrood diseases, do not rot away. Instead, they lay on the bottom of the cell, with the skin turning leathery and holding the water content of the larva, hence the name. As the larval remains dry out, the head turns up like the toe of a wooden shoe or slipper, easing its removal. Re-queening is usually suggested if sacbrood persists or is heavily prevalent.

The first or basal segment of the antenna.

A whir dance made by scout bees to announce the time for colony

A brush; a fringe of a long dense and sometimes modified hairs designed
to hold pollen.

Scout Bees
Worker bees searching for a new source of pollen, nectar, propolis, water, or a new home for a swarm of bees.

Screen Venilated Board
A framed screen used to cover the top of a hive being moved in hot weather.

The sheild shaped plate behind scutum.

The large segment on top of the thorax located between the wings and
behind the head.

Sealed Brood
See Capped brood.

Small wooden (or plastic) boxes used to produce comb honey.

Secondary Swarm
A smaller swarm which may occur after the primary swarm has

The act of a single flower, or flower from the same plant, pollinating itself.

Self-Spacing Frames
Frames constructed so that they are a bee space apart when pushed together in a hive body.

The inability of a flower, such as a fruit tree, to be fertilized
within its own variety; it is only fertilized by pollen from another variety.

Usually minor disease of adult bees caused by Pseudomonas apiseptica.

Notched on the edge, like a serrated knife.

Covered with setae or stiff short hairs.

Settling Tank
A large capacity container used to settle extracted honey; air bubbles and debris will float to the top, clarifying the honey.

The technique of shaking bees from frames of comb to remove bees; often used by package bee suppliers to shake bees into shipping cage funnels. Also used when transferring frames of brood from one colony to another.

Shallow Super
A super shallower than a deep super; usually 5 11/16 inches in depth.

The margine with wavy and strong indentations.

A beehive without moveable frames, usually made of twisted straw in the form of a basket; its use is illegal in the U.S.

The name given to a Beekeeper who kept or still keeps Bees in skeps.

Slatted Rack
A wooden rack that fits between the bottom board and hive body. Bees make better use of the lower brood chamber with increased brood rearing, less comb gnawing, and less con gestion at the front entrance.

The refuse from melted combs and cappings after the wax has been rendered or removed; usually contains cocoons, pollen, bee bodies and dirt.

Small Hive Beetle:
Pest originally from South Africa, Aethina tumida
is about one third the size of a worker bee. Damage to honeycomb caused by larvae feeding on pollen; also defecation in honey, causing fermentation. Larvae distinguished from wax moth (Galleria mellonella) larvae by six distinct and rather large legs on frontal end versus wax moth’s uniform-sized prolegs. Larvae leave hive to pupate in soil. Newly emerged adult beetles are red, later turning black, and covered with fine, hair-like spines. Adult beetle returns to hive to lay eggs; usually found in small areas inaccessible to bees; run rapidly across comb when disturbed. Small hive beetles known to also infest stored supers of honey awaiting extraction.

The act of blowing smoke into a beehive to reduce bee’s defensive stinging behavior. Bees lightly “smoked” proceed to gorge themselves with honey. This natural instinct allows them to abscond from a burning hive if needed (and able) and begin a new hive at an alternate location. With honey stomachs filled, both food source and fuel for beeswax secretion is readied. Smoke also dulls alarm odor scent.

A metal container with attached bellows which burns organic fuels to generate smoke; used to control aggressive behavior of bees during colony inspections.

Smoker Fuel
The Fuel that’s used to create the smoke in the smoker.  Such as recycled hemp burlap bags, cardboard, wood chips, pine needles, or dried cow dung.

Insects that live in a organized groups and display a division of labor and overlapping generations.

Insects that do not display a divsion of labor and each individual is reproductive; non-social.

Solar Wax Melter or Extractor
A glass-covered insulated box used to melt wax from combs and cappings using the heat of the sun.

Shaped like a spatula.

Sperm Cells
The male reproductive cells (gametes) which fertilize eggs; also called

A small sac connected with the oviduct (vagina) of the queen bee, in
which the spermatozoa received in mating with drones is stored.

Male reproductive cells.

Small needle-like spine.

Armed with thorny spines, more elongate than echinate.

External openings of tracheae.

To divide a colony for the purpose of increasing the number of hives.
Also done to reduce swarm tendencies.

Spur Comb
Small deposits of comb built throughout the hive to close down large spaces or holes to a proper ‘bee space.

Spun Honey
Honey that has been “seeded” with very fine honey crystals and stirred
occasionally to hasten uniform crystallization throughout; also creamed
honey, whipped honey. Spun honey is usually marketed along with liquid honey on store shelves.

Spur Embedder
A device used for mechanically embedding wires into foundation by
employing hand pressure.

The flower part that produces the male gamete, consisting of a filament
and an anther.

Starline Hybrid
An Italian bee hybrid known for vigor and honey production.

The plates on the underside of the abdomen.

Sticky Board
Used on floor of hive bottom board to trap and hold Varroa mites that have fallen off bees; a thin device usually made from 8×8 mesh
wire screening mounted on 3/16 – 3/8 inch high rails, and placed over
wax paper or poster board material that has been sprayed with aerosol
non-stick cooking oil. Mites fall through wire mesh and stick to
surface of paper or poster board, prohibiting crawling and
re-attachment to honey bees. Wire mesh prevents bees from walking
through debris.

Receptive portion of the female part of a flower to which pollen
adheres; on an insect it is a thickened colored spot or cell in the
forewing just behind the costal cell.

An organ belonging exclusively to female insects developed from egg
laying mechanisms, used to defend the colony; modified into a piercing shaft through which venom is injected.

Sting Sac
See Poison Sac.

Honey bees have two stomachs. The honey stomach holds nectar or honey. The stomach mouth is where nectar goes first and the pollen is strained out before it goes into the honey stomach.

A disease in which the causative fungus, Aspergillus
attacks and kills bees in larval stage. Deceased brood, referred to as “mummies”, are solid and green in appearance; green growth is powdery. Symptoms are similar, but quite different from, Chalkbrood. No treatment is usually necessary.

A  colony’s larder, parts of the comb are filled with pollen and
honey. The pollen is fed to the young bees as it is high in
protein and carbohydrate. The honey is eaten by the bees to give them energy. Honey Bees do not hibernate, they have evolved to survive the Winter by storing surplus honey and pollen in the combs to eat during the cold weather.

Straining Screen
A metal or plastic screen through which honey is filtered; also serves
as a base for other, finer screening material.

Streptococcus Pluton
Bacterium that causes European foulbrood.

A set of parrallel lines (usually raised) and can be thick or thin.

Located just behind the apex of the segment or body part.

Not quite contiguous or touching.

Similar but not necessarily exact in size, form, or length.

Submarginal Cells
One or more cells of the wing lying immediately behind the marginal

A bit bumpy but not forming an extensive set of wrinkled bumps.

A groove; more of an elongate hole or punture in the skin of the bee.

Principal sugar found in nectar.

Sugar Syrup
Feed for bees, containing sucrose or table (cane) sugar and hot water
in various ratios.

A receptacle in which bees store honey; usually placed over or above
the brood nest; so called brood supers contain brood.

The act of placing honey supers on a colony in expectation of a honey

Rearing a new queen to replace the mother queen in the same hive; shortly after the daughter queen begins to lay eggs, the mother queen disappears.

Queen cell constructed by worker bees in preparation for queen supersedure; usually located on the face of brood comb; constructed fewer in number than those of swarm cells (anywhere from about three to eight), and generally lighter in color.

Above, beyond or over.

The region of the head between the antennal sockets and clypeus, demarcated on the sides by the subantennal structures.

Surplus Honey
Any extra honey removed by the beekeeper, over and above what the bees require for their own use, such as winter food stores.

A groove marking the line of fusion ot two distinct plates on the body or face of a bee.

A collection of bees, containing at least one queen that split apart from the mother colony to establish a new one; a natural method of propagation of honey bees.

Swarm Cell
Queen cells usually found on the bottom of the combs before swarrning.

The natural method of propagation of the honey bee colony.

Swarming Season
The time of year, usually mid-summer, when swarms usually issue.

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The Top Bar Hive is a method to manage bees with removable combs which rely on top bars rather than frames for the combs. There is usually no allowance for bee space so the bars represent a continuous cover. There are no standard dimensions as there are for Langstroth hives.

Telescoping Cover
A hive cover, used with an inner cover, that extends downward
a few inches on all four sides of a hive.

an antibiotic used to prevent American and European foulbrood. See Oxytetracycline.

Tested Queen
A queen whose progeny shows she has mated with a drone of her own race and has other qualities which would make her a good colony mother.

Thin Super Foundation
A comb foundation used for comb honey or chunk honey production which is thinner than that used for brood rearing.

The central region of an insect to which the wings and legs are

The act of banging on a tin pot or pan (hence “tinning”) underneath a flying swarm that was done in the past and once thought (falsely) to bring the swarm down to earth, enabling their capture.

Top Bar
The top part of a frame.

Breathing tubes of insects; tracheae open into the spiracles
on the abdomen’s surface.

Tracheal Mite
A mite which causes weakness or death in infected honeybees.

The process of changing bees and combs from common boxes to
movable frame hives.

Transition Cell
Cells of smaller or larger size than worker cells, and smaller than drone cell size; usually found where worker cells merge with drone cell areas on brood comb.

Travel Stains
The darkened appearance on the surface of honeycomb caused by bees walking over its surface.

A comb honey super with T-shaped strips supporting the sections to provide more space for bee travel.

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The removal of the wax cover of honey
cells prior to extraction.

Uncapping Knife
A knife used to shave off the cappings of sealed honey prior to
extraction; hot water, steam or electricity can heat the knives.

Uncapping Tank
A container over which frames of honey are uncapped; usually strains out the honey which is then collected.

An ovum or egg, which has not been united with the sperm.

Combining two or more colonies to form a larger colony. 

Insects that have a single generation in a year.

Unsealed brood
Brood in egg and larval stages only.

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Varroa Jacobson
A mite that originally was a parasite on the small Asian honey bee (Apis cerana), but has spread its presence to many other countries, including the U.S. The mites lay eggs in developing larva cells, preferably drone, which later hatch and feed on the blood of pupae within cells, or under the abdominal segments on either side of the wax glands of adult bees. Can be seen with naked eye.

A protective netting that covers the face and neck; allows ventilation, easy movement and good vision.

The fluid injected by an insect from a sting. The lethal dose of
honeybee venom is about 19 stings per kg of body weight (that is 1,300 stings for a 150 pound person). Animals (especially caged ones) as well as humans are at risk.

Venom Allergy
A condition in which a person, when stung, may experience a variety of symptoms ranging from a mild rash or itchiness to anaphylactic shock. A person who is stung and experiences abnormal symptoms should consult a physician before working bees again.

Venom Hypersensitivity
A condition in which a person, if stung, is likely to
experience an aphylactic shock. A person with this condition should carry an emergency insect sting kit at all times during warm weather.

Virgin Queen
An unmated queen bee.

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Waggle or Wiggle
This is the name of the dance a honey bee does to
communicate to her sisters where there is a source of nectar.

Warming Cabinet
An insulated box or room heated to liquefy honey.

A close relative of honey bees, usually in the family Vespidae; they are carnivorous, some species preying on bees (see also, Hornet).

See Beeswax.

Wax Glands
The eight glands located on the last 4 visible, ventral abdominal
segments of young worker bees; they secrete beeswax droplets.

Wax Moths
Usually refers to the Greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella whose larvae bore through and destroy honeycomb as they eat out its impurities.

Wax Scale
A drop of liquid beeswax that hardens into a scale upon contact with air, in this form it is shaped into comb.

Wax Tube Fastener
A metal tube for applying a fine stream of melted wax to secure a sheet of foundation to an un-grooved frame.

A description applied to honeycomb that has damage, especially to cappings, leaking small amounts of honey across the face of the comb.

Wind Pollinated
Plants whose flowers manufacture light pollen (and usually no nectar) which is released into the air to fall by chance on a receptive stigma; examples include the grasses (corn, oats) and conifers (pines).

Specially constructed, or naturally occurring barriers to reduce the force of the (winter) winds on a beehive.

Wind Pollenated
Plants whose flowers manufacture light pollen ( usually  don’t produce nectar) which is released into the air to fall by chance on receptive stigma. ex: grasses, corn, oats, and conifers.

The two wings of the honey bee on each side are united to each other by a series of very small hooks so that they work together, and thus four wings are converted into two.

Winter Cluster
A tight ball of bees within the hive to generate heat; forms when
outside temperature falls below 57 degrees F.

Winter Hardiness
The ability of some strains of honeybees to survive long winters by frugal use of stored honey.

Wire Frame
Thin 28#  wire used to reinforce foundation destined for the
broodnest or honey extractor.

Wire Cone Escape
A one-way cone formed by window screen mesh used to direct bees from a house or tree into a temporary hive.

Worker Bees
Infertile female bee whose reproductive organs are only partially
developed, a sterile female bee who performs all the functions
necessary in the hive, all Honey Bees seen flying around flowers will be workers.

Worker Comb
Comb measuring about five cells to the inch, in which workers are reared and honey and pollen are stored.

Worker Egg
Fertilized (female) bee egg.

Compiled by Lawrence Peiffer

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