Beekeeping   Resources

honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial flying insect within the genus Apis of the bee clade,

If the thought of keeping your own bees appeals to you, read on. Within this page’s content you will find links wherein you can learn the basics of beekeeping.  Whether you’re a backyard beekeeper, homesteader, farmer, or nature lover looking to learn more about honey and other bee products. So what’s the first step to becoming a beekeeper? Read on and educate yourself.

Universities and Research Centers

WELCOME TO THE POLLINATOR NETWORK AT CORNELL

Pollinators are incredibly important to the agricultural economy of New York and to the floral diversity of natural ecosystems. The Pollinator Network at Cornell is a multidisciplinary group of researchers, extension personnel, and students that collectively work to understand wild and managed pollinators throughout New York, the United States, and the rest of the world. We are committed to promoting healthy pollinator populations and a sustainable beekeeping industry. Our research enables us to understand the biology and evolution of bees, to investigate the role of pollinators in natural and agricultural systems, and to identify the current factors threatening pollinator health. Our findings are communicated to growers, beekeepers, policy makers, and the public through a variety of extension and outreach programs.

THE HONEYBEE LAB AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

The Honey Bee Lab at the University of Maryland has diverse personnel with multidisciplinary scientific backgrounds. Research in the laboratory is focused on an epidemiological approach to honey bee health. We are proud to share our research into the major mechanisms that are responsible for reoccurring high loss levels in honey bee populations, such as pests and pathogens associated with honey bees, loss of natural forage habitat due to large monocultural croplands, and pressure from human induced changes in the environment. We are also major partner and founding member of the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) who collaborates closely with beekeepers from across the country to study and better understand the loss in honey bee colonies in the United States.

It’s sticky, it’s sweet and it tastes wonderful on a warm biscuit. Honey is a natural sweeter that’s been that provides a natural form of instant energy. And it’s been used for centuries as an antibacterial agent.USDA Bee Research Laboratory: Beltsville, MD

The Bee Research Lab conducts research to improve the health of honey bee colonies and help the beekeeping industry maintain an adequate healthy supply of bees for the pollination of crops The Bee Lab has planted a Pollinator garden! This valuable educational tool shows a vibrant, real-life example of the codependent nature of our food ecosystem and the valuable services that pollinators (especially honeybees) provide to agriculture, while offering a diverse habitat for native bees and other pollinators. Possibly the greatest threat to honeybees, Varroa mites are obligate parasites that feed on both adult honey bees and brood, spreading viruses, crippling the bees and weakening the colony.

The Penn State Center for Pollinator Research

The Center for Pollinator Research at Pennsylvania State University is committed to developing and implementing integrative, multidisciplinary approaches to improving pollinator health, conservation, and management for ecosystems services through research, education, outreach and policy. Pollinators are critical for agricultural and ecological landscapes, but many species have been severely impacted by massive population declines. The causes of these declines are complex, and mitigation of these issues require multidisciplinary research approaches, the development of novel management and conservation practices, and a strong commitment to disseminate the results of these studies to students, the public, and policy makers.

The Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory at the University of Florida

To improve honey bee health and the sustainability of beekeeping globally through beekeeper training and public outreach. In working towards this overall mission, the UF MBP has two specific goals for program participants. Beekeepers in the UF MBP will learn and adopt research-based beekeeping best management practices, and provide research-based education to the non-beekeeping public and serve as mentors to new beekeepers.

Bee College is a training event for beekeepers of all experience levels held in Gainesville, FL. Bee College participants get the opportunity to learn about honey bees and beekeeping from the state’s experts. Class topics include beginner beekeeping courses, in-hive skill practice, research updates, native bees, and more!

The Honey Bee Research Centre at University of Guelph

Welcome to the Honey Bee Research Centre’s online beekeeping video series! The Honey Bee Research Centre, conducts apiculture research primarily focused on honey bee health. The HBRC staff provides demonstrations for new and advanced beekeepers. Topics range from how to open a hive to queen rearing. They also provide a university level apiculture course, weekend beekeeping courses, and many other educational experiences.

The UC-Davis Honey and Pollination Center

Helping UC Davis to become the world’s leading authority on honey bee health, pollination, and honey. Expand research and education efforts addressing the production, nutritional value, health benefits, economics, quality standards and appreciation of honey. Help the industry develop informative and descriptive labeling guidelines for honey and bee-related products to establish transparency in the marketplace. Elevate the perceived value of varietal honey to producers and consumers through education, marketing, and truth in labeling with the end goal of increasing the consumption of honey. Organize and implement programs and short courses about pollinators and pollination, beekeeping education and honey and honey products. Support students engaged in research, teaching and outreach, which promotes the mission of the Center.

Bee Clubs & Organizations

Bee Periodicals | Magazines

Bee Culture Magazine

Bee Culture does cover national trends and concerns facing honey bees and keepers, regulations in place and those currently under proposal. Though it is an American Beekeeping Publication, there are articles which keep the reader informed about beekeeping all around the world. If you are new to beekeeping, this is the magazine for you.

American Bee Journal

The American Bee Journal was established in 1861 by Samuel Wagner and has been published continuously since that time, except for a brief period during the Civil War. The Journal has the honor of being the oldest English language beekeeping publication in the world. Today, Dadant and Sons has the privilege of publishing the American Bee Journal for subscribers throughout the world.

National Beekeeping Organizations

Bee Supply Companies

Bee Glossary and Terminology

Apiary – Colonies, hives, and other equipment assembled in one location for beekeeping operations; also known as a bee yard.

Apis Mellifera -Scientific name of the European honeybee; the only bee that produces honey that is harvested and consumed by people.

Beebread – A mixture of pollen and nectar or honey, bees deposit in the cells of a comb to be used as food by the bees and is fed to developing larvae.

Bee space – Discovered by Langstroth in 1851, is the 3/8-inch space between combs and/or hive parts in which bees do not build comb. Bee space is the natural “hallways” found between combs and are used by the bees to move within the hive.

Brood – Immature bees that not yet emerged from their cells. Brood can be in the form of eggs, larvae, or pupae of different ages.

Brood chamber (also known as “Deep”) – The part of the hive in which the brood is reared; may include one or more (Deep) hive bodies.

Burr comb – Wax comb built in nontraditional areas, outside of the space used to raise brood or store honey.

Capped brood – Pupae whose cells have been sealed with a porous cover by nurse bees to isolate them during their final pupal period; also called sealed brood.

Cappings – A thin layer of wax used to cover the full cells of honey. This layer of wax is sliced from the surface of a honey-filled comb, and signals that the honey is fully ripened.

Cell –  The hexagonal compartment of comb built by honeybees.

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

Colony – All the bees; workers, drones, queen, and developing brood living together in one hive or other dwelling.

Comb honey – Honey produced and sold still in the comb. It is produced either by cutting the comb from the frame or when the comb is built in special frames that allow for its easy removal.

Creamed honey – Honey that has crystallized under controlled conditions to produce a tiny crystal and a smooth texture. The Dyce method is most often used in the U.S.

Dearth – A dearth is a period of time when plants and flowers in a given region are not producing nectar.

Drawn comb – Cells that have been built out by honeybees from foundation in a frame.

Drone – The male honeybee whose only job is to mate with virgin queens.

Drone comb – Comb with larger cells, measuring about four cells per linear inch that is used for drone rearing.

Extractor – A machine that removes honey from the cells of comb by centrifugal force.

Festooning – Is when bees hang between combs and form a chain by linking together by their legs. It is associated with wax construction.

Foundation – A commercially made structure consisting of thin sheets of beeswax with the cell bases of cells embossed on both sides in the same manner as produced naturally by honeybees.

Frame – A piece of equipment made of wood or plastic designed to hold the honeycomb, and to maintain bee space.

Hive tool – A metal device used to open hives, pry frames apart, and scrape wax and propolis from the hive parts.

Inner cover – A lightweight cover used under a standard telescoping cover on a beehive.

Larva (plural: larvae) – The larva is the developmental stage of an insect after it has hatched from an egg but before it has become a pupa. Honeybees spend an average of six days as larvae.

Laying worker – A worker that lays infertile eggs, producing only drones, found in queenless colonies.

Mating flight – The flight taken by a virgin queen while she mates in the air with up to twenty-four drones.

Mead – Honey wine.

Nectar – A sweet and fragrant liquid secreted by plants for attracting insects and animals. Nectar is the raw product of honey.

Nectar flow – A time when nectar is plentiful and bees produce and store honey.

Nuc – A “starter” hive of bees is a smaller yet working colony that consists of fewer frames than a typical 10-frame hive. A nuc usually consists of four or five frames of comb and used primarily for starting new colonies or rearing queens.

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

Observation hive – A hive made largely of glass or clear plastic to allow for the observation of bees at work.

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

Pheromones – “Smells” or chemical substances secreted from glands and used as a means of communication. Honeybees secrete many different pheromones, each sending a specific message or signal.

Pollen – The male reproductive cell bodies produced by anthers of flowers. It is collected and used by honeybees as their source of protein.

Proboscis – Is the tubular mouthpart of the honeybee used to suck up nectar, honey, and water.

Propolis – Sap or resinous materials collected from trees or plants by bees, combined with enzymes and used to strengthen the comb and to seal cracks; also known as bee glue. It is antimicrobial and helps to keep the bees healthy.

Pupa (plural: pupae) – Where the honeybee undergoes a metamorphosis, it’s the developmental stage after the larva stage and before it emerges as an adult. Honeybee pupae develop within a cocoon in a capped wax cell.

Queen – Only female bee per hive with a fully developed reproductive system is larger and longer than a worker bee, and whose primary purpose in the hive is to lay eggs. (1,500 – 2,000 eggs per day.)

Queen Cell – An elongated cell that looks like a peanut in the shell, in which a queen is reared. It is about an inch or more long and hangs down from the comb in a vertical position.

Queen excluder – Metal or plastic screen with spaces that permit the passage of workers but restrict the movement of drones and queens to a specific part of the hive.

Queenright – Refers to a colony that has a laying queen.

Robbing – Is when honeybees collect (steal) honey or nectar from another honeybee colony and not from flowers.

Royal jelly – “Bee Milk” is a highly nutritious glandular secretion of young bees, used primarily to feed the larvae.

Smoker – A device in which natural materials are slowly burned to produce smoke (not flames) that is used while working the hive to subdue the bees.

Super – Any hive body, or smaller box, used for the storage of surplus honey that the beekeeper will harvest.

Supersedure (also supersedure cell) – The natural replacement of an established queen by a newly reared queen in the same hive.

Swarm – A large number of worker bees, drones, and usually the old queen that leaves the parent colony to establish a new colony.

Swarm cell – Queen cells usually found on the bottom of the combs before swarming.

Varroa Destructor – Is a parasitic mite that feeds on the fat bodies of bees, reproduces in brood, and transmits multiple viruses that are deadly to honeybee colonies.

Venom – The toxic liquid that is pumped into an organism that has been stung. The honeybee’s venom is comprised of over 50 compounds, including a protein that stimulates the release of histamine in humans and animals.

Waggle Dance – Is a dance performed by bees to communicate the location of food and nest sites to other bees. The dance’s pattern tells the direction, distance, as well as the quality and quantity of the food source or nest site.

Wax – Is the substance honeybees secrete through their wax glands on the underside of their abdomens. It is used to build the comb in their nests and hives.

Winter cluster – A ball-like mass of adult bees within the hive during winter the bees use to maintain a temperature of 92°-95°F.

Worker bee – The most common bee in a colony, a female bee whose reproductive organs are undeveloped, and who does all the work in the colony.

Yellowjacket – Is the common name for yellow and black striped wasps. People are most often stung by yellowjackets, as they are scavengers and more likely to interact with people.