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.