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Borrowing this list from Honey Bee Suite  Go to their site at the URL below for a lot more information.






abdomen: the posterior segment of the bee containing the honey stomach, stomach, intestines, reproductive organs, and stinger.

ABJ: abbr. American Beekeeping Journal.

abscond: to entirely abandon the hive.

absconding swarm: a swarm composed of an entire colony of bees that has abandoned its hive due to disease, predators, or a real or perceived threat.

acid board (fume board): a hive cover designed to hold bee repellent. The saturated board is placed over honey supers to drive bees out of the supers before harvesting.

afterswarm: a secondary or tertiary swarm that issues after the first (primary) swarm of the season. These swarms are usually smaller than the primary swarm and may contain one or more virgin queens.

alighting board (landing board): a horizontal surface just below the hive entrance where bees may land or congregate.

ambrosia: see bee bread.

amino acid: an organic compound composed of an amine group and a carboxyl group. The amino acids are the “building blocks” of proteins.

antenna (pl. antennae): one of the two long, thin sensory organs on the bee’s head involved in taste and smell.

apiarist: beekeeper.

apiary: a place where bee hives are kept and managed.

Apis mellifera: the scientific name for the European honey bee.



bee bread: pollen mixed with nectar and bee secretions and stored in the comb for later use as brood food.

bee escape: a one-way passage often inserted between the honey supers and the brood chamber. It is used to clear the honey super of bees before the super is removed from the hive.

bee hive: a man-made structure for housing honey bees

beekeeper: a person who keeps bees

bee nest: a place where bees raise their young. It may be large and contain many individuals, as in honey bees or bumble bees. Or the nest may be small and contain just a few eggs, as in most of the solitary bees. Nests may be built in hollow cavities either above and below ground, depending on the species. See brood nest.

bee tree: a hollow tree containing one or more colonies of bees.

bee yard: an apiary.

beeswax: a substance secreted by four pairs of ventral glands in the bee abdomen that is molded to form combs and cappings.

brood: all immature bees in a hive, including the eggs, larvae, and pupae; eggs and larvae are in open cells, pupae are in wax-covered cells

brood chamber: the place in the hive where the brood is being raised.

brood comb: any comb in the hive in which brood is found; multiple combs of brood make up the brood chamber

brood food: glandular secretions of nurse bees that are used to feed larvae and, to a lesser extent, to feed the queen, drones, and foragers

brood nest: the area in a hive devoted to brood rearing. Nest shape is roughly spherical, but in cold areas it may be taller and less wide (to limit heat loss) and in warm areas is may be wider and less tall (to encourage heat loss).



candy plug: a piece of fondant or marshmallow placed in one end of a queen cage in order to delay the queen’s release

capped brood: brood that is covered with a wax capping; usually comprised of bees in the late larval stage and pupal stage.

capped honey: honey that has been dehydrated to the proper moisture content and covered with wax

cappings: wax coverings used by the bees to seal either pupae or honey, however the term usually refers to the cappings which cover honey

cell: a hexagonal compartment in a honey bee comb used for rearing of brood and storage of pollen and honey

cluster: a group of bees clinging together to maintain temperatures inside the hive. The cluster expands as the seasonal temperature increases.

cocoon: the protective covering around the pupae

colony: a community of bees composed of one queen and many workers. In the spring and summer it also includes drones. See hive.

comb: an interconnected group of wax cells

complete metamorphosis: the four stage development process of an insect that includes egg, larva, pupa, and adult



dearth: a lack of availability usually referring to nectar or pollen

drone: a male haploid bee that develops from an unfertilized egg.





flow: the presence of large amounts of nectar or pollen, usually used in reference to a particular plant species, as in “a good maple flow”

foraging: the collection by bees of water, nectar, pollen, and propolis from their environment

foundation: a commercial product made from beeswax that is used as a starter substrate for bees to build comb. Although not necessary, its use results in evenly-spaced and parallel comb

frame: a rectangular structure, with or without foundation, in which bees build comb. Frames allow combs to be removed for inspection or harvest without damaging the colony

fructose: a monosaccharide (simple sugar) frequently found in honey

fungicide: a chemical designed to kill fungus or mold


grafting: the manual transfer of eggs or young larvae from a brood comb into queen cups

granulated honey: another term for crystallized honey



hive: usually refers to a man-made structure that houses bees, but may also be a synonym for a bee colony

hive stand: a structure used to hold a hive above ground level

hive tool: a metal tool of various types used for beekeeping; may be used for scraping, prying, lifting, and cleaning.

honey stomach: an enlargement of the esophagus that is used to collect and transport nectar

honey: nectar that has been dehydrated by the bees so that it contains no more than 17-18% water

honey bound: a condition in which the brood nest has restricted space because all the cells are filled with honey

honeydew: a sweet liquid excreted by aphids, leafhoppers, and some scale insects that is collected by bees, especially in the absence of a good source of nectar.



IAPV: abbr. Israeli acute paralysis virus; one of the many bee viruses carried by Varroa mites.

insecticide: a chemical designed to kill insects

instar: a stage of larval development between two molts; the first instar occurs after the first molt

integument: an insect’s covering or “skin”



landing board: a small platform at the entrance to a bee hive where honey bees can land before entering the hive. Also called an alighting board.

larva: an immature, grub-like bee intermediate between egg and pupal stages. For derivation see: Latin for beekeepers.



miticide: see acaricide

monoculture: the agricultural practice of  growing one single crop over a wide area



nectar: a sweet solution secreted by the glands of plants

nematicide: a chemical designed to kill roundworms

neonicotinoid: a class of insecticides which act on the central nervous system of insects and are chemically similar to nicotine

Nosema apis: a microsporidian parasite of honey bees that lives in the intestines and destroys the epithelial cells of the midgut. It affects honey bee nutrition and shortens the life of worker bees.

nuc: a shortened form of “nucleus hive,” a small brood box designed to contain 2, 3, 4, or 5 frames. These are often used to start new colonies.

nurse bee: a young worker bee that produces brood food and feeds the larvae



orientation flight: short flights around the hive taken by young bees in order to prepare for foraging.

over-wintering: the process of survival during the winter months, during which the bee lives on stores collected during the spring and summer. Bees do not hibernate but actively maintain colony temperatures by clustering.



parthenogenesis: development from unfertilized eggs. In honey bees the drones (males) result from parthenogenesis

perennial: lasting a long time, such as a plant that lives more than two years

pheromone: a chemical substance released by an animal to induce a response in another animal of the same species

pistil: the female ovule-bearing part of a flower composed of stigma, style, and ovary

pollen: a powder-like substance produced by the anthers of flowering plants and containing the male gametes

pollen patty: a mixture of sugar syrup (or honey) and pollen (or pollen substitute) used as a winter source of protein and amino acids

pollen pellet: the ball of pollen carried in a pollen basket (corbicula) on a bee’s hind leg.

pollen substitute: a high-protein powder used as a protein supplement in lieu of pollen; may contain soy flour, brewer’s yeast, and other products

pollen trap: a device for removing pollen pellets from the corbiculae of incoming bees.

pollination: the movement of pollen from the anthers of one flower to the stigma of a compatible flower

pollinator: an agent that transfers pollen from one flower to another

prepupa: a stage between the last larval instar and the true pupal stage

proboscis: the “tongue” of a bee used to suck nectar and water

propolis: plant resins that are collected by bees and used to seal cracks and soften rough edges in the hive. Also called “bee glue” propolis is high in antimicrobial substances

pupa: the stage of development immediately preceding the adult stage. A pupa is sealed under a wax capping where it spins a cocoon and completes development. For derivation see: Latin for beekeepers.



queen: a fully developed female honey bee. Once mated, the queen stores sperm for as long as three or four years and lays eggs at varying rates throughout the year. Normally, there is just one queen per hive.

queenless: a colony without a mated queen

queenright: a colony with a fully functioning mated queen



re-queen: a process in which a beekeeper removes the queen from a colony and replace her with a different one

royal jelly: a glandular secretion originating in the head segments of nurse bees and used to feed the larvae.



stamen: the male (pollen-bearing) part of the flower consisting of the anther and the filament.

supersedure: a process in which a colony replaces its queen with a different one

swarm: the reproduction of an entire colony that occurs when a colony splits into two parts. The old part is left with a new queen, and the part the splits off takes the old queen



trachael mite (Acarapis woodi): parasites that live in the trachea

trachea: a breathing apparatus consisting of branching tubes that conduct oxygen to the inner tissues of the bee

trophallaxis: direct food transfer between bees


uncapped brood: eggs and larvae not covered by wax

uncapping knife: a knife designed to easily remove the cell cappings from frames of honey before extraction

unite: to combine two or more colonies into one

Varroa mites (Varroa destructor): parasites that feed on the hemolymph of bees and reproduce on the pupae

virgin queen: an unmated honey bee queen

walkaway split: a new colony started by putting a few frames of brood, honey, and pollen into a nuc or brood box and allowing the bees to raise their own queen. The brood must contain fertilized eggs or very young larvae in order for the bees to succeed at raising a viable queen, and drones must be available in drone congregation areas for her to mate.

wax glands: the four pairs of glands on the underside of the honey bee abdomen where beeswax is secreted. The beeswax is secreted as a liquid that hardens into transparent flakes.

wired foundation: pressed wax foundation with wires embedded in the wax to add strength

wired frames: bee hive frames fitted with wires that help to hold sheets of foundation in place

worker: an infertile, diploid female bee adapted to perform a variety of functions in the colony depending on her age and the colony’s needs

worker egg: a fertilized bee egg

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