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Beekeeping Glossary



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.

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 Bread

Pollen collected by bees and stored in wax cells, preserved with honey.

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); common diseases are Nosema Apis and Nosema Cerena, deformed wing virus and American and European foulbrood, which are 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. Honey Robber works better than other product on the market because it is not weather dependent.

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 ┬╝ to 3/8 inch (9.5mm).

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.


A complex mixture of organic compounds secreted by four pairs of glands on the ventral, or underside of a young worker bee's abdomen, secreted as droplets which harden into scales, they are used to construct honey comb; melting point of beeswax is 143.6-149 degrees F (62-65 degrees C)

Beeway Super

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

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 Bar

The bottom part of the frame.

Bottom Board

The floor of a bee hive.


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

Brood Development

Type Egg Larve Cell Capped Pupa Emergence Start of Fertility
Queen until day 3 until day 5 1/2 until day 7 1/2 until Day 8 from day 16 on Approx. 23rd day
Worker until day 3 until day 6 until day 9 until day 12 from day 21 on N/A
Drone until day 3 until day 6 1/2 until day 10 until day 14 1/2 from day 24 on Approx. 38th day

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.


Refers to the hive bodies where the queen lays her eggs.

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.

Burr Comb

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