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Beekeeping Glossary


Hay Fever

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


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

Hive Body

A wooden box containing frames.

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.

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.

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.

Honey Color

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

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 storage.

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.

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 Supers

Refers to hive bodies used for honey production.


The common name for Apis mellifera (Honey bearer), a highly social insect, Order Hymenoptera (membranous wings); correctly printed as two words.


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.

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 Honey Bees. 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. Honey Bees are generally smaller, fuzzy brown or tan, and basically docile in nature.


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