Beekeeping Glossary thumbnail image

Beekeeping Glossary

ABDOMEN

The posterior or third region of the body of the bee that encloses the honey stomach, stomach, intestines, sting and the reproductive organs.

ACARAPIS WOODI

A mite, called the Tracheal mite, which infests the bees' breathing or tracheal system; sometimes called Acarine Disease, this refers to bees that are heavily infested with the Tracheal mite.

ACIDITY

The state of being acidic or sour; the acids in honey, called organic acids, including gluconic acid, formed by the enzyme glucose to produce the acid and hydrogen peroxide.

AFRICANIZED BEE

A term used indiscriminately to describe the African honey bee Apis mellifera scutellata (formerly A.m. adansonii) or its hybrids; an African bee released in Brazil and known for its volatile nature, its aggressive behavior may cause concern to the non-beekeeping public.

AFTERSWARM

Swarms which leave a colony with a virgin queen, after the first (or prime) swarm has departed in the same season; afterswarms are also referred to as secondary or tertiary swarms.

ALARM ODOR

A chemical (iso-pentyl acetate) substance released near the worker bee's sting, which alerts other bees to danger; also called alarm pheromone.

ALLERGIC REACTION

A systemic or general reaction to some compound, such as bee venom, characterized by itching all over (hives), breathing difficulty, sneezing or loss of consciousness.

ANTENNA (PL –AE)

One of two long segmented sensory filaments located on the head of the bee, which enable bees to smell and taste.

ANTHER

From the Greek anthros (flower), referring to the pollen-bearing portion on top of the stamen or male part of a flower.

APIARY (PL-IES)

The location and total number of hives (and other equipment) at one site; also called bee yard.

BALLING

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 ¼ 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.

BEESWAX

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.

BROOD

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

BROOD DEVELOPMENT

TypeEggLarveCell CappedPupaEmergenceStart of Fertility
Queenuntil day 3until day 5 1/2until day 7 1/2until Day 8from day 16 onApprox. 23rd day
Workeruntil day 3until day 6until day 9until day 12from day 21 onN/A
Droneuntil day 3until day 6 1/2until day 10until day 14 1/2from day 24 onApprox. 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.

BROODBOX

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.

CAGE SHIPPING

Also called a package, a screened box filled with 2 to 5 pounds of bees, with or without a queen, and supplied with a feeder can; used to start a new colony, or to boost a weak one.

CANDY PLUG

A fondant type candy placed in one end of a queen cage to delay her release.

CAPPED BROOD

Immature bees whose cells have been sealed over with a brown wax cover by other worker bees; inside, the non-feeding larvae are isolated and can spin cocoons prior to pupating.

CAPPING SCRATCHER

A fork-like device used to remove wax cappings covering honey, so it can be extracted.

CAPPINGS

The thin wax covering over honey; once cut off of extracting frames they are referred to as cappings and are a source of premium beeswax.

CARBOHYDRATE

A food (organic compound) composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen with the hydrogen:oxygen ratio frequently 2:1, as in water.

CARNIOLAN BEES

A grayish race of honey bee Apis mellifera carnica named for Carniola, Austria but originating in the Balkan region; while they are gentle and do not propolize, they tend to swarm more than other races.

CAUCASIAN BEES

A black race of honey bee A. mellifera caucasica, originating in the Caucasus Mountains; gentle but tend to propolize excessively.

CELL CUPS

These are used in queen rearing. They can either be push in or base mount.

CELL PROTECTORS

These are used in queen rearing. They can either be push in meaning they can be pushed into place anywhere on drawn comb or base mount meaning they hang between top bars of frames for easy insertion/retrieval.

CHALKBROOD

A disease affecting bee larvae, caused by a fungus Ascosphaera apis, larvae eventually turn into hard, chalky white “mummies”.

CHIMNEY EFFECT

The tendency for bees to fill only the center frames of honey supers; happens when bees are given too much room too fast.

CHROMOSOME

A group of nuclear bodies (from the nucleus) containing genes; responsible for the differentiation and activity of a cell, and undergoing characteristic division stages such as mitosis.

CHUNK HONEY

Honey in the comb, but not in sections, frequently cut and packed into jars then filled with liquid honey.

COCOON

A thin silk covering secreted by larval honey bees in their cells in preparation for pupation.

COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER (OR CCD)

Is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or Western honey bee colony abruptly disappear. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term colony collapse disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006. Aside from fundamental concerns about the survival of bee species, colony collapse is significant because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by bees.

COMB

The wax portion of a colony in which eggs are laid, and honey and pollen are stored.

COMB HONEY

Honey in the wax combs, usually produced and sold as a separate unit, such as a wooden section 4-1/2” square, or a plastic round ring.

COMB, DRAWN

Wax foundation with the cell walls drawn out by the bees, completing the comb.

CONICAL ESCAPE

A cone-shaped bee escape, which permits bees, a one-way exit; used in a special escape board to free honey supers of bees.

CREAMED HONEY

Honey that has been pasteurized and undergone controlled granulation to produce a finely textured candied or crystallized honey which spreads easily at room temperature.

CROSS-POLLINATION

The transfer of pollen from the anther of one flower to the stigma of another flower of the same species.

CRYSTALIZE

See Granulate.

DEARTH

A period of time when there is no available forage for bees, due to weather conditions (rain, drought) or time of year.

DEXTROSE

Also known as glucose (grape sugar), it is a simple sugar (or monosaccharide) and is one of the two main sugars found in honey; forms most of the solid phase in granulated honey.

DIATASE

A starch digesting enzyme in honey adversely affected by heat; used in some countries to test quality and heating history of stored honey.

DISEASE RESISTENCE

The ability of an organism to avoid a particular disease; primarily due to genetic immunity or avoidance behavior.

DIVISION

See split.

DOUBLE STORY

Referring to a beehive comprised of two deep supers, one for brood and one for honey.

DRIFTING

The movement of bees that have lost their location and enter other hives; common when hives are placed in long straight rows where returning foragers from the center hives tend to drift to the row ends.

DRONE

The male honeybee which comes from an unfertilized egg (and is therefore haploid) laid by a queen or less commonly, a laying worker.

DRONE BROOD

Brood, which matures into drones, reared in cells larger than worker brood.

DRONE CONGREGATING AREA (DCA)

A specific area to which drones fly waiting for virgin queens to pass by; it is not known how or when they are formed, but drones return to the same spots year after year.

DRONE LAYERS

A drone laying queen or laying workers.

DRONE LAYING QUEEN

A queen that can lay only unfertilized eggs, due to age, improper or no mating, disease or injury.

EGGS

The first phase in the bee life cycle, usually laid by the queen, is the cylindrical egg 1/16 in (1.6 mm) long; it is enclosed with a flexible shell or chorion.

ENTRANCE REDUCER

A notched wooden strip used to regulate the size of the bottom entrance.

ESCAPE BOARD

A board having one or more bee escapes in it; used to remove bees from supers.

EXTRACTED HONEY

Honey removed from combs by means of a centrifugal force; the combs remain intact.

EYELETS, METAL

A small metal piece fitting into the wire-holes of a frame's end bar; used to keep the reinforcing wires from cutting into the wood.

FEEDERS

Various types of appliances for feeding bees artificially.

FERMENTING HONEY

Honey which contains too much water (greater than 20%) in which a chemical breakdown of the sugars takes place producing carbon dioxide and alcohol; caused by naturally-occurring osmophylic yeasts of the genus Saccharomeyces (formerly Zygosaccharomyces).

FERTILIZED

Usually refers to eggs laid by a queen bee, they are fertilized with sperm stored in the queen's spermatheca, in the process of being laid.

FESTOONING

The activity of young bees, engorged with honey, hanging on to each other and secreting beeswax.

FIELD BEES

Worker bees which are usually 21 or more days old and work outside to collect nectar, pollen, water and propolis; also called foragers.

FLIGHT PATH

Usually refers to the direction bees fly leaving their colony; if obstructed, may cause bees to become aggravated.

FORAGE

Natural food source of bees (nectar and pollen) from wild and cultivated flowers.

FOREIGN MATTER

In honey, unusually high amounts of wax, bee bodies, pollen grains, or other objectionable debris.

FOULBROOD, AMERICAN

A malignant, contagious bacterial disease affecting bee larvae caused by a spore-forming bacteria Bacillus larvae.

FOULBROOD, EUROPEAN

A serious, infectious larval disease of honey bees caused by Melissoccoccus pluton formerly Streptococcus pluton, a spore-forming bacteria.

FOUNDATION, WAX

Thin sheets of beeswax embossed or stamped with the base of a worker (or rarely drone) cells on which bees will construct a complete comb (called drawn comb); also referred to as comb foundation, it comes wired or unwired.

FOUNDATION, WIRED

Comb foundation which includes evenly-spaced vertical wires for added support; used in brood or extracting frames.

FRAME

Four pieces of wood forming a rectangle, designed to hold honey comb, consisting of a top bar, two end bars, and a bottom bar (one or two pieces); usually spaced a bee-space apart in the super.

FRUCTOSE

See Levulose.

FUMAGILLIN

Bicyclohexyl-ammonium fumagillin, whose trade name is Fumadil-B (Abbot Labs), is a whitish soluble antibiotic powder discovered in 1952; it is mixed with sugar syrup and fed to bees to control Nosema disease.

FUMEBOARD

A devise used to hold a set amount of a volatile chemical (A bee repellent like Bee Go) to drive bees from supers.

GLOVES

Leather, cloth or rubber gloves worn while inspecting bees.

GLUCONIC ACID

See Acidity.

GLUCOSE

See Dextrose.

GRANULATE

The process by which honey, a super-saturated solution (more solids than liquid) will become solid or crystallize; speed of granulation depends of the kinds of sugars in the honey.

GUARD BEES

Worker bees about three weeks old, which have their maximum amount of alarm pheromone and venom; they challenge all incoming bees and other intruders.

GUM

A hollow log beehive, sometimes called a log-gum (Appalachia), made by cutting out that portion of a tree containing bees and moving it to the apiary; since it contains no moveable frames, it is therefore illegal.

HAY FEVER

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

HIVE

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.

HONEYBEE

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

HONEYDEW

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.

HYPERSENSITIVE

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

IMPERFECT

Not fully formed, such as a worker, considered an imperfect female.

INCREASE

See Split.

INFERTILE

Incapable of producing a fertilized egg, as a laying worker.

INHIBINE

Antibacterial effect of honey caused by an accumulation of hydrogen peroxide, a result of the chemistry of honey.

INJECTIONS, DESENSITIZING

A series of injections given to persons with allergies (such as bee venom) so they might build up an immunity.

INNER COVER

An insulating cover fitting on top of the top super but underneath the outer cover, with an oblong hole in the center.

INSECTICIDE

Any chemical that kills insects.

INSPECTORS, STATE

Persons usually employed by state agriculture departments to inspect colonies of bees for diseases and pests.

INVERTASE

An enzyme in honey, which splits the sucrose molecule (a disaccharide) into its two components dextrose and levulose (monosaccharides).

ISOMERASE

A bacterial enzyme used to convert glucose in corn syrup into fructose, which is a sweeter sugar; called isomerose, is now used as a bee feed.

ITALIAN BEES

A common race of bees, Apis mellifera ligustica, with brown and yellow bands, from Italy; usually gentle and productive, but tend to rob.

LANGSTROTH, L. L.

A Philadelphia native and minister (1810-95), he lived for a time in Ohio where he continued his studies and writing of bees; recognized the importance of the bee space, resulting in the development of the movable-frame hive.

LARVA, CAPPED

The second developmental stage of a bee, ready to pupate or spin its cocoon (about the 10th day from the egg).

LAYING WORKERS

Worker bees which lay eggs in a colony hopelessly queenless; such eggs are infertile, since the workers cannot mate, and therefore become drones.

LEG BASKETS

Also called pollen baskets, a flattened depression surrounded by curved spines located on the outside of the tibiae of the bees' hind legs and adapted for carrying flower pollen or other dusts.

LEVULOSE

Also called fructose (fruit sugar), a monosaccharide commonly found in honey that is slow to granulate (such as Robinia or locust honey); chemical formula is like glucose, but has its carbonyl group in a different place.

MANDIBLES

The jaws of an insect; used by bees to form the honey comb and scrape pollen, in fighting and picking up hive debris.

MATERNAL

From the mother's side of the family.

MIDNIGHT HYBRID

A combination of the Caucasian and Carniolan races.

MIGRATORY COVER

An outer cover used without an inner cover that does not telescope over the sides of the hive; used by commercial beekeepers who frequently move hives.

MOISTURE CONTENT

In honey, the percentage of water should be no more than 18.6; any percentage higher than that will allow honey to ferment.

MOVABLE FRAMES

A frame constructed in such a way to preserve the bee space, so they can be easily removed; when in place, it remains unattached to its surroundings.

MOVING BOARD

A framed screen that fits over the top as a hive cover; used to move bees in hot weather to provide sufficient ventilation to keep bees from suffocating.

NATURAL HONEY

Unfiltered and unheated honey.

NECTAR

A liquid rich in sugars, manufactured by plants and secreted by nectary glands in or near flowers; the raw material for honey.

NECTARY GLANDS

Special nectar secreting glands usually found in flowers, whose function is to attract pollinating insects, such as honey bees for the purpose of cross pollination, by offering a carbohydrate-rich food.

NEWSPAPER METHOD

A technique to join together two strange colonies by providing a temporary newspaper barrier.

NOSEMA DISEASE

A widespread adult bee disease caused by a one-celled spore-forming organism Nosema apis; it infects the gut lining.

NUC, NUCLEUS

A small colony of bees often used in queen rearing.

ORIENTATION FLIGHTS

Short flights taken in front and in the vicinity of the hive by young bees to acquaint them with hive location; sometimes mistaken for robbing or swarming preparations.

OSMOTIC PRESSURE

The minimum pressure that must be applied to a solution to prevent it from gaining water when it is separated from pure water by a permeable membrane; in honey, its ability to absorb water from the air or other microscopic organisms, about 2000 milliosmoles/kg.

OUTER COVER

The last cover that fits over a hive to protect it from rain; the two most common kinds are telescoping and migratory covers.

OUTYARD

Also called out apiary, it is an apiary kept at some distance from the home or main apiary of a beekeeper; usually over a mile away from the home yard.

OVARY

The egg producing part of a plant or animal.

OVULE

An immature female germ cell, which develops into a seed.

OXYTETRACYCLINE

An antibiotic sold under the trade name Terramycin; used to control American and European foulbrood diseases.

PARTHENOGENESIS

The development of young from unfertilized eggs laid by virgin females (queen or worker); in bees, such eggs develop into drones.

PDB (PARADICHLOROBENZENE)

A white crystalline substance whose vapors are heavier than air and are used to fumigate wax moths in stored hive bodies. Sold under the trade name Para-Moth.

PLAY FLIGHTS

Short flights taken in front and in the vicinity of the hive by young bees to acquaint them with hive location; sometimes mistaken for robbing or swarming preparations.

POISON SAC

Large oval sac containing venom and attached to the anterior (front) part of the sting; stores venom produced by the poison gland, and its primary ingredients are peptide and mellitin.

POLLEN

The dust-like male reproductive cells (gametophytes) of flowers, formed in the anthers, and important as a protein source for bees; pollen is essential for bees to rear brood.

POLLEN BASKET

See Leg Basket.

POLLEN PELLETS

The cakes of pollen packed in the leg baskets of bees and transported back to the colony.

POLLEN SUBSTITUTE

A food material which is used to substitute wholly for pollen in the bees' diet; usually contains all or part of soy flour, brewers' yeast, wheast, powdered sugar, or other ingredients.

POLLEN TRAP

A device for collecting the pollen pellets from the hind legs of worker bees; usually forces the bees to squeeze through a screen mesh, which scrapes off the pellets.

POLLEN TUBE

A slender thread-like growth, containing sperm cells, which penetrates the female tissue (stigma) of a flower until it eventually reaches the ovary; there the sperm cells unite with the ovule.

POLLINATION

The transfer of pollen from the anthers to the stigma of flowers.

PORTER BEE ESCAPE

Introduced in 1891, the escape is a device that allows the bees a one-way exit between two thin and pliable metal bars that yield to the bees' push; used to free honey supers of bees but may clog since drone bees often get stuck.

PROPOLIS

Plant resins collected and modified by bees; used to fill in small spaces inside the hive.

PROPOLIZE

To fill with propolis, or bee glue; used to strengthen the comb and seal cracks, it also has antimicrobial properties.

PROTEIN

Naturally occurring complex organic substances, such as pollen; composed of amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

PUPA

The third stage in the development of the bee during which it is inactive and sealed in its cocoon; the organs of the sealed in its cocoon; the organs of the larva are replaced by those which will be used as an adult.

QUEEN

A fully developed mated female bee responsible for all the egg laying of a colony; recognized by other bees by her special pheromones (odors).

QUEEN CAGE

A special cage in which queens are strong shipped and/or introduced to a colony, usually with 5 or 6 young workers called attendants, and a candy plug.

QUEEN CELL

A special elongated cell resembling a peanut shell in which the queen is reared; usually over an inch in length, it hangs vertically from the comb.

QUEEN CUP

A cup-shaped cell hanging vertically from the comb, but containing no egg; also made artificially of wax or plastic to raise queens.

QUEEN EXCLUDER

A device made of wire, wood or zinc (or any combination thereof) having openings of .163 to .164 inch, which permits workers to pass but excludes queens and drones; used to confine the queen to a specific part of the hive, usually the brood nest.

QUEENRIGHT

A colony that contains a laying queen.

RACES OF BEES

The four most common races of Apis are mellifera, cerana, dorsata and florea; other newly discovered races are currently under investigation.

RADIAL EXTRACTOR

A centrifugal force machine to throw out honey but leave the combs intact; the frames are placed like spokes of a wheel, top bars towards the wall, to take advantage of the upward slope of the cells.

RAW HONEY

See Natural Honey.

REFRACTOMETER

Measures moisture of honey. Optical or digital models available.

REQUEEN

To introduce a new queen to a queenless hive.

REVERSING

The act of exchanging places of different hive bodies of the same colony; usually for the purpose of nest expansion, the super full of brood and the queen is placed below an empty super to allow the queen extra laying space.

ROBBING

The act of bees stealing honey/nectar from the other colonies; also applied to bees cleaning out wet supers or cappings left uncovered by beekeepers.

ROPY CHARACTERISTIC

A diagnostic test for American foulbrood in which the decayed larvae form an elastic rope when drawn out with a toothpick.

ROUND SECTIONS

Sections of comb honey in plastic round rings instead of square wooden boxes.

ROYAL JELLY

A highly nutritious, milky white glandular secretion of young (nurse) bees; used to feed the queen and young larvae.

SACBROOD

A brood disease of bees caused by a filterable virus which interferes with the molting process; the dead larva resembles a bag of fluid.

SCREENED VENTILATED BOARD

A framed screen used to cover the top of a hive being moved in hot weather.

SECTIONS

Small wooden (or plastic) boxes used to produce comb honey.

SELF-POLLINATION

The act of a single flower, or flower from the same plant, pollinating itself.

SELF-STERILE

The inability of a flower, such as a fruit tree, to be fertilized within its own variety; it is only fertilized by pollen from another variety.

SETTLING TANK

A large capacity container used to settle extracted honey; air bubbles and debris will float to the top, clarifying the honey.

SKEP

A beehive without moveable frames, usually made of twisted straw in the form of a basket; its use is illegal in the U.S.

SLUMGUM

The refuse from melted combs and cappings after the wax has been rendered or removed; usually contains cocoons, pollen, bee bodies and dirt.

SMALL HVE BEETH (OR SHB)

The small hive beetle can be a destructive pest of honey bee colonies, causing damage to comb, stored honey and pollen. If a beetle infestation is sufficiently heavy, they may cause bees to abandon their hive. Its absence can also be a marker in the diagnosis of Colony Collapse Disorder for honey-bees. The beetles can also be a pest of stored combs, and honey (in the comb) awaiting extraction. Beetle larvae may tunnel through combs of honey, feeding and defecating, causing discoloration and fermentation of the honey.

SMOKER

A metal container with attached bellows which burns organic fuels to generate smoke; used to control aggressive behavior of bees during colony inspections.

SOLAR WAX MELTER OR EXTRACTOR

A glass-covered insulated box used to melt wax from combs and cappings using the heat of the sun.

SPERM CELLS

The male reproductive cells (gametes) which fertilize eggs; also called spermatozoa.

SPERMATHECA

A small sac connected with the oviduct (vagina) of the queen bee in, which is stored, the spermatozoa received in mating with drones.

SPLIT

To divide a colony for the purpose of increasing the number of hives.

STARLINE HYBRID

An Italian bee hybrid known for vigor and honey production.

STIGMA

Receptive portion of the female part of a flower to which pollen adheres.

STING

An organ belonging exclusively to female insects developed from egg laying mechanisms, used to defend the colony; modified into a piercing shaft through which venom is injected.

STING SAC

See Poison Sac.

STRAINING SCREEN

A metal or plastic screen through which honey is filtered; also serves as a base for other, finer screening material.

SUGAR SYRUP

Feed for bees, containing sucrose or table (cane) sugar and hot water in various ratios.

SUPER

A receptacle in which bees store honey; usually placed over or above the brood nest; so called brood supers contain brood.

SUPERING

The act of placing honey supers on a colony in expectation of a honey flow.

SUPERSEDURE

Rearing a new queen to replace the mother queen in the same hive; shortly after the daughter queen begins to lay eggs, the mother queen disappears.

SURPLUS HONEY

Any extra honey removed by the beekeeper, over and above what the bees require for their own use, such as winter food stores.

SWARM

A collection of bees, containing at least one queen that split apart from the mother colony to establish a new one; a natural method of propagation of honey bees.

SWARMING SEASON

The time of year, usually mid-summer, when swarms usually issue.

TERRAMYCIN

See Oxytetracycline.

THORAX

The central region of an insect to which the wings and legs are attached.

TOP BAR

The top part of a frame.

TOP COVER

This is usually a wooden cover that fits on the top of the hive and telescopes down around the inner cover and an inch or so down over the top super and is called a telescoping cover. Many commercial beekeepers use what is called a migratory cover, which is a solid cover that does not extend beyond the sides of a hive body.

TRACHEAL MITE

The microscopic internal mite clogs the breathing tubes of adult bees, blocking oxygen flow and eventually killing them. Also called acarine disease, it affects the flight efficiency and causes a large number of crawling bees outside the hive that are unable to fly. The inability to fly can contribute to losses of field bees and reduction of food stores in the colony. Another symptom is the abnormal "disjointed" position of the wings of walking bees.

TRAVEL STAINS

The darkened appearance on the surface of honeycomb caused by bees walking over its surface.

UNCAPPING KNIFE

A knife used to shave off the cappings of sealed honey prior to extraction; hot water, steam or electricity can heat the knives.

UNCAPPING TANK

A container over which frames of honey are uncapped; usually strains out the honey which is then collected.

UNFERTILIZED

An ovum or egg, which has not been united with the sperm.

VARROA JACOBSONI

An external mite parasite on honeybees.

VARROA MITE

An external parasitic mite that attacks honey bees by attaching itself to them.

VEIL

A protective netting that covers the face and neck; allows ventilation, easy movement and good vision.

VIRGIN QUEEN

An unmated queen bee.

WARMING CABINET

An insulated box or room heated to liquefy honey.

WASP

A close relative of honey bees, usually in the family Vespidae; they are carnivorous, some species preying on bees (see also, Hornet).

WAX

See Beeswax.

WAX GLANDS

The eight glands located on the last 4 visible, ventral abdominal segments of young worker bees; they secrete beeswax droplets.

WAX MOTHS

Usually refers to the Greater Wax Moth, Galleria mellonella whose larvae bore through and destroy honeycomb as they eat out its impurities.

WAX SCALE

A drop of liquid beeswax that hardens into a scale upon contact with air; in this form it is shaped into comb.

WAX TUBE FASTENER

A metal tube for applying a fine stream of melted wax to secure a sheet of foundation to an un-grooved frame.

WIND POLLINATED

Plants whose flowers manufacture light pollen (and usually no nectar) which is released into the air to fall by chance on a receptive stigma; examples include the grasses (corn, oats) and conifers (pines).

WINDBREAKS

Specially constructed, or naturally occurring barriers to reduce the force of the (winter) winds on a beehive.

WINTER CLUSTER

A tight ball of bees within the hive to generate heat; forms when outside temperature falls below 57 degrees F.

WINTER HARDINESS

The ability of some strains of honeybees to survive long winters by frugal use of stored honey.

WIRE CONE ESCAPE

A one-way cone formed by window screen mesh used to direct bees from a house or tree into a temporary hive.

WIRE, FRAME

Thin 28# wire used to reinforce foundation destined for the broodnest or honey extractor.

WORKER BEES

Infertile female bee whose reproductive organs are only partially developed, responsible for carrying out all the routine of the colony.