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  • Colony  
    A collective group of bees that live together in one location, a hive, NUC or hollow tree etc.

  • Apiary
    A place where beekeepers keep one or more of their beehives or NUCs

  • Drone
    A male bee, contains the genetic makeup of only the queen, and it's purpose is to mate with other 

  • Livestock
    Food-producing animals : the honeybee is classified as livestock

  • Propolis
    A substance bees make from saliva, and botanical sources such as tree resin used as a glue to seal and protect the hive

  • Pollen
    A colourful powdery substance produced by plants to facilitate their reproduction. Bees use pollen as a protein source fed to developing larvae.

  • Royal Jelly
    A nutritious secretion produced by nurse bees and fed to all developing bee larvae

  • Nectar
    A sweet liquid produced by flowers to attract pollinators such as bees. Bees collect both pollen and nectar as a food source. Nectar is turned into honey by the bees. Nectar is a carbohydrate used to provide energy of the bees.

  • Pollination
    The act of fertilizing plants by transferring pollen from a male plant o a female plant

  • Hive
    Structures used by beekeepers to house a bee colony

  • Worker Bees
    Female bees, created by the Queen fertilizing the laid egg. Depending on their age they preform different roles within the colony. Young bees act mainly as janitors, cleaning and tidying the hive. Nurse Bees mainly look after the bee larvae by feeding. Guard Bees defend the hive from invaders, and the oldest bees are the foragers who collect nectar, pollen and water.

  • Waggle Dance
    A series of movements that bees use to communicate with each other. The duration and direction of the dance can instruct other bees of the general location of a good food source. Bees also use the taste and smell of the nectar passed on by the dancing bee to home in on the actual location.

  • Swarm
    The method of full colony reproduction. The workers force the old queen to leave with a good proportion of the foraging bees to form a new colony elsewhere.

  • Bee Suit
    A protective suit beekeepers wear to minimise the possibility of being stung

  • Queen
    An adult female bee that is the only one in the hive to be able to lay fertilized eggs. She exudes a pheromone (queen substance) which suppresses the egg laying capability of the female workers.

  • Pack
    An actual pack of bees, generall weighing about 3lbs containing both worker and drone bees usually from multiple hives, and also includes a caged queen for introduction to from the colony.

  • NUC
    An Nucleus Hive, containing up to 6 frames of bees/stores used as a starter colony prior to expanding into a full-sized hive. It is also used in some swarm control methods. (Walk-away NUC).

  • Larva (plural larvae)
    The white legless, segmented grublike insect that a egg develops into. 

  • Queen Cells
    Cells that are formed when the workers need to replace the existing queen. They have 2 forms - emergency queen cells generally formed at the edges of the frame due to the queen having been killed or absconding, and supersedure cells usually formed in the middle on the face of the comb frame.

  • Scout
    Worker bees that search for a new source of pollen, nectar, propolis, water or new home.

  • Comb
    A group of hexagonal cells made from beeswax where bees store their honey, pollen and raise the larvae.

  • Cells
    Honeycomb consists of hexagonal walls of wax enclosing the cell where honey, pollen or the egg/larvae is placed.

  • Brood
    The developing bees; Eggs, larvae or pupae

  • Pupa (Plural : pupae)
    The third stage of the honeybee metamorphosis, during which it changing from a larva to a bee. This takes place in a sealed cell where the cell has been capped with beeswax. (Sealed Brood)

  • Frame
    A rectangular plastic or wooden structure used by beekeepers, within the beehive where the bees make comb to store stores or raise brood. Frames come in specific sizes matched to the hive brood box and super size used. For National Hives DN4, and SN4 Hoffman frames are the most popular as they are self-spacing. Manley Frames have no built-in spacing and so plastic spaces are added to give the required spacing of frames within the hive.

  • Bee Bread
    A mixture of collected pollen, bee secretions, and nectar/honey which ferments and is used by the nurse bees to feed the larvae.

  • Capped Cells
    Cells that have a covering of beeswax closing them. The cells may contain either honey or brood

  • Pheromones
    Chemical messages produced by bees used to communicate with each other. The queen, brood and workers can all produce pheromones.

  • Inspection
    The regular opening of the hive and observation of the frames to assess food stores, disease queen cells and colony development.

  • Foundation
    The printed wax form installed in frames to encourage bees to produce regular comb. The wax is a thin sheet with the hexagonal imprint of the cells on each side. The bees use this as a "foundation" for drawing out the comb with more beeswax to from the cells.

  • Nectar Flow
    A time in the year where flowers produce a dearth of nectar, with which the bees rapidly fill the hive with.

  • Sugar Syrup
    A mixture of granulated sugar dissolved in water that is feed by the beekeeper to the bees when they may be short of stores or need to be encouraged to build comb.

  • Fondant
    A soft solid sugar supplement generally fed to bees in the winter when there has been a shortage of stores that year to insure the colony's survival.

  • Orientation Flights
    The figure of eight flights of bees taking their first flights from the hive. They perform these flights in increasing radius from the hive in order to learn their surroundings and the way back to their home hive.

  • Cluster

Bees clump together within the hive during periods of cold weather in order to keep the queen and brood warm. The bees at the colder outside of the cluster gradually rotate to the inside so all can survive. The ​​​​centre of the cluster is hollow enabling the queen to move around. The cluster shrinks in size as it gets colder.​

  • Split

The process of splitting a colony with the queen and a few frames of stores, sealed brood, and nurse bees placed in a NUC leaving brood, and forager in the original hive. It is one method of swarm control and can be referred to as a  "Walk-away split"

  • Hive Tool

A metal tool used by beekeepers to separate portions of the hive that have been sealed by the bees using propolis. It is also used to clean propolis and wax from frames to allow for easy hive inspection.

  • Smoker​​

A tool used to generate smoke to control and disperse bees while inspecting the hive. The smoke confuses the bees and disrupts their pheromone communication. Only a minimum amount of smoke should be used, and often on warm sunny days smoking may not even be required.

  • Queen Catcher

A metal or plastic clip a bit like a wide clothes peg whose legs are wide enough to allow worker bees to leave but prevent a queen from escaping. It is useful when you wish to ensure the queen is safe while doing manipulations on the hive.

  • Crown Board

A board that is just below the hive roof. It's main purpose is to prevent the bees from gluing the hive roof to the hive. It is easy to separate the crown board once sealed with propolis than the roof. There may be slots in the crown board through which the bees can be fed fondant in the winter.

  • Super

"Super" is latin for above" and this is the box placed above the brood box and separated from the brood box by the queen excluder. The bees store their excess honey in the super frames, which may be harvested and extracted by the beekeeper.

  • Brood Box

The larger box in the hive where the bees raise their brood (eggs, larvae, pupa). The queen is generally constrained to the brood box using a queen excluder.

  • Open Mesh Floor

With the increase in the predominance of the varroa mite, open mesh floors have been used to allow any mites which fall off bees to fall though the floor and not climb back to re-infect the bees. They also provide ventilation in the hive reducing dampness. Bees can withstand cold but not humidity.

  • Oxalic Acid (OA)

A treatment for varroa mites. This can be used as solution trickled over the bees or vaporized using sublimation.

A queen excluder is a selective barrier inside the beehive that allows worker bees but not the larger queens and drones to cross. Used mainly to ensure the queen remains in the brood box and prevents her laying in the supers where honey will be stored.

"A gap which the bees won't fill up". Typical this is a spacing of around 7mm +/- 2mm. Bees will seal small spaces with propolis and in larger spaces will build wax brace comb. 


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