Abdomen: the hind region of the body of a bee enclosing the honey stomach, true stomach, intestine, sting, and reproductive organs
Acarine disease: the name of the disease caused by the tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi). See Tracheal mite
After-swarm: a small swarm, also known as a cast, which may leave the hive after the first or primary swarm has departed. These after-swarms usually have less bees associated with them than the primary swarm
American foulbrood: a brood disease of honey bee pupae caused by the spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae. The spore stage of the bacterium can remain viable for many years, making is difficult to eliminate the disease. See Notifiable diseases
Apiary: a collection of hives cared for by a beekeeper. Also known as a bee yard
Apiculture: beekeeping and the management of bees for honey production and pollination
Apis mellifera: genus and species of the Western honey bee originating in Europe and Africa and now located around the world
Apitherapy: the medicinal use of honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom
Bait hive – a hive or box placed preferably in an elevated location that is used to attract and hopefully capture a swarm
Bee blower: a motorized blower used as one method to remove bees from honeycombs when honey is being harvested. Typically frames are not removed from the supers prior to using the blower
Bee bread: a mixture of collected pollen and nectar or honey, deposited in the cells of a comb as food for the bee larvae (grubs). Pollen is the primary protein source for bees and is used especially by the nurse worker bees to produce bee bread to feed the young larvae
Bee brush: a brush or whisk broom used to gently remove bees from combs
Bee dance: a series of movements made by bees on the vertical face of bee combs to let other bees know the direction and distance of a source of nectar and/or pollen. Bees in a swarm will perform similar dances to indicate the location of a new home
Bee escape: a device used to remove bees from the honey supers that permits bees to pass one way but prevents their return. Used when honey is being harvested
Bee metamorphosis: the three stages through which a bee passes before becoming the adult insect – egg, larva, and pupa.
Bee space: a 6 – 9mm space between combs and hive parts in which bees will not build comb or deposit only a small amount of propolis. Bee spaces are used as corridors that allow bees to move within the hive
Bee veil: special netting worn by beekeepers to protect their face from bee stings
Bee venom: the poison secreted by special glands attached to the sting of the bee
Beehive: a home for bees
Beekeeper: a person who takes care of bees
Beeswax: wax secreted from glands on the underside of worker bee abdomens, then moulded to form honeycomb
Bottom board: the floor of a beehive that all the other components stand upon
Brace comb: pieces of wax built between two combs or frames to fasten them together. Brace comb may also be built between a comb and hive wall, or between two parts of bee frames, such as the top bars
Brood chamber: the area of the hive where the queen resides and the brood is reared; usually the lowermost part of the hive; contains brood comb
Brood nest: area of the hive where bees are densely clustered and the brood is reared
Brood: the eggs, larvae and pupal stages
Capped brood: pupae whose cells have been sealed with a porous wax cover by worker bees to protect the pupae during this nonfeeding period; also called sealed brood
Cappings: a thin layer of wax used to cover cells that have been filled with honey. The capping has to be sliced off the surface of honey-filled combs before the honey can be extracted
Castes: a term used to describe social insects of the same species and sex that differ in morphology or behaviour. In honey bees there are two castes, workers and queens (both female). The drones (males) are a different sex and therefore not included
Cell: the hexagonal compartments of combs built by worker honeybees
Chilled brood: bee larvae and pupae that have died from exposure to cold. This can occur on cold nights in spring when the colony is expanding rapidly if there aren’t enough adult bees to keep the brood warm
Chunk honey: honey comb cut from frames and placed in jars along with liquid honey
Clarifying tank: any tank or holding vessel, also known as a settling tank that is use to temporarily store honey while the wax and other material separate from the honey and air bubbles rise to the surface
Clarifying: removing visible foreign material from honey or wax to increase its purity
Cluster: a large group of bees hanging together, one upon another
Colony: a group of many bees who live and work together in a hive
Comb foundation: a thin sheet of beeswax embossed on each side with the hexagonal cell pattern. Inserted into bee frames to encourage the bees to draw out honey comb
Comb honey: honey produced and sold in the comb. It is produced either by cutting the comb from the frame or the comb is built in special frames which allow for its easy removal
Comb: a grouping of 6-sided cells built from beeswax that is used to store honey or pollen, or for housing the eggs, larvae and pupae
Creamed honey: honey which has crystallized under controlled conditions to produce tiny crystals and a smooth texture. Often a starter or seed honey is used to help control the crystallization
Crimp-wired foundation: comb foundation in which crimp wire is embedded vertically during the manufacturing of the foundation. The wire increases the strength of the bee comb
Cross-pollination: the transfer of pollen from the anthers of one plant to the stigmas of another plant of the same species. Honeybees are excellent pollinators. Pollination is necessary for plants to be able to produce fruits and seeds
Crystallization: the formation of sugar crystals in honey. Syn. granulation
Cut-comb honey: comb honey cut into various sizes, the edges drained, and the pieces wrapped or packed individually
Dividing: splitting a colony to form two or more colonies
Division board feeder: a wooden or plastic compartment which is hung in a hive like a frame and contains a sugar solution feed for bees
Double screen: a wooden frame with two layers of wire screen to separate two colonies within the same hive, one above the other. An entrance is cut on the upper side and placed to the rear of the hive for the upper colony
Draw comb: to shape and build, as to draw out comb from a sheet of foundation
Drawn comb: comb that has been drawn, normally from foundation, but which is empty and can now be used again
Drifting of bees: the failure of bees to return to their own hive in an apiary containing many colonies. Young bees tend to drift more than older bees, and bees from small colonies tend to drift into larger colonies
Drone comb: comb measuring about four cells per linear inch that is used for drone rearing and honey storage
Drone layer: a queen which is incapable of laying fertilized eggs. As a result all brood produced are drones (male bees)
Drone: a male bee. His only job is to mate with a young virgin queen
Dysentery: a disease of adult bees marked by the production of a watery excrement that fouls the combs and entrance area of the hive
European foulbrood: an infectious disease which only affects the larvae of honey bees and is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pluton. See Notifiable diseases
Extracted honey: honey removed from the comb
Extractor: a device used for removing honey from hive frames
Fermentation: the process of yeast utilizing sugar as a food, and as a by product, producing alcohol. Honey typically does not have enough moisture content for fermentation to occur. Honey with added water can be fermented to produce a wine known as mead
Fertile queen: a queen, which has been inseminated, naturally or artificially, and can lay fertilized eggs. Such eggs develop into worker bees or queens, depending on how well the larvae are fed
Field bee (forager, flying bee): worker bees that travel outside the hive to collect nectar, pollen, water and propolis, a resinous substance that bees use in the hive as cement
Foulbrood: a general name for infectious diseases of immature bees that cause them to die and their remains smell bad. The term can refer to European Foulbrood (EFB) or American Foulbrood (AFB), both of which are notifiable diseases, in the same way as foot and mouth disease of cattle
Frame: a wooden rectangle that contains the comb and hangs in the hive. Various types are available depending on the model of hive that is being used. Self-spacing frames, eg Hoffman types, have widened end-bars that provide a bee space between the combs
Fructose: the predominant simple sugar found in honey
Fume board: a rectangular cover the size of a super which has an absorbent material on the underside. A fumigant chemical is placed on the material to drive the bees out of supers for honey removal
Fumigilin-B: an antibiotic formerly used in the prevention and suppression of nosema disease. No longer permitted to be used in the UK
Glucose: one of the two principal sugars found in honey; forms crystals during granulation.
Grafting tool: a needle or probe designed for transferring one-day old larvae from worker cells to a queen cells as a means of rearing new queens
Grafting: removing a worker larva from its cell and placing it in a queen cup in order to have it reared into a queen
Granulation: the formation of sugar crystals in honey which cause it to turn solid
Hive body: a single wooden rim or shell that holds a set of frames. When used for the brood nest, it is called a brood chamber; when used above the brood nest for honey storage, it is called a super. It is of various sizes depending on the type of hive
Hive stand: a structure that supports the hive
Hive tool: a metal device used to open hives, pry frames apart, and scrape wax and propolis from the hive parts
Hive: the structure used by bees for a home
Honey flow: period when bees are collecting nectar in plentiful amounts from plants
Honey house: a building used for extracting honey and storing equipment
Honey stomach: a part of the gut in the abdomen of worker honey bees used for carrying nectar, honey, or water
Honey: a sweet viscid material produced by bees from the nectar of flowers, composed largely of a mixture of sugars dissolved in about 17 percent water. It contains small amounts of mineral matter, vitamins, pollen and enzymes
Honeybee: an insect that lives in a colony and collects nectar and pollen to produce honey
Honeydew: a sweet liquid excreted by aphids, leafhoppers and some scale insects that is sometimes collected by bees, especially in the absence of a good source of nectar
Increase: to add to the number of colonies, usually by dividing those on hand or by collecting swarms
Instrumental/artificial insemination: the introduction of drone spermatozoa into the genital organs of a virgin queen bee by means of special instruments
Invertase: an enzyme produced by worker honey bees which helps to transform sucrose to the simple sugars found in honey
Larva: the second stage in the growth of a new bee; plural larvae
Laying worker: a worker which lays unfertilized eggs, producing only drones, usually in colonies that have become queenless
Mating flight: the flight taken by a virgin queen during the first week or two of her adult life, when she mates in the air with ten or more drones
Mead: honey wine
Metamorphosis: the transformation process from a larva to a pupa and then the adult insect
Migratory beekeeping: the moving of colonies of bees from one locality to another during a single year to take advantage of two or more honey flows
Nectar flow: a time when nectar is plentiful and bees produce and store surplus honey
Nectar guide: colour marks on flowers believed to help direct insects to nectar sources
Nectar: a liquid containing sugars that is secreted by the nectaries in flowers. It is collected by worker bees and made into honey
Nectaries: the glands of plants that secrete nectar, located within the flowers, or sometimes on other portions of the plant. The latter are known as extrafloral nectaries
Nosema disease: An infectious disease of adult bees caused by microsporidian fungi, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae

Notifiable diseases: European foulbrood and American foulbrood are notifiable bacterial diseases of honey bee larvae and pupae. Suspected outbreaks must be reported to a Regional or Seasonal Bee Inspector. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the Bee Inspector’s instructions on control/treatment must be followed
Nucleus: a hive of bees which consists of fewer frames than a typical hive and smaller in size. A nucleus usually consists of three to six frames of comb and is used primarily for housing a small swarm, starting new colonies or rearing or storing queens; also called and commonly referred to as a nuc
Nurse bees: young bees, three to ten days old, which feed and take care of the developing brood
Observation hive: a hive made largely of glass or clear plastic to allow the observation of bees at work on the combs
Package bees: a quantity of adult bees (weighing 2 to 5 pounds), with or without a queen, contained in a screened shipping cage with a food source
Paenibacillus larvae: the bacterium that causes American foulbrood
Pheromone: a chemical scent released by insects and other animals to communicate messages to others of their species. Various pheromones are produced by the queen and worker bees that maintain the social cohesion of the bee colony
Play flight: short flight taken in front of or near the hive to acquaint young bees with their immediate surroundings. This enables them to find their home when they return from longer foraging flights
Pollen basket: a flattened depression surrounded by curved hairs, located on the outer surface of a bee’s hind legs and adapted for carrying pollen back to the hive
Pollen substitute: Mixture of water, sugar and other material, such as soy flour or brewer’s yeast, used for bee feed
Pollen supplement: a mixture of pollen and pollen substitutes used to stimulate brood rearing, typically in early spring to encourage colony expansion
Pollen trap: a device for removing pollen loads from the pollen baskets of incoming bees. Used for short periods where pollen is being harvested by the beekeeper
Pollen: a powder produced in the anthers of flowers and used in plant reproduction. It provides bees with a source of proteins and fats.
Pollination: the transfer of pollen (from the male part) of one flower to the stigma (female part) of another flower. This is mostly done by insects moving from flower to flower but some plants, eg grasses, conifers and some deciduous trees, are wind pollinated. Pollination is needed for the production of many fruits and some vegetables
Primary swarm: the first swarm to leave the parent colony, usually with the old queen (see secondary swarm)
Propolis: a sticky substance collected by bees from trees and other plants which they use to seal cracks in the hive. Also known as bee glue
Pupa: the third and final stage of a new bee’s development before it becomes an adult bee
Queen cage: a small cage in which a queen bee and three to five worker bees are confined for shipping and for introduction into a queenless colony
Queen cell: a special elongated cell in which a new queen bee is reared. It is about an inch or more long and hangs down from the comb in a vertical position. The foundation of a queen cell is called a queen cup
Queen clipping: removing a portion of one or both front wings of a queen to prevent her from flying. This can be done to delay a colony’s ability to swarm
Queen excluder: a metal or plastic grid with spaces that permit the passage of workers but restrict the movement of drones and the queen. This is placed above the brood chamber and thus confines the queen to the bottom of a hive, allowing the frames above the excluder to be filled with honey without being mixed with bee larvae
Queen: the only fertile female in the colony. All of the other bees in the colony are her offspring
Rendering wax: Melting old combs and wax cappings and removing refuse to partially refine the beeswax, which can be reused to make foundation.
Robbing: stealing of nectar or honey by bees from other colonies. This happens more often during a nectar dearth or when a colony is too weak to defend itself
Royal jelly: a nutritious substance produced by the glands of worker bees and fed to the brood and queen
Sacbrood: a viral disease which affects the larva of honey bees
Scout bees: worker bees searching for a new source of pollen, nectar, propolis, water, or a new home for a swarm of bees
Secondary swarms: one or more smaller swarms which may occur after the primary swarm has departed. Also known as a cast
Skep: a dome-shaped beehive made of twisted straw without movable frames. Rarely used today for housing bee colonies but still used for collecting swarms
Smoker: a tool which produces smoke and calms the bees to make it easier and safer for the beekeeper to work with the colony
Solar wax melter: a glass-covered insulated box used to melt wax from combs and cappings by the heat of the sun
Spur embedder: a handheld device used for embedding wires into foundation with the purpose of reinforcing the foundation
Sting: a part of the worker bee that is used to inject venom (poison) into its enemy. A worker bee can only sting once as the sting is barbed and it remains embedded in a person’s skin
Streptococcus pluton: the bacteria that causes European foulbrood
Sucrose: a sugar found in nectar
Super: A hive body used for honey storage above the brood chambers of a hive
Supersedure: the natural replacement of an established queen by a newly reared queen in the same hive
Surplus honey: honey harvested from the hive which exceeds that needed by bees for their own use
Swarm cells: queen cells that are usually found on the bottom of the combs before swarming
Swarm: a large group of worker bees and a queen that leave their hive and search for a new home. In this way a bee colony divides into two, with the original colony producing a new queen that will take over
Swarming: the natural process by which honey bees increase the number of colonies
Uncapping knife: a knife used to shave or remove the cappings from combs of sealed honey prior to extraction. These can be heated by steam or electricity
Uniting: Combining one honey bee colony with another

Varroa: a mite, Varroa destructor, that attacks the late instar larvae and pupae. The mites also spread virus infections within the colony. Heavy infestations can weaken the colony to the extent that it cannot survive
Venom: a poisonous liquid secreted from glands attached to the bee’s sting
Virgin queen: a young queen which is not yet mated
Wax glands: glands that secrete beeswax, which are in pairs on the underside of the last four abdominal segments of worker bees
Wax moth: An insect whose caterpillars feed on and destroy honey bee combs. In the UK, these are greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella and lesser wax moth, Achroia grisella
Winter cluster: a compact ball-like arrangement of adult bees within the hive during winter
Wired foundation: Comb foundation wax with vertical wires embedded in it for added strength
Worker bee: a female bee whose reproductive organs are undeveloped. The majority of the honey bees are worker bees and they do all the work in the colony except for laying fertile eggs