A Beekeeping Dictionary

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Contains terms frequently used by beekeepers.
The words are taken from various disciplines including beekeeping.


Abscond - When a colony abondons its nest/hive completely and takes up residence in a new location  


Beehive - A container for housing honey bees, consisting of a floor, brood box, one or more supers, an inner cover and a roof.


Colony - The viable living unit for honey bees, comprising a queen and workers. During the summer drones (male bees) are also present.


Drone - The male bee, whoes main function is to fly to a drone congregation area and mate with a virgin queen.


Egg - The first stage of honey bee metamorphosis. Eggs laid by the queen appear as small, thin rods about 1.6mm long, usually placed in the bottom of a cell.


Foraging - The act of seeking and collecting nectar, pollen, water and propolis.


Guard Bees - Bees that wait at the hive entranceto guade it from invaders, such as bees from other colonies, wasps, animals or humans. Guard bees give off an alarm pheromone (scent) if the hive is disturbed or threatened and are the first to fly at and attack the invader.


Hive - A man made structure intended as a home for bees. The best hives allow beekeepers to inspect all aspects of bee life.


Invertase - An emzyne that converts sucrose to glucose and fructose during the conversion of nectar to honey.


June gap - A period during June when availability of forage is seriously reduced. Colonies could starve unless the beekeeper checks their stores and feeds them if necessary.


Killer Bee -  The so-called African killer bee has resulted from the hybridisation of the european honey bee , Apis mellifera carnica, and the african honey bee, Apis mellifera scutellata. The smallest trace of the alarm substance isopentylacetate, released from the sting of a bee, causes the entire colony to erupt from the hive to join in the attack.  


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