Bee Glossary

Welcome to my world

Welcome to the world of Bee Terms. There’s loads of words and techniques you’ll hear about. Here’s just a few of them:

Bee space : The bee space was highlighted by Langstroth. It’s the minimum width needed for a bee to get through.

Bee Bole : A cavity or hole in a wall used to keep skeps in. Mainly used in Britain, they were employed to protect skeps from the weather.

Brace Comb : Brace comb is comb formed where there is more space than the bee space. Bees like to fill spaces and any unfilled space will get filled with brace comb with enough bee space avialable to get round.

Brother Adam : Brother Adam (Karl Kehrle) was a Benedictine monk at Buckfast Abbey. He created the Buckfast bee strain whilst

Brood Box : The brood box is the lowest box (level) in a hive. Generally full of frame and foundation this is where the queen bee lays all the eggs that develop into fully grown worker or drone bees, ie the brood.

Carr, William Broughton : William Broughton Carr published details of a hive, now known as the WBC hive. This WBC is a double walled hive and is the shape of what is now known as “beehive shape”.

Cell : One hexagonal cell is a single unit in a honey comb. Generally the queen will lay an egg per cell.

Colony : The colony is the bee collection (queen, workers and drones) either in the wild or in a hive. A healthy colony at the height of a warm season can contain around 60,000 bees. When bees fly around in groups, this is known as a swarm.

Comb :

Crane, Eva : A legend amongst beekepers.

Drone bee : The drone bee is the male in the honey bee colony.

Eusociality : Eusociality is the highest organisation level of animal sociality. Eusociality is defined as having cooperative brood care, overlapping generations within a colony of adults, and a division of labour into reproductive and non-reproductive groups.

Extractor :

Frame : The frame is part of a movable frame hive.

Hive :

Honey :

Honey bee :

Honey Flow :

IPM : Integrated Pest Management is the constant balance of managing pests within the hive. There are a number of pests that affect honey bees, some devastating, some just annoying.

Langstroth, Lorenzo : Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth (25/12/1810 – 6/10/1895) was an American apiarist. He patented the movable frame hive in in 1852 and is noted as discovering the bee space.

Huber, François : François Huber (2/7/1750 – 22/12/1831) is the inventor of the Leaf Hive (1789). The precursor to the Langstroth movable frame hive, the Leaf Hive was a fully movable frame hive similar in construction to a book.

Lift :

Maisemore Apiaries : A popular beekeeping shop in Britain. Visit Maisemore Apiaries.

Movable Frame Hive :

National :

Nectar :

Pollen :

Propolis :

Queen :

Queen Exluder :

Scout :

Skep : A beehive make out of wood, straw or wicker.

Smoker :

Stores :

Super :

Swarm :

Thornes : Probably the most well known beekeeping shop in Britain. Visit Thornes website.

Varroa Destructor :

von Frisch, Karl : Prodigious studier of honey bees. First to translate the meaning of the waggle dance.

Waggle Dance : A method used by bees to indicate the location of nectar.

Wax :

WBC hive : Invented by William Broughton Carr, this double walled hive is the shape people tend to associate with beehives.

Worker Bee : The worker bee is, as the name suggests, the bee that does most of the work. Female, around 12-15 mm in length, hatching weight around 100mg) and occupying the greatest percentage of bees in a colony, the worker bee is a non reproductive bee that performs most of the tasks in a bee hive.

Duties include
– guard bee
– fanning bee
– mortuary bee
– wax production
– queen attendant

– Egg : upto Day 3
– Larva : upto Day 9
– Cell Capped : Day 9
– Pupa : Day 10 until emergence (Day 11 or Day 12)


This list is constantly being updated..