The Glossary

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Words aren't worth a whole lot when you don't know exactly what they mean.

When I started researching I just dove in and didn't take time to look up definitions of the words I was reading. In retrospect, that would have made my researching go much faster. 

So for that reason, I decided to start off our "Beekeeping 101" series with a glossary. Definitions of words common to beekeeping that you will probably see more than once.

All these definitions I have written as if to explain to a friend, so they aren't the Webster's official answer.

I practiced explaining these terms to my sister and if she can understand these definitions, anyone can.

I will refer back to this in blog posts so you can get an in-depth idea of what I'm talking about.

APIARY: An area or yard where bees are kept

APIARIST: Any person who keeps bees, or performs beekeeping activities

APICULTURE: A fancy word for beekeeping

BROOD: Baby bees! (The egg, larva and pupa stages) The queen is said to "lay brood"

BROOD BOX: The bottom box of a Langstroth Hive used to house the brood

COLONY: The community of bees themselves

COMB: A natural base the bees make for laying eggs and storing pollen or honey

DRONE: A male bee, their sole job to mate with a virgin queen

EGG: The beginning stages of a bee, laid by the queen

ENTRANCE REDUCER: A small piece of wood that goes in front of the bee's entrance into the hive. This is used to keep intruders out

EXTRACTOR: A machine used to extract honey from foundations by spinning them

FOUNDATION: Artificial comb used by beekeepers to speed up the honey making process by already having a base to work with.

FRAME: A wooden "frame" to place the foundation into that slide into Langstroth hives. These hives commonly hold 10 frames

HIVE: A wooden structure made of different parts used to house a colony of bees

HONEYBEE: One of many types of pollinators, who's set apart by their distcnt way of making food for them (and us) using a colony that works together

LANGSTROTH: A very common type of hive using 8 or 10 frames, either foundation or foundation-less

LARVA: The second stage of bee brood as they grow

NECTAR: A sugary liquid produced by plants. It is used by honeybees to eat, feed their young and make honey

NECTAR FLOW: The time of year that plants are in bloom and are full of nectar

POLLEN: Fine, yellow powder produced by a plant that needs to be transferred to another plant in order to reproduce

POLLINATION: The act of transferring pollen from one flower to another, allowing them to reproduce

PUPA: The third stage of bee development before they hatch

QUEEN: A type of bee that is the solitary mother to the colony. She lays eggs for the whole hive

QUEEN EXCLUDER: A screen placed between the brood box and the honey supers which prevents the queen from going up into the honey supers and laying eggs

RE-QUEEN: The act of replacing a queen for various reasons such as death or aggressive nature

ROYAL JELLY: A secretion from nurse bees fed to all larvae until a certain time, and queen bees for their whole life

SMOKER: A tool used to create smoke. The smoke calms the bees so they are easier to manage and sends them to the lower boxes through natural instinct

SUPER: Either shallow, medium or deep in size. These are boxes to add to the brood box of a hive for the surplus of honey after the brood box is full

SWARM: When the queen decides to leave the colony to start a new hive with a large amount of worker bees

VARROA DESTRUCTOR: A parasitic mite that attacks bees and brood. It weakens the bees and shortens their life

WAX: produced by bees to make comb and cap fresh honey

WORKER: A female honey bee who rotates jobs and lives and works throughout the hive

As the blogging process continues I will add onto this blog and make sure everything we talk about can be referenced back to our glossary.

Now that the definitions are out of the way we can continue our basics series, Beekeeping 101!