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Honey bee glossary


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Abscond When the entire colony of honey bees abandons the hive because of pests, diseases or other adverse conditions.

Apiary Colonies of honey bees, hives and other equipment assembled in one area or location for beekeeping operations; also known as a bee yard.

Biosecurity A set of measures designed to protect honey bees from the entry and spread of pests at a national, regional and individual property or apiary level.

Brood Immature honey bees that have not yet emerged from their cells. Brood can be in the form of eggs, larvae, or pupae of different ages.

Brood box Usually the bottom box of the hive used for rearing honey bees.

Colony A colony of honey bees that consists of worker bees, drones, queen bee and developing brood living together as a social unit in one hive, or other dwelling.

Comb (honey comb) A structure of beeswax built by honey bees in an array of hexagonal cells for storing nectar, honey, pollen and/or brood.

Drifting The process by which honey bees join a hive other than their own, often due to loss of direction or hives placed too close together.

Drone Male honey bee.

Endemic Pests that are present in regions of Australia.

Established Pests that are established throughout Australia, or regions of Australia.

Feral bees Honey bees that are not managed by a beekeeper and live wild in the environment.

Frame A construction of wood or plastic containing wax or plastic foundation and used in hives.

Hive (bee hive) A series of boxes, including a brood box and supers, used for housing a colony of honey bees.

Hive tool A flat metal device with a curved scraping surface used to open hives and pry apart and scrape frames.

Migratory beekeeping The moving of colonies of honey bees from one locality to another during a single season to take advantage of multiple honey flows.

Package bees A quantity of adult honey bees (1.5-2 kg), with or without a queen bee, contained in a screened shipping cage with a food source.

Pollination The transfer of pollen from the anthers to the stigma of flowers.

Queen bee A female honey bee with a fully developed reproductive system responsible for the egg laying in a colony.

Queen excluder A metal or plastic screen used to confine the queen bee to the brood box.

Requeening The replacement of the queen bee in the hive with another (usually younger) queen bee.

Robbing The stealing of nectar or honey by honey bees from other colonies which happens more often during a nectar dearth.

Smoker Device used to blow smoke on honey bees to calm them and thus reduce stinging of the operator.

Super (honey super) A separate box that contains frames and is placed on top of the brood box. It is part of the hive body and used for the storage of surplus honey for harvest.

Supersedure The natural replacement of an established queen bee by a queen bee newly reared by the colony in the same hive.

Surveillance The collection, collation, analysis, and dissemination of pest and disease data.

Swarm A large number of worker bees, drones and usually the old queen bee that leaves the parent colony to establish a new colony.

Wax (bees wax) Wax secreted from glands on the underside of the worker bee abdomen and moulded by honey bees into honey comb.

Worker bee A female honey bee.