Larva: The grub-like, immature form of the bee, after it has developed from the egg and before it has gone into the pupa stage.
Hive Bodies: The first one or two wooden boxes of the colony. The hive bodies contain the brood nest of the colony.
Frames: The removable wooden structures which are placed in the hive. The bees build their comb within these frames. The removable quality allows the beekeeper to easily inspect the colony.
Foundation: Thin sheets of beeswax imprinted with a pattern of honey comb. The beekeeper installs these sheets into wooden frames as “starters” for the bees in making uniform combs.
Foulbrood: A fatal disease of honeybee larvae caused by one of several types of bacteria, including Bacillus alvei.
Drones: Male bees, whose main function in the colony is to fertilize the queen. Drones make up a very small percentage of the total colony. In the Autumn drones are expelled from the hive by the female worker bees.
Beeswax: waxy material produced by worker bees and used to build combs
Workers: Completely developed female bees that do have developed ovaries and do not not normally lay eggs. They gather pollen and nectar and convert the nectar to honey. A worker’s life expectancy is only several weeks during the active summer months. However, they can live for many months during the relatively inactive winter period.
Varroa: a genus of parasitic mites associated with honey bees.
Swarm: A group of bees with a queen bee in migration to establish a new colony.
Supercedure: When a colony with an old or failing queen rears a daughter to replace her.
Super: The supplementary wooden boxes places on top of the hive body the expand the size of the colony, and to provide for storage of surplus honey.
Royal Jelly: The milky white secretion of young nurse bees. It is used to feed the queen throughout her life, and is given to worker and drone larvae only during their early larval lives.
Queen Excluder: A selective barrier inside the beehive that allows worker bees but not the larger queens and drones to traverse the barrier. The queen excluder is either a sheet of perforated metal or plastic or a wire grid in a frame. The openings should be limited to 0.163 inch (4.14 mm). The intent of the queen excluder is to limit the queen’s access to the honey supers. If the queen lays eggs in the honey supers and a brood develops it is difficult to harvest a clean honey product and it makes fall management more difficult.
Queen: A completely developed female bee (with functioning ovaries) who lays eggs and serves as the central focus of the colony. There is only one queen in a colony of bees. A queen’s productive life span is 2-3 years.
Pupa: The immature form of the bee (following the larval stage) while changing into the adult form.
Propolis: Sticky, brownish gum gathered by bees from trees and buds and used to seal cracks and drafts in the hive. Also called “bee-glue”.
Pollen: Very small dust-like grain produced by flowers. These are the male germ cells of the plant.
Nectar: Sweet fluid produced by flowers is 60% water and 40% solids. This is collected by the bees and converted into honey at 17 -18% moisture content.