For beginning beekeepers, it can be easy to be confused by all of the terminology surrounding the wonderful world of beekeeping.
At Dadant & Sons, we want you to be as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to taking care of your bees. We’ve organized some need-to-know terms into five different categories.
Peruse these terms at your leisure, and come back whenever you find yourself stumped by the variety of phrases used to describe beekeeping.
There are several terms surrounding the upkeep of hives that could be baffling to beginning beekeepers. Let’s learn about some of the most important phrases related to beehives.
- Inner and Outer Covers: Covers are used to protect the hive/frame from damage. They are generally lightweight and placed gently over the top.
- Queen Excluder: This is a device, made of either plastic or metal, which is used to permit passage of worker bees but keep drones and queens in a separate part of the hive.
- Hive Stand: A hive stand is a structure specifically designed to support the hive.
- Nucleus: A hive for bees that has fewer frames and is sized smaller than the typical hive. It generally consists of two to five comb frames and is used to start new colonies. It can also be used to rear or store queens; sometimes referred to as just “nuc.”
- Observation Hives: This is a hive made of plastic or clear glass; it is used so the beekeeper can observe their bees at work.
Fortunately, all the supplies you need to build your hive can be found right here!
Beekeeping Tools Terminology
Every good beekeeper needs an arsenal of tools to keep their bees happy, but what if you don’t know what word relates to which tool? Let’s talk about some of the terms used to describe beekeeping tools.
- Frame: Equipment used to hold the honeycomb together; usually made from either wood or plastic.
- Foundation Hardware: This goes at the bottom of the frame. It is used to keep the frame in place, which helps keep your bees safe.
- Smoker: A smoker is used to slowly burn materials to create smoke (but not flames) – this subdues your bees and keeps them calm. Be sure to use cool smoke.
- Swarm Capture: This item is used to capture and subdue a swarm of bees; like a smoker, it helps to subdue an out-of-control hive.
- Hand Tools: There are a variety of hand tools that can be used to subdue, care for, and invest in your hive and bees. Be sure to check them out on our website!
Any tool needed to take care of your bees and honey can be found right here at Dadant & Sons.
Protective Clothing Terminology
Keeping yourself safe while caring for your bees is vitally important. What type of protective clothing will you need to take the best care of your bees?
- Suits and Jackets: Used primarily to keep bees from gaining access to your skin. You’ll want to be sure to wear clothing underneath to keep yourself as protected as possible!
- Gloves: Use these when handling bees. They’ll keep both of you safe from harm.
- Helmets: Use a helmet to protect your scalp from beestings, and as an anchor for the veil to hang around your face.
- Veils: Use a veil to protect your face from bee stings when handling honey or working around the hive.
- Aprons: An apron helps cover your suit from being covered in stains, and provides you with a place to store all your materials when you’re hard at work.
If you want to keep yourself safe, we highly suggest checking out what Dadant & Sons has to offer!
Bee Care Terminology
Bee care is arguably one of the most difficult but important parts of beekeeping. Take a moment to educate yourself on some important terms related to bee care.
- Bee Feed: When food is low, especially in the cold winter months, bee feed is used to supplement bees and keep them strong and healthy.
- Bee Supplements: In early spring, the brood needs a mixture of pollen and pollen substitutes in order to rear the young bees and stimulate growth. It is used to stimulate colony expansion.
- Medications: In order to have healthy bees in September and October, they need to be mite-free by August at the latest. Medications help make this happen.
- Natural Solutions: Solutions, like the ones Dadant & Sons offer, help keep your bees away from pests. They help the beekeeper apprehend the pest and stop them from disastrous behavior within the hive.
- Deterrents: The use of deterrents helps keep your bees safe from pests such as wasps, hornets, and ants.
To get everything you need to keep your bees healthy and safe, see what we’ve got in our catalog.
Honey Harvesting Terminology
Lastly, let’s learn about some of the terms related to the end goal of beekeeping: honey harvesting! These are necessary terms to understand when it comes to bee care.
- Honey Removal Aids: When it’s time to for honey, honey removal aids help you do it as clean and safe as possible.
- Uncapping Equipment: This is generally a knife that helps remove or shave the cappings off of combs that have been sealed before extraction; steam or electrify them to heat.
- Extractors: A helpful machine that helps you remove honey from the comb.
- Heaters: During the winter, bees need to be kept warm in order to survive and thrive. A heater helps you do this.
- Honey Signs: When you are ready to sell your honey, you will need a sign to advertise what you have to offer!
When it’s time to harvest your honey, you’re going to want to be prepared. Check out all the options we have on our website!
Contact Dadant & Sons, Your Local Beekeeping Experts, With Any Beekeeping and Honey Questions!
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with some common beekeeping terms and instituted best beekeeping practices using our proprietary beekeeping tools, you’ll be well on your way to building a thriving bee colony full of happy, diligent bees that work hard to produce delicious, healthy honey for themselves and you.
Dadant & Sons is here to show you the most positive beekeeping experience you can have, so don’t be shy – contact us any time you have questions in regards to the beekeeping business!