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Unpacking Bee Jargon: A Guide to Beekeeping Terminology With Nuplas Apiarist Supplies



Commercial Beekeeping is a complex subject.

Commercial Beekeeping is a complex subject. From jargon laden bee-terminology through to a new obsession with understanding the local botanicals, raising bees is – to the outsider – another language! In this article we will be unpacking common beekeeping terminology to help you keep up. This month we will discuss Apiculture to Honeycomb, and continue with more jargon next month. If you are just getting interested in bees and beekeeping, this is the guide for you, starting with Apiculture.

Apiculture refers to the practice of raising honeybee colonies by a beekeeper, and an apiarist is the formal name for a beekeeper. A Brood is the baby bees. These are the immature bees – the eggs, larvae, or pupae of bees, in various stages of development. In a hive, the bee space refers to the space left between frames so that bees can pass easily through the hive. Too narrow and the bees patch the space closed with propolis. Too wide and bees begin to build comb. There is an ideal defined bee space of 8mm.

Beehives are man-made structures, purpose built to aid bee colonies. One hive is home to one colony, with one queen bee. Beehives are traditionally made from wood but Nuplas make theirs from plastic – for a range of compelling reasons. You can buy beehives in a range of configurations, but the Langstroth hive  is the standard.

Frames are at the base of modern beehive management. Essentially, frames are individual inserts, traditionally made from wood, that sit in your frame box. With frames you are able to individually check up on honeycomb protection, brood and hive health. Nuplas use plastic in the case of their innovative product range, to protect against rot and mites. Comb foundations are inserted into each frame, to guide bees in the production of honeycomb.

Honey is produced by bees from nectar, collected from flowers. Collected nectar passes from bee to bee inside the hive, with each bee absorbing water from the nectar content. This absorption process cures the nectar, turning it into honey. It is subsequently stored in comb cells, build by bees from beeswax. The honey serves as food for the bees, during winter, while excess honey can be collected by the beekeeper, who then extracts it with his honey extraction equipment.

Also known as nectar flow, honey flow is a term which indicates a major period of production for your bees. This coincides with when nectar sources are blooming. The honey flow typically occurs during summer, when nectar production is at its highest.

Finally, Honeycomb. Honeycomb is another iconic feature of beehives, and is built on frames, to contain their larvae, and stores of honey and pollen to feed the colony with, so for more information on beekeeping supplies please go to http://nuplasapiaristsupplies.com.au/ .