A to Z of
Honey Bees And Beekeeping

Learn more about bees with this A to Z of honey bees and beekeeping. 

(Please note, this beekeeping A-Z is a work in progress and will be continually updated).   


Hope you find this it useful.

However, if you are looking for something more specific, do use the search tool in the margin right, or go to the main introductory page About Bees - see the link below.

A (this page)

G - J


K - P

C - D

Q - T

E - F

U - Z

A-Z of Honey Bees And Beekeeping:  A


A disease caused by mites (the honey bee tracheal mite, Acaparis woodi) and is sometimes known as the Isle of Wight disease where it was first seen in 1906. The disease affects the breathing tubes of the bee, and attacks young bees of up to 2 weeks old. 

Mites are related to spiders and have eight legs, as do Varroa mites.

Can pesticides make bees more susceptible to mites?


Africanized Bees
Sometimes referred to as ‘killer bees’, although this is thought by some to be a sensationalist and/or misleading label. 

However, it is thought they can be more aggressive when they are defending their colonies.  The Africanized Bee is a hybrid of the African honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata) and some European species.

The sting of the Africanized honey bee is not more venomous than that of the European honey bee, however, they may sting in greater numbers.  Read more about bee stings.

Alarm Pheromones
When distressed, worker bees will give out an alarm pheromone.  If the alarm increases (for example, with several bees signalling alarm), this may provoke the bees.

Allergic to Bee Stings
Some people have allergic reactions to bee stings, which (quite rarely) can be very serious.  Read more about bee sting reactions.

American Foul Brood
Also known as AFB, and is caused by a spore-producing bacterium.  The spore develops in the gut of bee larvae, which then die in their cells.   Currently, there is no known treatment, and infected hives are destroyed, along with beekeeping stock and frames.  Read more about American Foul Brood.


A part of the structure of the flower.  The anther holds the pollen which is collected by bees and other insects.    Read more about pollination.

Part of the bee anatomy.  They are vital for touch, smell, communication and even aid flight.


A collection of bee hives (two or more) with colonies of honey bees. (Go from A to Z of Honey Bees And Beekeeping to lean more about honey bees).


Api-centric Beekeeping
Beekeeping practice which is said to be Api-centric proposes to be ‘putting the bees at the centre of beekeeping practice’.  It may be referred to as ‘bee friendly beekeeping’ in that the habits, natural behaviours and needs of the bee are the first consideration of the beekeeper, rather than for example, honey production.   Read this interview with David Heaf, the Bee-friendly beekeeper.


Apis Mellifera
The Latin name for the honey bee .  Honey bees come from the family ‘Apidae’ which describes these bees as ‘social bees’.  See Types of Bees.

A-Z of Honey Bees And Beekeeping continues here

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Beekeeping Lexicon - a list of words related to beekeeping and honey bees, with links to further information.

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