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Honey Bees And Beekeeping:
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European Foul Brood
Caused by the bacterium, Melissococcus pluton this is a disease which infects the guts of developing larvae, and competes with them for food.  It is a notifiable disease – meaning the relevant government authorities must be informed.  It creates yellowish larvae that lie in twisted positions.  Sometimes bees will identify the infected larvae, and eject these larvae themselves.

It can spread through the spores which can be voided into cells from infected larvae that have survived to pre-pupal stage.  Heavily infected hives are destroyed, although shaking the swarm into  new hive during the early stages of infection, is also likely to be an effective strategy for dealing with foul brood. 

This method is called ‘shook swarm’ or the ‘shakedown method’, and the colony must be sufficiently strong to withstand this method of intervention.  However, see your local regulations and guidance for methods of dealing with this issue.

The hard, outer body of the insect, that supports and protects the insect.


The process of removing the honey from the combs.  Honey extractors may be used, or the process may be done by placing the honey comb in a sterile bucket.  The comb and honey may be mashed and then the honey strained away through clean muslin.   Alternatively, honey may be sold as ‘comb honey’ (or ‘chunk’ honey) – i.e. without undergoing extraction.  The honey comb itself is edible.

A jar of comb honey


Fanning is carried out by bees to help regulate the temperature and ventilation within the hive.

These are filled with sugar syrup for the purpose of feeding bees.`  Special feeders can be purchased (circular feeders, contact feeders, frame and tray feeders).    However, for station feeding (outside of the hive), beekeepers may adapt other types of feeders for the purpose, such as a feeder ordinarily used with pets or other livestock.

Fondant (or candy) is made by beekeepers by boiling sugar and water to create a soft food for bees.  


Serious bee disease, manifesting as American Foulbrood (AFB) or European Foulbrood (EFB).

Flight Board

A strip in front of the hive on which bees land.

Used by some beekeepers and not others.

Honey bees at a beehive entrance

A wax sheet which has been embossed with a hexagonal pattern upon which the bees can build combs.  Top bar hives do not use foundation sheets, instead the bees are left to build cells to the sizes the bees themselves design.


A wooden (or in some hives, plastic) from which bees build their combs.  Frames enable beekeepers to remove the wax combs from the hive.

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