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).   


A (this page)

G - J


K - P

C - D

Q - T

E - F

U - Z

Bee hives against a wall

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. 
As with all mites, tracheal mites are arachnids, and therefore are related to spiders and have eight legs, as do Varroa 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), his may provoke the bees.

Allergy To Bee Stings

Some people have allergic reactions to bee stings, which (quite rarely) can be very serious.  

American Foulbrood

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. 

Api-centric Beekeeping

Émile Warré  - creator of the People's Hive.Émile Warré - creator of the People's Hive.

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

Apis mellifera on knapweed.Apis mellifera on knapweed.

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

Bee-Themed Car Stickers And More

Save the bees plant flowers car bumper sticker
Don't worry bee happy car bumper sticker
Bee kind bee-themed car bumper sticker

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