What’s Do You Call
A Group Of Beekeepers?

Should we have something a bit more interesting to describe a 'group of beekeepers' (or - 'collective noun') than just 'beekeeping association'?  After all, beekeeping is an interesting hobby, and bees are ....well....amazing!

Apis mellifera on knapweed.Apis mellifera on knapweed.

Yes, I know there are beekeeping groups in countries all over the world, with different names other than 'associations', and some of them doing very different things from merely beekeeping.  There's Bees for Development, IBRA - the International Bee Research Association and so on.

....But what about local groups, and informal gatherings of beekeepers, hanging out together, or helping each other with their hives?

Hhhmmm.... I'm not aware of a collective noun for beekeepers, so I thought I'd think up a few ideas myself........ if you belong to a group of beekepers, do any of them describe yours?

A hive of beekeepers

How about it?  Instead of Boston Beekeeping Association for example, you could have 'The Boston Hive of Beekeepers' (or BHB for short).

Obviously, such a title Hive of Beekeepers would denote a very industrious, well organised group of beekeepers, with everyone working and cooperating for the good of the group and their bees, and naturally with well defined roles.  Of course, you could start off as a ‘nurse beekeeper’, helping new beekeepers along in their newly found hobby.  

You could have the ‘foragers’ who go out attracting new beekeepers, or find great spots for the group members to install their bee hives.  Or maybe they go out and seek great deals with suppliers for their members to benefit from, or they go ‘foraging’ for interesting speakers to attend group meetings. 

Then you'd have the guard bees, who check out the new members and ensure the whole group remains friendly and helpful. 

As for the Queen, well this has to be the ‘chief’ in the group!  For a time, they will be tended, and supplied with all they need by the other members to keep the group functioning well…..but if they get it wrong….there’s always supersedure!

A sting operation

This describes those times when work at the hive…..or attempts to collect a swarm aren’t going very well!  Hhhmmm……


A swarm of beekeepers

A term to describe a very large beekeeping association, or major gathering of members, with no fixed place to meet.  Despite the appearance of so many beekeepers in one place, the general public would be advised not to be too alarmed, since a swarm of beekeepers are likely to be drunk on sweet stuff and docile, huddled around the one in charge, perhaps hanging around a tree or gatepost until a few of the members find somewhere a bit more permanent to stay.

Nevertheless, do not throw sticks at swarms of beekeepers, or make them angry - you might regret it!

A buzz of beekeepers

Describes a super cool, informal group of beekeepers with a very loose structure.  Lots of group activities, engaging with the public and enthusing the public about bees and beekeeping.

A pecking order of beeks

This describes the local beekeeping association that is very fond of a hierarchy.  There's a president, vice president, junior vice president, assistant to the junior vice president, a Secretary, junior secretary, assistant to the junior secretary......and so, and so forth.

There are a few bossy types in this group, who let everyone know they are in charge. And forget ‘going straight to the top’ - you have to work your way up in this group.  The beekeepers in this group are mostly followers who do as they are told.  The new beekeepers are at the bottom of the pile and make the drinks and sort out the dishes at meetings, until the next set of new beekeepers arrive...then it's their turn.

Honey gatherers

Needs no explanation.  Could describe a commercial beekeeping operation, or maybe a group of beekeepers especially focused on honey!  And of course, there is always....

Honey seekers  

Mesolithic rock painting of a honey hunter harvesting honey and wax from a bees nest in a tree.  (From the caves of Cueva de la Araña - image courtesy of Wikipedia)Mesolithic rock painting of a honey hunter harvesting honey and wax from a bees nest in a tree. (From the caves of Cueva de la Araña - image courtesy of Wikipedia)

A reminder of man's association with the honey bee over hundreds of years, as depicted in this image - a Mesolithic rock painting of a honey hunter harvesting honey and wax from a bees nest in a tree. At Cuevas de la Araña en Bicorp. (Dating around 8000 to 6000 BC):

If you are thinking of joining a group of beekeepers to learn more about beekeeping, you may like to check out these ideas about 'what makes a 'good' beekeeping association?

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