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Beekeeping Terminology

The same thing with a different name

With the advent of the Internet and other means of communicating information the terminology of beekeeping is becoming rather confusing. The same item or technique may be called different things in different places, so is often difficult for beekeepers, especially beginners to understand. What is also an issue is that beginners often get into the habit of using terminology that is not always understood by their local beekeepers, so there is misunderstanding. Some terms are used in only one or a number of countries, so it is difficult to indicate which ones here.

Below I have listed some of the more common variations in terminology. I have not put them in any particular order and I am adding to them on a regular basis.

Combining, merging, amalgamating and joining.

These are all words that have crept into beekeeping in recent years that really mean Uniting.

Inner cover or innercover.

Also known as crownboard in U.K. Simply a piece of solid wood or plywood to close off the top of the hive. This may have plinths around the edge and a feedhole.

Telescoping lid, top, hive cover or outer cover, with "telescopic" substituted for "telescoping".

Simply known in U.K as a "roof". This is where there are side pieces that overhang the boxes.

Screened bottom board.

Known in U.K as an "Open Mesh Floor" or "OMF".

Swarm Trap.

This is a device that usually covers the entrance of a hive to prevent a swarm issuing, hence the "trap". It is not a "bait hive", that is a hive, usually with one or more combs in, that is intended to attract a stray swarm.

I hope the above is a useful guide and I encourage beekeepers to let me have other suggestions. Please Email me.

Roger Patterson.

Page updated 11/12/2022