Beekeeping Terms beginning with A

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Acarapis Woodi

a mite which infests mainly the tracheae that lead from the first pair of thoracic spiracles of adult bees.  The main effect of the mite is to shorten the life of the bee.


see Acarapis Woodi


see American Foul Brood

American Foul Brood

a Notifiable Disease (all beekeeepers  have a legal obligation to report any suspicion of a notifiable disease or pest to the Bee Inspector at their local Scottish Government Rural Payments Inspections Directorate (SGRPID) Area Office Email: or email Bees Mailbox with your details). Named for where the disease was first discovered. A bacterial infection caused by Paenibacillus Larvae. It develops in the larva's gut after the cell is sealed, consuming the larva, and reproduces by producing spores which are picked up by nurse bees cleaning out the cell who then pass it on to other larvae in the brood food, so spreading the disease. The spores are unaffected by disinfectants, they can lie dormant for as long as 50 years. Moving equipment among colonies, apiaries and between beekeepers can spread the disease far and wide. For this reason it is not advisable to accept equipment, especially deep frames with old wax, from other beekeepers. This is why it is also advised that a regular removal of old frames is carried out ensuring that wax in brood frames is no more than 3 years old. The disease is recognised by the sunken appearance of the cell cappings and sometimes a 'pepper pot' appearance of the frame where cells have been opened haphazardly to clean them out unsuccessfully. The queen is unable to lay in cells as they cannot be cleaned out. When a matchstick is used to stir the cell contents, a mucous like rope is extracted when you withdraw the matchstick. There is no treatment for AFB. All the bees are killed and the frames, combs, bees and honey are burned and then buried to prevent robbing which would spread the disease. Wooden boxes can be scorched to kill the spores.


bees have 2 antennae they are divided into segments (flagellae), 12 in the worker and Queen, 13 in the drone. They are primarily used to detect smell.


A site where a bee hive or hives is located.

Apilife Var

a treatment to help control varroa. It is based on organic products such as thymol and eucalyptus oil, menthol and camphor. It is used on the hive after the honey has been harvested. May be detrimental to polystyrene hives. Is only effective in warmer weather, ie above 15degrees Celcius.

Apis Cerana

the species of bee native to areas of asia.

Apis Mellifera

the native british honeybee.


a synthesised substance used to control varroa. The active ingredient is amitrax which affects the nervous system of the mites. It is used in flea collars for dogs and cats. Varroa can become resistant to apivar, it should be used as part of an Integrated Pest Management plan (IPM).