Beekeeping Terms beginning with E

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see European Foul Brood


a four sided box, the same outside dimensions as a brood or a super but much shorter. Ekes are used to surround feeders to support the roof to keep the hive watertight. Ekes are also used if you have a queen cell that extends below the bottom of your brood box, ensuring that you don't damage it while manipulating the boxes.

European 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 Melissococcus Plutonius. The bacteria is passed to the larva as it is fed by nurse bees. As the bacteria grows it competes for food and can cause the larva to die of starvation,  it does not always kill the larva. Affected larvae are described as lying in uncomfortable twisted positions instead of neatly curled in the cell. Dead larvae have a melted down, yellow/white colour and an unpleasant, sour odour. The Bee Inspector will decide if a shook swarm is advised or if the entire colony should be destroyed as for AFB. Bees can cope with a low level of infection but will eventually succumb as numbers of the spores increase. It is the duty of the beekeeper to check for this disease on a regular basis, looking closely for as little as a single larva which displays the symptoms. As spores can build up in the wax of brood frames it is important to ensure that frames are disposed of on a regular basis. Some beekeepers recommend a 3yr life span for brood frames, culling a certain number of frames from each brood box each year.

Extractor - Radial

a device used to extract honey from combs. After removal of the cappings, the combs are placed in the extractor with the top bars facing outwards round the rim. As the machine turns (by hand or by electric motor) the honey is flung out onto the outer rim where it drips down into the tank. Not effective for heather honey unless the frames are heated first, or aggitated, to overcome the viscosity of the heather honey. Not effective for Oil Seed Rape honey unless it is removed from the hive while it is still liquid, before it crystalises.

Extractor - Tangential

a device used to extract honey from combs. After removal of the cappings, the combs are placed in the extractor with the top bars facing the direction you intend to spin the machine. It is turned manually or by electric motor. It is necessary to extract only half the honey in the first side of the combs, i.e. those facing outwards towards the rim of the machine, and then to remove and replace the combs with their other faces facing outwards and spin to extract all the honey from this side before once more removing the frames and reversing them to extract the remaining honey from the first side, in order to protect the combs which would otherwise be torn from the frames by the force and weight of the honey as the machine rotates.


bees have 5 eyes. Two large multifaceted compound eyes which they use to detect colour and form, and 3 small unfaceted eyes (ocelli) they use for navigation using polarised sunlight.