Beekeeping Terms beginning with L

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when a bee egg hatches it becomes a larva. A larva goes through 5 moults before it spins a silk cocoon and metamorphoses to become an adult bee. Larvae of all 3 castes are fed royal jelly from the hypopharangeal glands of nurse bees for the first three days after hatching. Queen larvae continue to be fed only royal jelly but worker and drone larvae are then fed a mixture of royal jelly and pollen mixed with honey - bee bread.

Laying Worker

if a colony becomes queenless one or more workers may, due to the changes in pheromones in the colony, develop sufficiently to lay eggs. All these eggs will be unfertilised and so will only produce drones. As workers have shorter abdomens than queens a laying worker can be detected as the eggs will not be deposited at the bottom of cells but partway up the walls. Also, there may be more than one egg per cell. Quite often requeening is not successful and many beekeepers recommend dispersing the remaining bees among other colonies or just tipping the bees onto the ground in the apiary to allow the workers to beg entrance at other hives.


a wooden box-surround used around the broods and supers of a WBC hive.

Light Syrup

sugar syrup is fed to bees for many reasons: to prevent starvation; to stimulate laying. Syrup is always made from refined white sugar, never unrefined or brown sugar, which the bees cannot use. Light syrup is less concentrated than heavy syrup. Add boiling water to the sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Use the ratio of sugar:water 1kg:1L. It is given to the bees using a feeder. Some people add thymol to prolong the 'shelf life' of the syrup and as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan.