Beekeeping Terms beginning with T

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an essential oil produced from the thyme family of plants, used to help control varroa. It is a constituent of Apiguard, ApiLife Var and Thymovar. Some people add small quantities to sugar syrups to prolong their shelf life and as part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme.


queen bees make two main sounds - 'quacking' while still in the queen cell before they hatch, 'tooting' after they hatch. Quacking and tooting are collectively known as Piping.

Top Bar

the bar on a frame that supports the frame within the hive. Top bars come in a variety of widths. N1 and N4 top bars are 7/8”/22mm wide. N2, N5 and Manley top bars are 11/16”/27mm wide. See N1-5.

Top Bar Hive

a hive where the colony grows horizontally rather than vertically. The sides of the hive are slopped with the top wider than the bottom.  Bars of wood with starter wax foundation are used rather than frames. The bees produce brood near the entrance and store honey further back. When honey is being harvested the honey is cut off the bar and the honey pressed out of the wax.

Top Space

some hives are designed with the bee space at the top, others at the bottom, making the parts incompatible. Top space hive designs include the Smith, Dadant and Langstroth.


the breathing tubes, they open to the air along the bee's body at the 10 pairs of spiracles, 3 pairs on the thorax, six visible on the abdomen and the final pair hidden within the sting chamber.

Tracheal Mites

these mites cause acarine disease. See Acarapis Woodi.

Trickle Treatment

some methods of treating bees for varroa infestation include the use of oxalic acid which is trickled over the seams of bees. See oxalic acid.


a notifiable pest - (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). Tropilaelaps has not been found in the UK as yet. It is a mite that infests bees. Native to the asian bee, Apis Dorsata, the mite larvae feed on the haemolymph of bee larvae. Apis Dorsata has behavioural defenses against this pest and removes infested workers from the colony. The european honeybee has not developed these defences and would be vulnerable. The mites are redish brown and about 1mm long by 0.5mm wide. Its life cycle is similar to the Varroa mite except that tropilaelaps cannot pierce the membranes of adult bees and has to rely on feeding on the brood. It is thought that this mite cannot survive in broodless colonies as the pregnant female must deposit her eggs in a cell with a larva within two days of emerging from the cell she developed in, or she will die. The mites damage the larvae by feeding on them and may kill the larvae but some will survive as physically or physiologically damaged adults with a shorter lifespan. The mites also spread viruses such as deformed wing virus.