July 2018

From apiculture to beeswax, alarm pheromones to supersedure, there are many words associated with beekeeping. As part of the Oxford English Dictionary’s 90th birthday celebrations, they are launching a number of public word appeals and one of them is about beekeeping. 

A number of beekeeping terms are, of course, already included in the dictionary. For example the dictionary team have recently added entries for ACARINE (a disease of honeybees caused by the mite, Acarapis woodi) and BEE-BUTT (specific to south-west England, a man-made receptacle used as a home for a colony of bees).

They would love beekeepers to tell them words they use to describe a particular technique or a slang and colloquial expression that has arisen in your beekeeping community.

They want to know how you use these words? Perhaps you have evidence of earlier usage? What new words and phrases are coming into use?

So come on put your thinking caps on! 

Did you know that the word for a skep roof is a hackle? That the small strips of willow that are fitted inside to reinforce the dome are called "spleeting"? That in the 16th century beehives were often known as "stalles" so in the 1599 inventory of William Baule, a "labourer" from Bishopton just outside Stratford-Upon-Avon are included, "two stalles of bees" to be left to his daughter Elisabeth. 

Or maybe someone you know still calls them that?

The link for sending new words to is on the OED90 website https://public.oed.com/appeals/hobby-words/ or at #hobbywords. 

There is no deadline for sending them in.