Who can resist specialized vocabulary? Not I. Absconding swarm, American foulbrood, Braula coeca, buff comb, Demaree (‘the method of swarm control that separates the queen from most of the brood within the same hive’), supersedure (‘a natural replacement of an established queen by a daughter in the same hive’)—it’s all here. (Via Incoming Signals.)
Update. Vernica at thinking while typing has a great list of bee-related links.


  1. I’m surprised to see mead listed as a specialist term, since we can buy it fairly easily in the UK. Is it uncommon in the States? But thanks for an interesting list of terms from a pastime that’s unfamiliar to me.

  2. I don’t recall seeing it for sale, although I’m sure you can get it. But this isn’t just specialized words, it’s everything related to beekeeping—they have cell, colony, and comb, for example, which are common words.

  3. Polish mead is available at the University of Chicago Pub, and it’s yummy. I hereby pledge to buy a glass for any laha reader I run across there whenever I happen to be in Chicago.

  4. You can look at and see if there’s a meadery near you… I know that there are several brands, both national and local, available where I live. (Chaucer’s is a national brand out of California and Pirtle is one in our state.)

  5. Hm, can’t remember when I last tasted mead.
    Twenty-odd years ago I visited Oliver Winery near Bloomington (Indiana), where Camelot Mead is made. Must say I liked the souvenir mug better than the contents; more than one member of my SCA branch brewed mead more to my liking.
    I know a supermarket in Oakland (Calif.) that carries a couple of meads – i think Camelot and some English label. And if I know one such store, there may be hundreds, as I don’t make a habit of looking at the wine selection.
    Best mead I ever had was named simply Ancient Mead and made in Ontario, if memory serves. I bought it in Winnipeg – on the day of a total eclipse, plus or minus one.

  6. Other special vocab: I happen to have in-laws who hunt, and they can use ‘hunt’ to mean ’cause [a dog] to hunt’:
    A: Nice new pointer; have you hunted him yet?
    B: Yes; I hunted him yesterday.
    So far though I have not heard it with two objects:
    *I hunted my dog rabbits.
    Prevented, no doubt, by some principle of universal grammar.

Speak Your Mind