api·​ary | \ ˈā-pē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce apiary (audio) , -ˌe-rē \
plural apiaries

Definition of apiary

: a place where bees are kept especially : a collection of hives or colonies of bees kept for their honey

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Beekeeping, or apiculture, is the care of honeybees that ensures that they produce more honey than they can use. An apiary usually consists of many separate beehives. The social life of a hive is strange and marvelous. The queen bee, who will become the mother of an entire colony, is actually created by being fed "royal jelly" while she is still only a larva. The tens of thousands of worker bees are underdeveloped females; only a handful of the bees are male, and they do no work at all. The workers defend the hive by kamikaze means, stinging any intruder and dying as they do so. There's more drama in a quiet-looking apiary than the casual observer might notice.

Examples of apiary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The church had been looking for someone to run an apiary and a friend knew Koenen. Sophie Carson, Journal Sentinel, 15 June 2022 These little monarch makers mean there’s a potential for swarming, during which a good portion of the colony could up and leave with its new boss lady, explains Charlie Sanford, founder of Honey Feast, an apiary with its home base in Clermont. Amy Drew Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 11 May 2022 Their kitchens would use the honey while convention guests enjoyed the educational aspects of the working apiary. Amy Drew Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 11 May 2022 At the edge of the village, a beekeeper invited us to look at his apiary. New York Times, 20 Apr. 2022 While the plants are still budding, the farm shop features seasonal gifts, like lavender honey made at the farm's apiary, sachets designed by Susan Rozenbaum, and an assortment of lavender plants. Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, 30 Mar. 2022 It’s a working estate that hosts a nature preserve with a peaceful, mile-long trail that’s open to hikers, fruit-producing orchards and an apiary that produces honey made by bees that pollinate the lavender fields and flowers. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2022 Jennifer Candler, 57, who has a small apiary on her family’s estate near Ms. Ruckdeschel’s homestead, said that to her knowledge, no county official has reached out to anyone in her family to discuss drones, evacuations or checkpoints. New York Times, 21 Aug. 2021 There’s an orchard and an active apiary, which produces honey for sale. Alex Mann, baltimoresun.com, 11 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apiary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of apiary

1654, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for apiary

borrowed from Latin apiārium, from apis "bee" (of obscure origin) + -ārium -ary entry 1

Note: Latin apis is superficially similar to the etymon *bi- seen in English bee and with varying suffixation in other northern Indo-European words (see bee entry 1), but cannot be connected in any phonetically regular way. A loan from ancient Egyptian ̓ fj "bee" has been hypothesized.

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Last Updated

29 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Apiary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apiary. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on apiary

Nglish: Translation of apiary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of apiary for Arabic Speakers


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