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See also: Beehive


A natural beehive (1).
A man-made beehive (2).
Brigitte Bardot wearing a beehive (4).

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English beehyve, equivalent to bee +‎ hive.


  • IPA(key): /ˈbiːhaɪv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːhaɪv


beehive (plural beehives)

  1. An enclosed structure in which some species of honey bees (genus Apis) live and raise their young.
    Synonyms: hive, skep
  2. A man-made structure in which bees are kept for their honey.
    Synonyms: hive, apiary
  3. (figuratively) Any place full of activity, or in which people are very busy.
    Synonym: hive of activity
  4. A women's hairstyle, popular in the 1960s, in which long hair is styled into a hive-shaped form on top of the head and usually held in place with lacquer.
    Synonym: B-52
  5. A particular style of hat.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      A very neat old woman, still in her good outdoor coat and best beehive hat, was sitting at a polished mahogany table on whose surface there were several scored scratches so deep that a triangular piece of the veneer had come cleanly away, [].
  6. A type of anti-personnel ammunition round containing flechettes, and characterised by the buzzing sound made as they fly through the air.
    • 2004, Martin Torgoff, Can't Find My Way Home [] , Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 179:
      By the time it was over, Stone had been blown thirty feet through the air by a beehive round as he was running across a field, knocked out by the concussion of the blast.
  7. (nonstandard, New Zealand) Alternative form of Beehive
    • 2004, Nicholas Tarling, International Students in New Zealand, →ISBN, page 114:
      Brian Small said that the Minister could not 'hide in the beehive any longer'
    • 2010, David Halpern, The Hidden Wealth of Nations, →ISBN, page 216:
      In New Zealand, this approach is taken one step forward in that Ministers physically sit together up in the beehive, as their building is known, rather than being based in the Departments.
    • 1977, New Zealand Libraries - Volumes 40-42, →ISBN, page 30:
      As with other major buildings the beehive demonstrated the need for a standardized building drawing practice which could be applied — and understood
  8. (cellular automata) In Conway's Game of Life, a particular still life pattern with a rounded appearance.
    • 1989 December 22, Norbert Roestel, “CA-LETTER”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[1] (Usenet):
      By the way, what happens to a beehive which is under attack by one or two gliders such as pictured:
    • 1992 October 22, David Bell, “Spaceships in Conway's Life (Part 6a)”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[2] (Usenet):
      Alternatively, in many cases the debris can be suppressed by perturbing the debris with a passing spaceship before it stabilizes into the beehive or loaf.
    • 1996 November 16, Paul Callahan, “Still-life glider reflector found”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[3] (Usenet):
      Unfortunately, a beehive (a common six cell still life) was also created close to the block, and its position made it impossible to eliminate with conventional methods using still lifes (anything placed to destroy it would be damaged by earlier activity).


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


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beehive (third-person singular simple present beehives, present participle beehiving, simple past and past participle beehived)

  1. (rare, transitive) To fill (a place) with busy activity.
    • 1958, T. S. Bawa, Jawaharlal Nehru, Nehru's India: An Analytical Study, page 25:
      Quite naturally, if there are more ministers swarming the cabinet rooms and conference halls, then there will be a spate of civil servants beehiving the secretariat.
    • 1989, Craig Foley, Blood Knot, page 59:
      The patrons beehiving the place whooped and shouted.
    • 2012, Satish C. Bhatnagar, Epsilons and Deltas of Life: Everyday Stories, volume 1, page 16:
      This is not the first time that I learnt of a neighbor's death after a lapse of a few weeks. You just don't see people beehiving a home, like in India []
  2. (rare, transitive) To style the hair in a hive-shaped or bouffant form.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]