The article deals with names of bee-hives, their origin and distribution in the dialects of Latvian. As far as the first bee-hives were in the hollowed out trees the appellative (bišu) kuoks ‘bee tree’ probably reflects the more ancient meaning of this word. (bišu) kuoks is widespread throughout Latvia.
The next stage of development in the bee-keeping were so called block-hives. Their names in the dialects of Latvian are: auls, avelis, avilis, bluķis, gulinis, klucis, kuozavs, (gulins) kuozuls, pulcinis, struops, truops. Nevertheless, these names are used to denote modern up-to-date bee-hives which sometimes are called skapītis ‘locker’, mājiņa ‘a little house’.
The appellative (bišu) struops, being a word of Standard Latvian, is widespread throughout Latvia. It is used in Latgale, too, although in some subdialects it has penetrated under the influence of Standard Latvian.
The wariant truops occures mainly in the Eastern part of Latvia (in Vidzeme and in a little compact area in the Eastern part of Latgale).
The apellatives auls, aulis are registered in some vernaculars of Kurzeme and Vidzeme, the variations avelis and avilis are common mainly in Southern and Western Latgale as far as in Selonian vernaculars of Zemgale.
The name pulcinis is known mainly in some Western subdialects of Latgale.
German loanword klucis is common mainly in Western part of Latvia, bluķis – in Eastern reģions of Latvia.
The Slavic loanword kuozavs and its variant kuozuls is widespread in the Central and Northen areas. Other variant names of Slavic origin are rare: domiks, kaloda, ležaks.
The names of bee-hives reflect the development and change of the meaning of the words.
The examined material allows a conclusion that the names of bee-hives are mostly of Indo-european and Baltic origin, although some borrowings from Slavonic languages occur. Words of German origin are rare.