Beekeeping Wiki
Honey bee
Honey bee carrying pollen to its hive
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Apinae
Tribe: Apini
Latreille, 1802
Genus: Apis
Linnaeus, 1758

Honey bees (or honeybees) are all within the genus Apis, the only extant member of the tribe Apini of the subfamily Apinae. Honey bees are primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are classified into seven recognized species with as many as 44 subspecies.[1] Historically, only six to eleven species had been recognized. Honey bees represent a small fraction of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees. Other species of bees also produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are considered to be true honey bees.


The 7 living species of the genus, Apis, are classified into three distinct subgenera[1]:


  1. 1.0 1.1 Engel, Michael S. (1999). "The taxonomy of recent and fossil honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Apis)". Journal of Hymenoptera Research (International Society of Hymenopterists) 8 (2): 165–196. 

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