Any of about 25 species of brightly coloured birds (family Meropidae) that feed on bees, wasps, and other insects. They are found throughout tropical and subtropical Eurasia, Africa, and Australasia (one species occasionally reaches the British Isles). Bee-eaters range in length from 6 to 14 in. (15–35 cm). Their bill is moderately long, slightly downcurved, and pointed. Their brilliant plumage is usually predominantly green, but many species are partially coloured with red, yellow, blue, or purple.