hon·​ey·​bee | \ˈhə-nē-ˌbē \
variants: or honey bee

Definition of honeybee 

: a honey-producing bee (genus Apis of the family Apidae) especially : a European bee (A. mellifera) introduced worldwide and kept in hives for the honey it produces

Illustration of honeybee

Illustration of honeybee

honeybees, left to right: worker, queen, drone

Examples of honeybee in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There's a large blue woman reclining on the side of a mountain (see below) by Lita Albuquerque; a metallic mixed media piece that looks like recorders fused into a sink by Paul Barsch and Tilman Hornig; even a hive of honeybees. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Art Safiental Is a Massive Sculpture Exhibit in the Swiss Alps," 10 Aug. 2018 But European honeybees began hybridizing with African bees in the 1990s. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "In Arizona, bees are more dangerous than snakes. But watch out for the dogs.," 21 Mar. 2018 The ban, approved by member nations in April, follows the publication of a report identifying pesticides’ harmful effects on honeybees and wild bees. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "‘Safe’ Levels of Pesticide Still Hamper Bees’ Memory and Ability to Learn," 12 July 2018 The team also found a link between the odors and the genetics that drive honeybees' hygienic behavior. Annie Sneed, Scientific American, "Scent of Death: Honeybees Use Odors to Detect Deceased Broods," 25 Apr. 2018 Along with 5,000 acres, his mansion, his cattle and honeybees, Jefferson owned over 600 individuals during his lifetime. Samantha Willis, Glamour, "Thomas Jefferson Owned Hundreds of Slaves. Now, a Black Woman Will Run His Foundation.," 29 June 2018 Heather Rivera is having regrets two days after having pest control eradicate a swarm of honeybees. Stacey Henson, ajc, "Why a Florida homeowner regrets killing thousands of swarming honey bees," 26 June 2018 Bumblebees, unlike honeybees, don’t overwinter in a hive. Washington Post, "Bumblebee blues: Pacific Northwest pollinator in trouble," 17 June 2018 Her Labrador retriever, Mack, inspected about 1,700 honeybee colonies last fall and winter. New York Times, "With a Sniff and a Signal, These Dogs Hunt Down Threats to Bees," 3 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of honeybee

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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The first known use of honeybee was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for honeybee



English Language Learners Definition of honeybee

: a bee that makes honey


hon·​ey·​bee | \ˈhə-nē-ˌbē \

Kids Definition of honeybee

: a bee whose honey is used by people as food


hon·​ey·​bee | \ˈhən-ē-ˌbē \

Medical Definition of honeybee 

: a honey-producing bee (Apis and related genera) especially : a European bee (A. mellifera) introduced worldwide and kept in hives for the honey it produces

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Comments on honeybee

What made you want to look up honeybee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


noxious or harmful

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