hon·​ey·​bee | \ ˈhə-nē-ˌbē How to pronounce honeybee (audio) \
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

Intro to Bees and Beekeeping: Learn the history of beekeeping, honeybee biology, plant and pollinator relationships, and essential equipment and requirements. chicagotribune.com, "Calendar: Learn about beekeeping Tuesday in Lake Forest," 4 Aug. 2019 Thank our wobbly planet for our seasons, which have led to remarkable adaptations in animals ranging from honeybees to lungfish. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About Seasons," 16 Apr. 2019 Researchers haven’t yet released results from the comparison of various halictid and honeybee species. Quanta Magazine, "In Bees, a Hunt for Roots of Social Behavior," 6 May 2014 Beekeepers and others used the data to track losses and growth in U.S. honeybee colonies. CBS News, "EPA to allow use of pesticides beekeepers say "decimate beneficial insects"," 12 July 2019 The Japanese honeybee, for instance, uses a kind of heat swarm technique to surround the much larger hornets that would kill them and take over their nests. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Hold a giant cockroach (if you want) in new ‘Fantastic Bug Encounters!’ at the Field Museum," 26 June 2019 The annual nationwide survey by the Bee Informed Partnership found 37.7% of honeybee colonies died this past winter, nearly 9 percentage points higher than the average winter loss. Seth Borenstein, Twin Cities, "Survey sees biggest US honeybee winter die-off yet," 19 June 2019 Collectively, honeybees are able to achieve an incredible level of sophistication, especially considering their brains are only the size of sesame seeds. National Geographic, "How honeybees get their jobs—explained," 22 Mar. 2019 Commercial honeybee keepers across the U.S. lost almost 41 percent of their colonies in the year that ended March 31, according to a survey conducted by the non-profit Bee Informed Partnership. San Diego Union-Tribune en Español, "Nature takes its course: Bees flourish after heavy rains, keeping removal companies busy," 9 July 2019

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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Statistics for honeybee

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

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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 How to pronounce honeybee (audio) \

Kids Definition of honeybee

: a bee whose honey is used by people as food


hon·​ey·​bee | \ ˈhən-ē-ˌbē How to pronounce honeybee (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on honeybee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with honeybee

Spanish Central: Translation of honeybee

Nglish: Translation of honeybee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about honeybee

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).


not constant or steady

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