In the Standard Scientific classification system (Linnaeus) bees are located in the Animalia Kingdom, in the Phylum of Arthropoda (an invertebrate with an exo-skeleton), within the Class of Insecta (consisting of a head, thorax, and abdomen, with two antennae, and three pairs of thoracic legs, often with wings), on into the Order of Hymenoptera (the ants, bees, and wasps), and into the Family of Apidae.

The Apidae family subsequently contains the Genus and Species of each type of bee.



The bodies of all bees are covered with hairs that are plumose (branched) for the purpose of collecting pollen.  All bees feed exclusively on pollen and nectar (honey) in their larval and adult stages.  They do not feed in the egg or pupal stage.

Bees are divided into social, sub-social and solitary species.

Many types of breeding and nesting behaviours exist within the bee species.

Picture: Bumblebee

Bee or Wasp?

As bees are covered in hairs (even on their eyes), wasps have smooth exo-skeletons with narrow waists and are carnivorous.

Some species of wasp exhibit similar colour patterns to bees. Wasps often construct nests of ‘paper’, but never wax.

Picture: Tri-Coloured Bumblebee