Apis mellifera

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Taxonomy and Systematics

Apis mellifera from Discoverlife.org
Apis mellifera (Carnolian Honey Bee) from Discoverlife.org

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Subphylum: Hexapoda (6 legged)

Class: Insecta Subclass: Pterygota (Winged insects)

Infraclass: Neoptera (Wing-folding)

Order: Hymenoptera

Suborder: Apocrita

Infraorder: Aculeata

Superfamily: Apoidea

Family: Apidae (Bumble Bees, Honey Bees, Stingless Bees)

Subfamily: Apinae

Tribe: Apini

Genus: Apis, Linnaeus, 1758

Species: Apis mellifera (Honey Bee) Linnaeus, 1758

Descriptive notes

The European Honey Bee can easily be identified as a member of the (very small) genus Apis by its hairy eyes, its lack of hind tibial spurs, the presence of a jugal lobe and its narrow and elongate marginal cell. Today, it is the most common honey bee species, and can be found throughout most of the world. However, it is native only to parts Europe, Asia, and Africa, and was introduced to North America in the 1600s. I have found two varieties of Apis mellifera on campus: the Carnolian Honey Bee (which has a black abdomen) and the standard orange-striped form. My Carnolian Honey bee was found drinking water on the path near the campus pond on 10 May, 2011, at 11:30 am. The other specimen was found on the redbud behind the Barn at 3:00 pm on 17 May, 2011. I identified both using How to Know the Insects, Wikipedia, and Discoverlife.org. For current taxanomic status see: ITIS

--Isabel Marlens