What class does a bee belong to?

In most people, bees are associated with honey and other valuable bee products. However, not everyone knows what class these creatures belong to, whether they are insects or animals. Scientific classification will help answer these questions. In addition, this material will describe in detail the structure of these creatures, the features of their life and some interesting facts.

A bee is an insect or not

According to biological typology, a bee (lat. Anthophila) belongs to the kingdom Animals, type Arthropods and class Insects, superfamily Bees. Its closest relatives are a wasp and an ant.

The evidence that the bee is an insect is the signs found in it that are characteristic of these creatures:

  • body, consisting of three departments: head, chest and abdomen;
  • the presence of antennae;
  • faceted eyes;
  • on the body there are several pairs of legs;
  • the presence of wings.

Important! It is worth clarifying that some insects (for example, ants) do not have wings, they lost them during evolution as unnecessary.

From the point of view of the fact that a person breeds melliferous creatures for profit or benefit, it is appropriate to say that a bee is also a pet.

Description and characteristics of bees

Bees stand out among other insects with a bright, recognizable appearance and characteristic structure of individual parts of the body.


Bee families have more than 520 genera . As for the number of species, about 20 thousand of them are known. Almost all varieties are very similar to each other.

The uterus, males and working bees also visually look the same, but differences are hidden in minor details. The easiest way to identify the uterus: it is almost twice as large as the working individuals. The most noticeable is its thick abdomen, in which the developed genitals are located. Working individuals are also female, but they do not have ovaries. Drones are males, they are distinguished by bulging eyes, a large abdomen and a large head. In addition, males are deprived of a sting.

The outside of the body is covered with hair, which acts as sensory organs, protects the body from pollution, helps to transfer pollen, and also warms in the winter months.

The color of this insect is well known, it consists of a black background with yellow marks. But the size can vary from 3 to 45 mm, respectively, type and family.

Did you know? The distance from the Earth to the Moon is equal to the path that one bee flies during honey collection.


In the structure of the body of this insect, it is customary to conditionally distinguish the following parts:

  1. Head. It is equipped with a proboscis, which is a mouthpart. There are also antennae in the amount of 2 pieces and complex eyes with a facet structure.
  2. The chest consists of four rings tightly interconnected.
  3. The abdomen, containing the gastrointestinal, genital and stinging apparatus, as well as the wax glands. Its lower part is covered on the outside with long fibers helping to hold pollen.
  4. Wings that are connected to one another by small hooks.
  5. Legs (paws) . They are covered with hairs, which also take part in collecting pollen.

Honey bee structure

Where and how do bees live?

The geographical area of ​​residence of the insect in question is incredibly wide. These creatures are absent only in areas where there are no flowering plants. A swarm settles in any place sheltered from the wind, where it is near a body of water - for example, it can be small mountain crevices, earthen burrows, hollows of old trees. You can stumble upon these creatures in the attic of the house or between its walls.

Being highly organized social beings, they live in large communities (hives), where a strict hierarchy and separation of duties are organized. The uterus plays a dominant role in the bee family: it is she who creates the hive, she is responsible for the reproduction of offspring. Males are necessary exclusively for the fertilization of the uterus. All economic functions lie on the working individuals, it is they who are engaged in its arrangement, collecting nectar, transferring honey, protecting the hive (if necessary), and so on. Did you know? Bees in winter do not empty the intestines at all. Adult insects and larvae prefer to feast on pollen and juice secreted by flowering plants. In an effort to get food, they can be removed up to 10 km from the hive. Their oral organs make it possible to collect plant sugar juice and process it into honey. When honey and pollen are mixed, larvae feed is obtained.

Reproduction and longevity

These creatures reproduce by laying eggs. An adult insect is formed from a fertilized egg. If the key breeding process has not happened, a drone hatch from the egg. In order for a viable offspring to appear, fertilization of the uterus by males from other families is required.

Before becoming a full-fledged individual, an insect goes through four phases: an egg, a larva, a pre-pupa, and a pupa. Having reached an impressive size, the family is divided into two swarms. Separation is also due to lack of nutrition. One part remains with the old uterus, the second sets off in search of a home with a new uterus.

The bee has a short lifespan . The queen bee can live from one to eight years, males from four to five weeks, and working individuals for eight weeks.

The benefits of bees

Bees make a big contribution to the natural pollination process - they pollinate plants better than other insects. One insect can process 3 million flowers per day.

These insects produce products that are very valuable to the human body. Honey, wax, pollen, propolis, poison, royal jelly and other bee products are widely used in cooking, cosmetology, folk and official medicine. They are natural antibiotics that help inhibit the growth and development of harmful microbes in the body. And, most importantly, these products act selectively, destroying only pathogenic microflora.

Important! Despite all the benefits, the bite of these insects poses a potential threat to humans. If after a bite you have a severe allergic reaction, a general condition worsening, you need to urgently take an antihistamine and call an ambulance.

So, you should no longer have questions about bee identification. Now you know that these unique creatures can be called both insects and animals. But since in everyday life the term “animals” is understood only as mammals or four-legged terrestrial vertebrates, then bees should not be called so. After all, no one will say that, for example, mosquitoes and butterflies are animals.

Interesting Articles