1. <zoology> An insect of the order Hymenoptera, and family Apidae (the honeybees), or family Andrenidae (the solitary bees) See Honeybee.

There are many genera and species. The common honeybee (Apis mellifica) lives in swarms, each of which has its own queen, its males or drones, and its very numerous workers, which are barren females. Besides the A. Mellifica there are other species and varieties of honeybees, as the A. Ligustica of Spain and Italy; the A. Indica of India; the A. Fasciata of Egypt. The bumblebee is a species of Bombus. The tropical honeybees belong mostly to Melipoma and Trigona.

2. A neighborly gathering of people who engage in united labour for the benefit of an individual or family; as, a quilting bee; a husking bee; a raising bee. "The cellar . . . Was dug by a bee in a single day." (S. G. Goodrich)

Pieces of hard wood bolted to the sides of the bowsprit, to reeve the fore-topmast stays through; called also bee blocks.

<zoology> Bee beetle, a bird that eats the honeybee, as the European flycatcher, and the American kingbird.

<botany> Bee flower, the larva of the bee beetle. To have a bee in the head or in the bonnet. To be choleric. To be restless or uneasy. To be full of fancies; to be a little crazy. "She's whiles crack-brained, and has a bee in her head." .

Origin: AS. Beo; akin to D. Bij and bije, Icel. B, Sw. & Dan. Bi, OHG. Pini, G. Biene, and perh. Ir. Beach, Lith. Bitis, Skr. Bha.

(01 Mar 1998)

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