Why Honey Bee is Two Words
Regardless of dictionaries, we have in entomology a rule for insect common names that can be followed. It says: If the insect is what the name implies, write the two words separately; otherwise run them together. Thus we have such names as house fly, blow fly, and robber fly contrasted with dragonfly, caddicefly, and butterfly, because the latter are not flies, just as an aphislion is not a lion and a silverfish is not a fish. The honey bee is an insect and is preeminently a bee; “honeybee” is equivalent to “Johnsmith.”
—From Anatomy of the Honey Bee by Robert E. Snodgrass
The non-native European Honey Bee is the state insect of:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Not one native bee is a state insect. The closest relative of a North American native bee to make the list is the Tarantula Hawk Wasp, the state insect of New Mexico.
Update! Minnesota now has a state bee as well as a state insect. Bombus affinis, the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee, has been so honored. Good work, Minnesota!
Where Are Your Hives?
Beekeepers are everywhere. Each time someone visits Honey Bee Suite, his or her location will appear on the map.