There are millions of species of insects in the world, but less than a dozen are honey bees. Honey and beeswax have been important to humanity for most of its history and we rely on honey bees today for those provisions as well as the essential work they do pollinating our crops and flowers.
Scientific Name: Apis
Characteristics: Honey bees are true bees, although they can be mistaken for the more dangerous and aggressive yellow jacket wasp. Unlike wasps, bees can only sting once and it always results in their own death.
Size: 5.5" L x 7" W
The first appearance of the ancestors of modern honey bees emerge in the fossil record around 23-56 million years ago, during the change from the Eocene to the Oligocene epochs. There is evidence that the bees evolved in Asia and migrated to Europe. From Europe, they were introduced by humans North America, although there is fossil evidence, found in Nevada, that there was an ancient American species that went extinct. Bees evolved from wasps and the lines diverged when the bee ancestors gave up hunting in favor of collecting pollen to feed their young.