The domestic honeybee (Apis mellifera), also frequently spelled “honey bee” and known scientifically as the European or western honeybee, is the most common of the nine species of honey-producing bees. It is native to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, according to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, but humans have introduced domestic honeybees around the world and it’s the only honeybee in the United States.
Honeybees are social insects. They live in large colonies that include a single adult queen bee and tens of thousands of female worker bees, whose numbers change with the seasons, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The queen bee is the only bee that lays eggs. Male honeybees, called drones, are only seen during the spring mating season and hatch from unfertilized eggs. The female worker bees, on the other hand, hatch from eggs that have been fertilized by drones.