A honey bee is a social flying insect. It belongs to Apis genus. The western honey bee (scientific name: Apis mellifera) is the most common of the 7 major species of honey bees of the world. The genus name Apis is Latin for "bee", and mellifera is the Latin for "honey-bearing". Apart from Apis mellifera, there are six other species in the genus Apis. These are Apis andreniformis (black dwarf honey bee), Apis cerana (eastern honey bee), Apis dorsata (giant honey bee), Apis florea (dwarf honey bee), Apis koschevnikovi (Koschevnikov's honey bee), and Apis nigrocincta (Philippine honey bee).
Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the about 20,000 known species of bees.