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Apoidea sp.

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Hymenopterida
Ordo: Hymenoptera
Subordo: Apocrita
Superfamilia: Apoidea
Familiae (10 + 2†): AmpulicidaeAndrenidaeApidaeColletidaeCrabronidaeHalictidaeHeterogynaidaeSphecidaeMegachilidaeMelittidae – †Angarosphecidae – †Paleomelittidae


Apoidea Latreille, 1802


Sphecoidea Latreille, 1802


Alexander, B. A. 1992. An exploratory analysis of cladistic relationships within the superfamily Apoidea, with special reference to sphecid wasps. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 1: 25-61.
Bossert, S. 2014: The high alpine bee fauna (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of the Zillertal Alps, Austria. Biodiversity data journal, 2: e1115. DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.2.e1115 Reference page.
Eardley, C. and Urban, R. 2010: Catalogue of Afrotropical bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apiformes). Zootaxa, 2455: 1–548. Preview (PDF)
Engel, M.S. 2001: A monograph of the Baltic amber bees and evolution of the Apoidea (Hymenoptera). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, (259) ISSN: 0003-0090 DOI: 10.1206/0003-0090(2001)259<0001:AMOTBA>2.0.CO;2 (PDF)
Engel, M.S. 2005: Family-group names for bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). American Museum Novitates, 3476: 1–33. (PDF)
Engel, M.S. 2011: Systematic melittology: where to from here? Systematic entomology, 36(1): 2–15. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3113.2010.00544.x
Howlett, B.G. & Donovan, B.J. 2010. A review of New Zealand's deliberately introduced bee fauna: current status and potential impacts. New Zealand entomologist 33(1): 92–101. DOI: 10.1080%2F00779962.2010.9722196 Paywall. Reference page.
Michener, C.D. 1944. Comparative external morphology, phylogeny, and a classification of the bees (Hymenoptera). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, 82: 151–326.
Michener, C.D. 1953. Comparative morphological and systematic studies of bee larvae with a key to the families of hymenopterous larvae. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 35: 987-1102.
Michener, C.D. 1954. Observations on the pupae of bees. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 30: 63-70.
Michener, C.D., and D. A. Grimaldi. 1988. A Trigona from Late Cretaceous amber of New Jersey. American Museum Novitates no. 2917: 1-10.
Michener, C.D. 1988. The oldest fossil bee: Apoid history, evolutionary stasis, and antiquity of social behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 85: 6424-6426.
Michener, C.D. 2007: The Bees of the World. 2nd Edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. 953 pp.
Montalva, J. and L. Ruz. 2010. Updated systematic list of the Chilean bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Revista chilena de entomología, 35: 15–52. (PDF)
Pulawski, W.J. 2003–2006. Sphecidae (s.l.): Family-Group Names and Classification. California Academy of Sciences. Introduction
Roig-Alsina, A. and Michener, C.D. 1993. Studies of the phylogeny and classification of long-tongued bees (Hymenoptera:Apoidea). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 55:124-162.

Additional references

Balzan, M.V., Rasmont, P., Kuhlmann, M., Dathe, H.H., Pauly, A., Patiny, S., Terzo, M. & Michez, D. 2016. The bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of the Maltese Islands. Zootaxa 4162(2): 225–244. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4162.2.2. Reference page.
Delphia, C., Griswold, T., Reese, E., O'Neill, K. & Burkle, L. 2019. Checklist of bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) from small diversified vegetable farms in south-western Montana. Biodiversity Data Journal, 7: e30062. DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.7.e30062 Reference page.
Kuhlman, M. & Burrows, S. 2017. Checklist of bees (Apoidea) from a private conservation property in west-central Montana. Biodiversity Data Journal 5: e11506. DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.5.e11506. Reference page.
Park, C.N., Overall, L.M., Smith, L.M., Lagrange, T. & Mcmurray, S. 2017. Melittofauna and Other Potential Pollinators in Wetland and Uplands in South Central Nebraska (Insecta: Apoidea). Zootaxa 4242(2): 255–280. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4242.2.3. Reference page.
Parys, K.A., Griswold, T., Ikerd, H.W., Orr, M.C. 2018. New records and range extensions of several species of native bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) from Mississippi. Biodiversity Data Journal 6: e25230. DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.6.e25230. Reference page.
Rasmussen, C., Schmidt, H.T. & Madsen, H.B. 2016. Distribution, phenology and host plants of Danish bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea). Zootaxa 4212(1): 1–100. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4212.1.1. Reference page.
Varnava, A.I., Roberts, S.P.M., Michez, D., Ascher, J.S., Petanidou, T., Dimitriou, S., Devalez, J., Pittara, M. & Stavrinides, M.C. 2020. The wild bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) of the island of Cyprus. ZooKeys, 924: 1–114. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.924.38328 Open access Reference page.

Vernacular names
Akan: Adowa
Boarisch: Impen
Deutsch: Bienen
eʋegbe: Anyi
English: Bee
français: Abeille
日本語: ミツバチ上科 or ハナバチ上科
Türkçe: Arı

The superfamily Apoidea is a major group within the Hymenoptera, which includes two traditionally recognized lineages, the "sphecoid" wasps, and the bees. Molecular phylogeny demonstrates that the bees arose from within the traditional "Crabronidae", so that grouping is paraphyletic, and this has led to a reclassification to produce monophyletic families.[1]


Bees appear in recent classifications to be a specialized lineage of "crabronid" wasps that switched to the use of pollen and nectar as larval food, rather than insect prey; this makes the traditional "Crabronidae" a paraphyletic group. Accordingly, bees and sphecoids are now all grouped together in a single superfamily, and the older available name is "Apoidea" rather than "Sphecoidea" (which, like Spheciformes, has been used in the past, but also defined a paraphyletic group and has been abandoned).

As bees (not including their wasp ancestors) are still considered a monophyletic group, they are given a grouping between superfamily and family to unify all bees, Anthophila.[2]


Chrysidoidea (cuckoo wasps and allies)

Vespidae (potter wasps, paper wasps, and others)


Pompilidae (spider wasps)

Tiphiidae (paraphyletic)

Scolioidea (scoliid wasps)

Apoidea (spheciform wasps and bees)

Formicoidea (ants)

Phylogenetic position of Apoidea in the Aculeata.[3]

This phylogenetic tree is based on Sann et al., 2018, which used phylogenomics to demonstrate that both the bees (Anthophila) and the Sphecidae arose from within the former "Crabronidae," which is therefore paraphyletic, and which they suggested should be split into several families; the former family Heterogynaidae nests within the Bembicidae, as defined by these authors.[1] These findings differ in several details from studies published by two other sets of authors in 2017, though all three studies demonstrate a paraphyletic "Crabronidae."[4][5]


Ampulicidae (Cockroach wasps) Emerald Cockroach Wasp.JPG

Astatidae Astata boopsDSC05135.JPG

Bembicidae Bembix sp2.jpg

Sphecidae (sensu stricto) Sceliphron spirifex TZ edit1.jpg

Crabronidae (sensu stricto) Ectemnius.lapidarius.-.lindsey.jpg

Mellinidae Mellinus arvensis - Flickr - gailhampshire (1).jpg

Pemphredonidae Pemphredon ? (Crabronidae) - Zwerggrabwespe (11462528464).jpg

Philanthidae P. gibbosus57306787w.jpg

Psenidae Aphid Wasp - Flickr - treegrow (2).jpg


Anthophila (bees) Abeille butineuse et son pollen.JPG


Manuela Sann, Oliver Niehuis, Ralph S. Peters, Christoph Mayer, Alexey Kozlov, Lars Podsiadlowski, Sarah Bank, Karen Meusemann, Bernhard Misof, Christoph Bleidorn and Michael Ohl (2018) Phylogenomic analysis of Apoidea sheds new light on the sister group of bees. BMC Evolutionary Biology 18:71. doi:10.1186/s12862-018-1155-8
Engel, M.S. (2005). Family-group names for bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). American Museum Novitates 3476: 1–33.
Johnson, Brian R.; Borowiec, Marek L.; Chiu, Joanna C.; Lee, Ernest K.; Atallah, Joel; Ward, Philip S. (2013). "Phylogenomics resolves evolutionary relationships among ants, bees, and wasps". Current Biology. 23 (20): 1–5. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.08.050. PMID 24094856.
Branstetter, Michael G.; Danforth, Bryan N.; Pitts, James P.; Faircloth, Brant C.; Ward, Philip S.; Buffington, Matthew L.; Gates, Michael W.; Kula, Robert R.; Brady, Seán G. (2017). "Phylogenomic Insights into the Evolution of Stinging Wasps and the Origins of Ants and Bees". Current Biology. 27 (7): 1019–1025. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.027. PMID 28376325.

Peters, Ralph S.; Krogmann, Lars; Mayer, Christoph; Donath, Alexander; Gunkel, Simon; Meusemann, Karen; Kozlov, Alexey; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Petersen, Malte (2017). "Evolutionary History of the Hymenoptera". Current Biology. 27 (7): 1013–1018. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.01.027. PMID 28343967.

Further reading

Grimaldi, D.; Engel, M.S. (2005). Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-82149-0.
Michener, C.D. (2000). The Bees of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press.

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