(1) A honey bee (also spelled honeybee) is a eusocial flying insect within the genus Apis of the bee clade, all native to Eurasia. They are known for their construction of perennial colonial nests from wax, the large size of their colonies, and surplus production and storage of honey, distinguishing their hives as a prized foraging target of many animals, including honey badgers, bears and human hunter-gatherers. Only eight surviving species of honey bee are recognized, with a total of 43 subspecies, though historically 7 to 11 species are recognized. Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the roughly 20,000 known species of bees.
(2) The best known honey bee is the western honey bee (Apis mellifera), which has been domesticated for honey production and crop pollination; the only other domesticated bee is the eastern honey bee (Apis cerana), which occurs in South Asia. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, and have been kept by humans for that purpose, including the stingless bees, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees. Modern humans also value the wax for use in making candles, soap, lip balms, and various cosmetics.