Definition of bee in English:

bee

Line breaks: bee
Pronunciation: /biː
 
/

noun

1 (also honeybee or hive bee) A stinging winged insect which collects nectar and pollen, produces wax and honey, and lives in large communities.
  • Four species in the genus Apis, family Apidae, in particular the widespread A. mellifera
More example sentences
  • Even accounting for native bee pollinators, honeybees still do most of the pollinating of fruits and vegetables in your garden.
  • As with any type of wasp, bee, or yellow jacket, please exercise care to avoid getting stung!
  • Of all the types of bees, honeybees have several advantages as pollinators.
2An insect of a large group to which the honeybee belongs, including many solitary as well as social kinds.
  • Superfamily Apoidea, order Hymenoptera: several families, often now placed in the single family Apidae
More example sentences
  • It's an example of self-organizing cooperative behavior, and it's found among ants, bees, and other social insects.
  • So that touching and feeling is a shared characteristic between honey bees and stingless bees.
  • There are over 30,000 species of bees and in most of them the bees live solitary lives.
3 [with modifier] A meeting for communal work or amusement: a sewing bee
More example sentences
  • There will be an emergency quilting bee to make them a wedding quilt tomorrow at the Torger's house, but only certain families are being asked to come.
  • The old-time quilting bee is well remembered, although most quilts were actually solo products.
  • I've been so busy being investigated, preparing for this lynch bee starting tomorrow that I hadn't had an opportunity to…

Origin

Old English bēo, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bij and German dialect Beie.

Phrases

the bee's knees

informal An outstandingly good person or thing.
[first used to denote something small and insignificant, transferred to the opposite sense in US slang]
More example sentences
  • I hope she'll look back and realise there were 10 other people in that house who all thought she was the bee's knees.
  • It was pale blue crepe with a cowl neckline and quite fitted with cuffed sleeves and a necklace made of white beads - I thought I was the bee's knees in it.
  • It's the bee's knees, the dog's tuxedo, I absolutely love it.

have a bee in one's bonnet

informal Be preoccupied or obsessed with something: the country gets a bee in its bonnet about some failing in schools
More example sentences
  • I have a bee in my bonnet about the oil and gas industry.
  • Regular readers will know I have a bee in my bonnet about innovative spins on tarte tatin.
  • Milbank has a bee in his bonnet over the president's exercise regimen.

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