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Honeybee or Honey Bee?

Honeybee or Honey Bee?

Honey bee on flower
Honeybee or honey bee, w
hich is correct?

This can be a confusing topic, as both “honeybee” and “honey bee” spellings are often found in many documents, articles and websites. So how do you know which is correct?

Examples:

Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley

Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping by Dewey M. Carson & Lawrence John Connor

New York Post- The last honeybee refuge in the US is disappearing

ABC News- Honey bees the first insects to show they understand the idea of zero

ScienceNews- The mystery of vanishing honeybees is still not definitively solved

ScienceDaily- Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees

Bloomberg- Honeybees May Be Dying in Larger Numbers Due to Climate Change

King 5 News- Seattle’s oldest church to house new honey bee hives

National Geographic- Honeybee

National Geographic- 10 facts about honey bees

Honeybee

The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary spells it as one word, honeybee.

Honey Bee

Entomologists use two words if the common name also describes the order to which an insect belongs. For example, house flies are true flies, so spelled with two words. Butterflies are not truly flies, thus spelled as one word. Yellowjackets are not yellow colored clothing, hence spelled as one word. Honey bees are true bees, and as such spelled as two words.

Another example, from Anatomy of the Honey Bee by R. E. Snodgrass, states that Honeybee is the equivalent to “Johnsmith”, while Honey Bee is akin to “John Smith”.

Conclusion

Honeybee is the layman’s spelling and customary in literature, while honey bee is the scientifically correct spelling.

Sources:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honeybee

Anatomy of the Honey Bee by R. E. Snodgrass

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