American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several winged, hairy-bodied, usually stinging insects of the superfamily Apoidea in the order Hymenoptera, including both solitary and social species and characterized by sucking and chewing mouthparts for gathering nectar and pollen.
- n. A bumblebee.
- n. A honeybee.
- n. A social gathering where people combine work, competition, and amusement: a quilting bee.
- idiom. a bee in (one's) bonnet An impulsive, often eccentric turn of mind; a notion.
- idiom. a bee in (one's) bonnet An obsession.
- n. Nautical A bee block.
- n. The letter b.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An insect of the genus Apis; a hive-bee or honey-bee. See Apis. The common honey-bee, A. mellijica, has from the earliest periods been kept in hives for its wax and honey. It is also found wild in great numbers (now especially in North America, where the bee was introduced by the European colonists), storing honey in hollow trees or in other suitable situations. It lives in swarms or societies of from 10,000 to 50,000 individuals. These swarms contain three classes of bees—the perfect females or queen bees, the males or drones, and the imperfect or undeveloped females, called
neuters, constituting the working bees. In each hive or swarm there is only one female or queen, whose sole office is to propagate the species. The queen is much larger than the other bees. When she dies, a young working bee three days old is selected, its cell is enlarged by breaking down the partitions, its food is changed to royal jelly or paste, and it grows into a queen. The queen lays 2,000 eggs a day. The drones serve merely for impregnating the queen, after which they are destroyed by the neuters. These last are the laborers of the hive. They collect the honey, form the cells, and feed the other bees and the young. They are furnished with a proboscis by which they suck the honey from flowers, and a mouth by which they swallow it, conveying it then to the hive in their stomachs, whence they disgorge it into the cells. The pollen of flowers settles on the hairs with which their body is covered, whence it is collected into pellets by a brush on their second pair of legs, and deposited in a hollow in the third pair. It is called bee-bread, and is the food of the larvæ or young. The adult bees feed on honey. The wax was at one time supposed to be formed from pollen by a digestive process, but it is now ascertained that it is formed by secretion from the honey. The females and neuters have a barbed sting attached to a bag of poison, which flows into the wound inflicted by the sting. When a hive becomes overstocked a new colony is sent out under the direction of a queen bee. This is called swarming. Besides the common bee, A. mellifica, there are the A. fascicata, domesticated in Egypt; the A. ligustica, or Ligurian bee of Italy and Greece, introduced generally into apiaries in other lands; the A. unicolor of Madagascar; the A. indica, etc.
- n. Any aculeate hymenopterous insect of the division Mellifera or Anthophila, comprising the families Apidœ and Andrenidœ, and including, besides the hive-bees of the genus Apis, the mason-bees, carpenter-bees, bumblebees, etc. See cuts under Anthophora, carpenter-bee, and Hymenoptera.
- n. An assemblage of persons who meet to engage in united labor for the benefit of an individual or a family, or in some joint amusement: so called from the combined labor of the bees of a hive: as, a quilting-bee, a husking-bee, a spelling-bee, etc.
- n. To be restless or uneasy.
- n. To be somewhat crazy.
- n. A ring of metal, usually an ornament for the arm or neck; a collar or brooch; sometimes, a finger-ring.
- n. Nautical, a ring or hoop of metal through which to reeve stays. See bee-block.
- n. [capitalized] In astronomy, the constellation generally called Apis or Musca.
- n. A flying insect, of the superfamily Apoidea, known for their organised societies, for collecting pollen, and producing wax and honey.
- n. A contest, especially for spelling; see spelling bee.
- n. A gathering for a specific purpose, e.g. a sewing bee or a quilting bee.
- n. obsolete A ring or torque; a bracelet.
- v. Archaic spelling of be.
- n. The name of the Latin script letter B/b.
GNU Webster's 1913
- obsolete p. p. of be; -- used for
- n. (Zoöl.) An insect of the order Hymenoptera, and family
Apidæ(the honeybees), or family Andrenidæ(the solitary bees.) See honeybee.
- n. United States A neighborly gathering of people who engage in united labor for the benefit of an individual or family.
- n. (Naut.) Pieces of hard wood bolted to the sides of the bowsprit, to reeve the fore-topmast stays through; -- called also
- n. any of numerous hairy-bodied insects including social and solitary species
- n. a social gathering to carry out some communal task or to hold competitions
- Variant spellings. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English bēo; see bhei- in Indo-European roots. Sense 2, perhaps alteration of dialectal bean, voluntary help given to a farmer by his neighbors, from Middle English bene, extra service by a tenant to his lord, from Old English bēn, prayer; see bhā-2 in Indo-European roots.Middle English be, a ring, from Old English bēag; see bheug- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“_There is nothing I wouldn't do for a bee -- a reasonable bee_”
“We'll have a bee, and get a lot done, 'Maude said; and she pressed into the _bee_ her father and Dick, and Billy, and Fred”
“Mr. Changizi illustrates his message with charts and graphs and even a readout that shows how the sound measurements for a book striking a table directly or hitting a "wrinkly paper" on a table resemble the measurements for the sound of the author saying the word "bee" and the word "pee.”
“She has planted what she calls a "bee buffet" in her London garden, including lavender, rosemary, thyme and hawthorne, and plans to start keeping bees there soon.”
“Where metheglin was making he would linger round the tubs and vessels, begging a draught of what he called bee-wine.”
“She looks too nice a girl to have been stung by the title bee, that's all. ”
“Just a tip .. the resume tip may work nicely in a magical computerland, where every little worker bee from the boss to the secretary has extensive skills in the arcane and complicated art of clicking a link in an email.”
“The BUZZ adult spelling bee is Oct. 30 – Journal Times”
“Each bee is an intricate model, but scaled down it would be easy to lose a lot of the detail.”
“Smithsonian entomologist David Roubik points out that the stingless bee, rather than non-native species, has been essential to the pollination of tropical forest plants, and when the bee is in peril, so is the local ecology.”
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