The study of bees is called melittology. It’s a branch of Entomology that covers more than 20,000 species of bees under the clade Anthophila. It’s an important branch of science that helps us understand these essential pollinators.
In this article, we’ll learn more about the study of bees as we discuss the following:
- What is melittology?
- Examples of melittological studies
- What bee experts are called
- Notable bee experts
- Melittological societies
What is Melittology?
Melittology is a branch of entomology concerning the scientific study of bees. It provides valuable insights into bee life. Through it, we’ve uncovered fascinating details about these buzzing creatures. 
Here are some important aspects that melittology explores:
- Bee Biology: Melittology studies bees’ anatomy, physiology, and behavior. It delves deep into the biology of bees and informs us of how their bodies and minds work.
- Bee Ecology: Melittology also informs us how bees interact with the environment. This is crucial for conservation efforts and maintaining healthy ecosystems.
- Bee Evolution: Melittology sheds light on bees have adapted over time. It provides us insights into how bees have become successful creatures.
- Bee Systematics: Melittology categorizes and classifies different species of bees. By doing so it provides a framework for understanding their relationships and diversity.
Melittology also consists of subdivisions including the following:
- Apiology: The scientific study of honey bees.
- Apiculture: The study and practice of rearing and keeping honey bees.
What Is the Difference Between Melittology and Apiology?
Millitology and apiology differ in terms of scope. Melittology encompasses all types of bees including bumblebees, honeybees, and solitary bees. It aims to understand the overall behavior and characteristics of bees.
On the other hand, apiology is specifically concerned with honey bees. It delves into the scientific study of honey bees, including their behavior, anatomy, physiology, and social organization.
Simply put, melittology is a superset of apiology.
Examples of the Scientific Study of Bees
To understand the scope of melittology, here are examples of the scientific study of bees:
- Rearing honey bees, Apis mellifera, in vitro I: Effects of sugar concentrations on survival and development
All in all, melittology leads to a variety of discoveries about bees and related species. You can find more of these discoveries through the following resources:
- The journal of Apicultural research
- The American bee journals
- The journal of Melittology
- Journal of Insect Science
What Are Bee Experts Called?
Bee experts are called differently based on the specific aspects of bees they study. Experts that study bees, in general, are called mellitologists. Notable mellitologists include the following:
- William Kirby: The father or founder of entomology. His first major work was the Monographia Apum Angliae or the Monograph on the Bees of England. 
- Charles D Michener: An American entomologist and leading expert on bees. He studied bees worldwide and published his magnum opus, The Bees of the World. In this book, he details the different types of bees all over the world and their behavior. 
- Dave Goulson: A Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex. He specializes in the ecology and conservation of insects, particularly bumblebees. He’s published several books including Bumblebees: Their Behaviour and Ecology. 
What Are the People Who Study Honeybees Called?
On the other hand, experts that specifically study honeybees are called apiologists. Here are some well-known apiologists:
- Charles Butler: Sometimes called the Father of English Beekeeping. He observed the bees produced beeswax instead of collecting them. He was also among the first to assert that drones are male and the queen female. He wrote The Feminine Monarchie, the first English-language book about beekeeping. 
- Johann Dzierzon: Studied the social life of honeybees. He discovered parthenogenesis or asexual reproduction in bees. 
- Karl von Frisch: A Nobel prize winner. His work centered on investigations of the sensory perceptions of the honey bee. He was one of the first to translate the meaning of the waggle dance. 
- Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth: The father of American beekeeping. He invented the modern Langstroth beehive and revolutionized beekeeping worldwide. 
- Robert E. Page, Jr: One of the foremost honey bee geneticists in the world. He’s authored the book The Spirit of the Hive: The Mechanisms of Social Evolution and more than 250 research papers and articles. His work sheds light on the self-organizing regulatory networks of honey bees. 
- Thomas Dyer Seeley: An American Professor based at Cornell University. He studies swarm intelligence by investigating how bees collectively make decisions. He’s authored a number of books in bee behavior including Honeybee Democracy and The Wisdom of the Hive. 
- Karl Kehrle: A prominent beekeeper and authority on bee breeding. He developed the Buckfast bee, the best-known and intentionally bred honey bee. 
Are There Melittological Societies?
Yes, there are melittological societes. Notable ones include the following:
- The British beekeepers association
- The international bee research association
- The German beekeeper’s association
- National Bee Association of New Zealand
These societies play a crucial role in advancing the field of melittology. They promote research, education, and conservation efforts related to bees. They also provide a platform where bee experts and enthusiasts can share knowledge.
These societies also play a vital role in the protection and conservation of bees. Through their initiatives, they contribute to the preservation of these important pollinators. They help ensure the long-term well-being of bees and their ecosystems.
How Can Melittology Contribute to Bee Conservation Efforts?
Melittology contributes to bee conservation efforts by studying bee biology, ecology, and evolution. This knowledge helps us understand the challenges bees face.
With that information, we can then develop effective conservation strategies. For example, studies on how pesticides affect bees give us an idea of which pesticides to avoid and use.
How has Melittology Influenced Beekeeping Practices and Techniques?
Melittology has greatly influenced beekeeping practices and techniques. The discoveries in melittology have led to what beekeeping is today.
For example, well-known melittologist Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth invented the Langstroth beehive in 1852. Up to now, it remains the most common type of beehive used by beekeepers all over the world.
What Is the Most Important Species of Bees?
It goes without saying that all species of bees are important. Regardless of species, they all contribute greatly to the ecosystem. As pollinators they maintain biodiversity, produce food, and contribute to the economy. See this article to learn more about why bees are important.
That said, we humans have a particular interest in honeybees. After all, they are the bees we keep and are the ones that produce our fill of honey. Part of it’s also the fact that honeybees visit and pollinate more flowers than other species.
Summary: Study of Bees
To summarize, the study of bees is called melittology. It’s a study that encompasses different aspects of bee life including biology, ecology, evolution, and systematics. It provides us with a better understanding of bee characteristics and behavior. Through melittology, we can develop sustainable beekeeping practices and strategies for bee conservation.