There are about 20,000 known species of bees.
The ones that most beekeepers keep are the world's most populous bee, the European honey bee. The scientific name Apis Mellifera means 'honey-bearing bee'. Apis is Latin for 'bee' and mellifera comes from Latin melli 'honey' and ferre ' to bear'. The name Apis Mellifera was given by Carolus Linnaeus himself in 1758. Linnaeus later realised that bees do not bear honey, but rather they bear nectar and so he tried to fix it to 'honey-making bee' (Apis mellifica) ...but the older name had precedence.