are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the European honey bee, for producing honey and beeswax.
Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently considered as a clade Anthophila. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families, though many are undescribed and the actual number is probably higher. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants.
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