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  1. #1
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    Default "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Since this topic was off topic in another thread, I decided to give everyone a new place to express their thoughts on the matter.

    I never forgot what Adrian Wenner shared about this topic many years ago. He said:

    ". . . may I quote from an opening statement in a book I published in 1971 (THE BEE LANGUAGE CONTROVERSY: AN EXPERIENCE IN SCIENCE): "My spelling of 'honey bee' follows the tradition in entomology." That is, if an insect really is what we know it to be, we use two words (e.g., honey bee, hover fly, bot fly, rove beetle) By contrast, if an insect falls outside what we consider common sense (e.g., butterfly, dragonfly), we reflect that situation by using only one word (a dragonfly is neither a dragon nor a real fly!).

    Unfortunately, standard dictionaries follow no such tradition, causing those of who are authors much grief!

    Someday I hope those who write dictionaries straighten out their act!"
    Regards, Barry

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Worth noting that this seems to be an American rule, and it is adopted by professional entomologists in our country but mostly ignored by everyone else.

    For example, the Bed Bug is a true bug and it should be spelled as two words. But people say bedbug all the time.

    Honeybee is widely regarded as incorrect on our continent, but not in the UK. See this British report on CCD:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...lds-crops.html

    Linnean taxonomy was invented precisely so we wouldn't have to argue over these issues. When in doubt, use Apis mellifera.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Wild;679219}

    For example, the Bed Bug is a true bug and it should be spelled as two words. But people say bedbug all the time.

    Honeybee is widely regarded as incorrect on our continent, but not in the UK. See this British report on CCD:

    When in doubt, use [I
    Apis mellifera[/I].
    Why wouldn't bedbug be correct since bed bugs are found mostly in beds? It is splitting hairs either way and most could care less.
    And is it really correct to say apis mellifera when we may not know for sure if they might be related to apis melifera mellifera? After all both are honeybees or is it honey bees?!
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    There is an awful lot of hairsplitting that goes on in the forums. I have learned in the short time that I have been posting that you had better have your I's dotted, your t's crossed and your facts straight, are somebody here will eat your lunch and throw your carcass to the wolves. If you are a treatment beek, you can not ever say the T.F. words. Yep, valleyman, so much to learn, so little time!! TED

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Honey Bee or Honeybee ?

    Who cares, as long as Google thinks it is same word (it does).

    Don't we have much more important bee problems in the last few decades?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    byron, Are you in Arizona or Australia? I'm just curious, because of the way you didn't capitalize your loaction names. If you are in Arizona, I hope you have AC.

    Or maybe you are in Arkansas?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    I caught the last few minutes of such a discussion on NPR recently and the host said something like; these grammar rules help to keep the message clear. So, in my NSHO, separating honey from the bee would distinguish there are other types of bees.

    Honey bee it is!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    *****
    Last edited by byron; 06-30-2011 at 09:00 AM. Reason: Just thought I'd delete my own post and beat the mods to it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    1. When posts are edited (especially by mods), the meaning often changes...which is bad if you've been careful to say what you mean in the first place. I think after a few edits, most posters would rather see their posts deleted rather than edited by a mod.

    2. We gave this some thought when writing a book. Undoubtedly there is a case to be made that "honey bee" is correct. With that said, the folks that write dictionaries are followers, not leaders...they write about how people are using words. I prefer how "honeybee" looks on the page, and it is usually spoken as one word (not two). Most importantly, regardless of right or wrong, neither usage will lead to a misunderstanding.

    deknow

  10. #10
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Most importantly, regardless of right or wrong, neither usage will lead to a misunderstanding.
    But it has, apparently, even though we are not permitted to discuss it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    I don't care what the proper spelling is, I use "Honey Bees" on my internet place page though, because anybody who has a swarm to catch that does a computer search with word "bee" or "bees" in it, within 30 miles of my home, it pops up my name (had over 20 swarm calls this year so far).

    Don

  12. #12
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    I don't care what the proper spelling is.
    I have to stay on topic by mentioning the spelling of honey bees but this thread was intended to continue a previous discussion, which didn't really pertain to the spelling of honey bees, but was more centered on the contention by someone that "honey bees" (two words) could refer to bees from a genus other than Apis.

    Myself, I would think it logical to have either the scientifically correct "honey bees" or the sometimes used (even in some dictionaries) "honeybees" both refer to just the Apis Mellifera.

    My reason: In writing, if you want to say that honey bee and Honeybee are different animals, that might be somewhat workable, but imagine in a verbal discussion, if you said, "When were the first honey bees discovered in the Western Hemisphere?" and someone had to stop you and say, "Wait, do you mean Honeybee, one word capital "H"? or two words, no capitalization?" It would be like two twin brothers, one named Shawn and the other named Sean. In writing they'd know who you meant, but if you shouted it out loud, they wouldn't know who you wanted.

    If someone wants to say "all bees who make honey are honey bees," we would have to call bumblebees honey bees. If you then split more hairs and said, "Only bees who are used by humans to produce honey," then someone would say that a 14 million year old fossil found in Nevada isn't technically a honey bee because no humans used that species to produce honey, since humans hadn't evolved/come here on spaceships/been created by God/whatever yet.

    So again, it's not the spelling that anyone was debating, per se, it's whether or not stingless bees, specifically, who are not in the genus Apis should be considered a true honey bee. Science and scientific naming conventions say nope, a forum member here disagrees.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    I think you and WLC have made your points quite clear. Stating them over and over again, while poking each other gets us nowhere. Not that this will really be settled here anyway. The way things are said and written is a convention, much larger than those who post on beesource.com.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    sqkcrk:

    My point is still this: those conventions are meaningless when honey bees have been kept by indigenous people for thousands of years. It's just that those honey bees are Melipona and Trigona, and not Apis. Who would you side with: beekeepers who have a long history of producing honey from bees, or a recently formed U.S. based organization?

    What's really funny is that these beekeepers aren't even in the U.S., and we don't really have many Trigona or Melipona around (as far as I know). Why is a U.S. organization naming other people's bees?

    I can't explain it.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    I hope the mod will leave this up long enough for it to get it's point across. Most of us on here could care less about whether honeybee is one word or two. But we do enjoy a LITTLE sparring in good humor. What we don't enjoy is when two or more highly intelluctials try to outwit each other. Most of us are on here to learn to and help others keep honeybees. We enjoy doing this and will keep on, learning hopefully from the highly educated intelluctials also, about how to keep bees whether it be honey or others.
    Sincerely Brent Cook
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Well, on a lighter note: the ESA has a membership of over 6,000.

    Nice, huh?

    However, Beesource has over 14,000 members.

    So, technically, Beesource outweighs the ESA by a wide margin.

    Does this mean that Beesource members get to make definitions and name species as well?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    sqkcrk:
    Who would you side with: beekeepers who have a long history of producing honey from bees, or a recently formed U.S. based organization?

    I can't explain it.
    Under most circumstances, when I am talking about honey bees, I am talking about bees in my hives or bees like those in my hives, not bees like mallipona or the other ones. In my mind I don't see spelling. So, it could be honeybee(s) or honey bee(s) or Honeybees. For some reason beyond reason, when I capitalize the word it contracts from two words to one. But, I don't think I am consistant about it anymore than I am about anything else.

    I would say that mostly when I talk about Honeybees or honey bees in no way am I talking about Bumblebees or other honey producing bees. Were I talking about them I would name them, bumblebees or mallipona aka stingless bees.

    Do mallipona keepers refer to their mallipona as abejas? Bees? Or as abejas de miel? Bees of honey? Or miel abejas? Honey bees? Do they call themselves bee keepers? Are mallipona bees? Do threy have ploumous hairs covering their bodies?

    En Espanol, Miel de Abejas translates into Honey in English. In English we don't distinguish that the honey came from Bees. Where else would it have come from? Honeybee Honey is kinda redundant, in English. But, apparently it is not in Spanish, thus "Honey of Bees"/Miel de Abejas.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    ...a grape looks like a "blue berry", not a blueberry (they sound different when spoken).

    If you order pasta with "red sauce", are you expecting a sauce made of tomatoes, or one made of maraschino cherries?

    deknow

  19. #19
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Does this mean that Beesource members get to make definitions and name species as well?
    When we get to 15,000 members, we'll get to rename planets as well!
    Regards, Barry

  20. #20
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    Default Re: "Correct" spelling of honey bee (honeybee)

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Do they call themselves bee keepers? Are mallipona bees? .
    The Guatemalan illiteracy rate is 35%, and much higher in the rural areas, so the majority of indigenous beekeepers there can't even spell "honey bee" in their own language, much less Spanish, English, or Latin. We don't try to control what they call anything, and we don't much care. ESA was tasked with creating the naming convention for what we call insects in the U.S.A. Nobody is denying anyone the right to call anything anything in their own countries, and nobody is denying that beekeeping has been practiced there for a long time.

    I don't know why stingless bees weren't put in the Apis genus, but they weren't. And that means, according to science, they aren't considered true honey bees.

    To brush that away by claiming that entomologists are clueless about bees, science is racist and that we should have consulted jungle natives about which genus their bees should be placed in is just not logical, to me. That doesn't mean WLC is a bad person or dumb, it just means, in my opinion, that he is being driven to his conclusions by something other than logic.

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