The Apidae are a large family of bees, comprising the common honey bees, stingless bees (which are also cultured for honey), carpenter bees, orchid bees, cuckoo bees, bumblebees, and various other less well-known groups. The family Apidae presently includes all the genera that were previously classified in the families Anthophoridae and Ctenoplectridae, and most of these are solitary species, though a few are also cleptoparasites. The four groups that were subfamilies in the old family Apidae are presently ranked as tribes within the subfamily Apinae. This trend has been taken to its extreme in a few recent classifications that place all the existing bee families together under the name "Apidae" (or, alternatively, the non-Linnaean clade "Anthophila"), but this is not a widely-accepted practice.
The subfamily Apinae contains a diversity of lineages, the majority of which are solitary, and whose nests are simple burrows in the soil. However, honey bees, stingless bees, and bumblebees are colonial (eusocial), though they are sometimes believed to have each developed this independently, and show notable differences in such things as communication between workers and methods of nest construction. Xylocopines (the subfamily which includes carpenter bees) are mostly solitary, though they tend to be gregarious, and some lineages such as the Allodapini contain eusocial species; most members of this subfamily make nests in plant stems or wood. The nomadines are all cleptoparasites in the nests of other bees.
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