The superfamily Apoidea is a major group within the Hymenoptera, which includes two traditionally recognized lineages, the "sphecoid" wasps, and the bees.
Bees appear in recent classifications to be a specialized lineage of crabronid wasps that switched to the use of pollen and nectar as larval food, rather than insect prey; this presumably makes the Crabronidae a paraphyletic group. Accordingly, bees and sphecoids are now all grouped together in a single superfamily, and the older available name is "Apoidea" rather than "Sphecoidea" (which, like Spheciformes, has been used in the past, but also defined a paraphyletic group and has been abandoned).
As bees (not including their wasp ancestors) are still considered a monophyletic group, it is still convenient to use a grouping between superfamily and family to unify all bees. A few recent classifications have addressed this problem by lumping all bee families together into a single large family Apidae, though this has not met with widespread acceptance. The alternative classification in more common use is to unite all bees under the name Anthophila (Engel, 2005), which is equivalent to the obsolete name Apiformes (which meant 'bee-like forms' in Latin).
External links 
Media related to Apoidea at Wikimedia Commons
Pittsburg Morning Sun
Sun, 19 May 2013 07:33:46 -0700
I took on thousands of members of the superfamily Apoidea of the order Hymenoptera — aka Italian honeybees — that set up a hive in the second story wall of my Victorian house some years back. This year, like very year since we moved in, passerines ...
Fri, 03 May 2013 10:53:27 -0700
While the Los Angeles Angels would seem like a Apoidea-friendly organization, with a minor league team named after the fuzzy little insect, the bees in Anaheim weren't so kind Thursday. The start of the game between the Angels and the Baltimore Orioles ...
Mother Earth News
Wed, 08 May 2013 11:12:23 -0700
To put our woeful ignorance of bees somewhat in perspective, as of October 2008 several checklists of all the valid bee species names in the world placed the number between 19,342 (Discover Life, Apoidea species) and 19,511 (World Bee Checklist; see ...
U-T San Diego
Fri, 03 May 2013 04:11:38 -0700
Other entertainment will include Apoidea dancers, cultural percussions, Black Bear and the Cheyenne Autumn Band, Chuck Roberts, Jessie Andra Smith, Matt Folkmuse Stone and several others. The colony's cottages will be opened for visitors to talk to the ...
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