Ten bee-eaters lined up on a branch

Bee-eaters (Merops)

Merops is the largest of the three genera of bee-eaters, and includes 23 of the 26 species. These bee-eaters are found in the warmer climes of the Old World, from Europe to Australia, but mostly in Africa. They are brightly coloured birds which catch and eat flying insects. A large proportion of their diet - as the name suggests - is made up of bees and wasps. Bee-eaters remove the sting before they eat their prey by hitting and rubbing it against a hard surface.

Scientific name: Merops

Rank: Genus

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Bee-eaters (Merops) taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Kingfishers and hornbills
  6. Meropidae
  7. Bee-eaters (Merops)