While there are over 20,000 species in the bee family (Apoidea), most are solitary not social, and bee-keeping in Africa is concerned almost exclusively with Apis mellifera L., which is also the common honeybee of Europe. Bee-keeping is practised throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa and also in North Africa. It is locally important in the economy of many regions, and the technology and management practices of some areas are complex and highly diversified. It is this last aspect which much of the existing literature on bee-keeping in Africa has tended to be missed or distorted largely as a result of ill-considered speculation by Eurocentric bee scientists.