Definition of honeyguide in English:



  • 1A small bird of the Old World tropics which feeds chiefly on beeswax and bee grubs. Two African kinds attract humans and other mammals, especially honey badgers, to bee nests.

    • ‘We also have a lesser honeyguide in our garden forest, a species prone to use woodhoopoes and other hole nesting birds as their host.’
    • ‘But the honeyguide also leads the Boran people of Kenya to the honey nests. Having found a nest, it will, through flight patterns and calls, alert a Boran to send a group to follow the bird to a honey site.’
    • ‘Unlike certain avian brood parasites, such as cuckoos and honeyguides, hatchling brown-headed cowbirds rarely directly destroy or actively displace host eggs and nestlings.’
    • ‘All species of honeyguide eat beeswax and honeycomb.’
  • 2Botany
    A marking on the petal of a flower thought to guide pollinating insects to nectar.

    • ‘Hairs and intricate patterns of dark lines (honeyguides) show the bee the way.’