Observation indicates that honeybees can learn the characteristics of nestmates and can discriminate nestmates from other bees, as well as from members of other species. The simplest evidence for this comes from nest defence: guard bees attempt to exclude robbing bees but allow nestmates 10 enter the colony: and a queen introduced to a colony must be protected while workers learn to recognize her. Recent work by Rob Page. Wayne Getz, Rolf Boch, Roger Morse and myself, has added considerable insight into how recognition is accomplished by workers. In this paper I review the recent and early work on recognition and discuss the applied significance of such knowledge to beekeeping practice.