All bee-eaters are medium-sized birds with slender bodies, pointed wings and long, slender and slightly decurved bills. Additionally, most of bee eaters eat bees and other hymenopterans. But the white-throated bee-eaters are somewhat different, feasting on primarily flying ants and beetles.
All bee-eaters rely on helpers (usually relatives) to help rear the chicks. They are gregarious and highly social, and a colony can contain more than 100 nests. These birds often touch each other whilst roosting.
The white-throated bee-eater has a white forehead and a thin white band separating the black eye-stripe from the red throat. It also has a deep blue rump, brightly-coloured and -patterned plumage, with green upperparts, red eyes and black beak. Sexes look alike.