Currently viewing the category: "Sweat Bees"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Green Orchid Bee
Location: 76016 Arlington, TX
November 29, 2014 2:50 pm
This was taken today in Arlington, TX. We’ve seen several of these today humming around the garden. Temps are unseasonably warm, but will cool down tomorrow.
Signature: Lisa Parisot

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Lisa,
To the best of our knowledge, the Green Orchid Bee is not found in Arlington, Texas.  It is an introduced species and according to BugGuide it is a member of a:  “neotropical group, with 1 sp. established in so. FL and recorded from southernmost TX (Brownsville)”
  This is a Metallic Green Sweat Bee in the subfamily Halictinae, and you can read more about them on BugGuide where it states:  “Most species nest in burrows in banks or in the ground (Augochlora uses partially rotten logs). Some are primitively eusocial; in such cases usually a female guards the entrance to the burrow by plugging it with her head. Generally the main burrow is vertical; it sends horizontal branches, each branch ending in a solitary cell.”  It can be very difficult to identify Metallic Green Sweat Bees to the genus or species level from images. 

Bea Oliver, Amy Gosch, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Sue Dougherty, Jessica M. Schemm, Silvia Ceroni liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: green bee
Location: Denver CO
June 8, 2014 12:17 pm
There has appeared in my buffalo grass lawn several dirt mounds that at first seem to be larger steep ant hills, but today I saw these colorful bees going in and out. Are they natives?
Signature: Jeanette

Metallic Sweat Bee

Metallic Sweat Bees

Hi Jeanette,
These beautiful, little, native bees are known as Metallic Sweat Bees, most likely in the genus
Agapostemon, based on images posted to BugGuide.  Of the subfamily Halictinae, BugGuide notes:  “Most species nest in burrows in banks or in the ground (Augochlora uses partially rotten logs). Some are primitively eusocial; in such cases usually a female guards the entrance to the burrow by plugging it with her head. Generally the main burrow is vertical; it sends horizontal branches, each branch ending in a solitary cell.”  One of your images illustrates a Metallic Sweat Bee flying toward a hole that has its opening plugged by the head of another bee.

OK, I guess I have seen both small and larger sweat bees in the yard.  I’ll try to get some better photos.  I’m seeing several different kinds of bumblebees also.
Thank you Daniel,
Jeanette

Metallic Sweat Bee

Metallic Sweat Bee

Wonderful Daniel!  I noticed that each opening of the three or four there would often have a bee in it, I kept waiting to try to get a good picture, but they would duck back down.  I have lots of mostly native flowers blooming in my yard right now, it is delightful to get native insects too.
I always thought sweat bees, or what we called sweat bees, were not as large as these.  These are closer to the size of honey bees ( though these in the picture are smaller than honey bees) .  Sorry I didn’t have anything to compare it to in the picture.
Thank you for your good work,
Jeanette

Hi Jeanette,
Some species of Sweat Bees are quite small.  Bee Informed lists their size range as between 1/4 and 3/4 inch.

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Metallic Sweat bees
Location: SW Nassau County, NY
February 3, 2014 11:14 am
Hi Guys,
Working on my photo exhibit I am looking at a Metallic Sweat bee with green head and thorax and striped yellow/black abdomen. There is a characteristic I don’t see mentioned in your previous evaluations about which I’d like to know your thinking. This bee’s wings, at rest, are broadly parted, while other bees you’ve talked about held their wings tight against the body. It is on a sunflower. Taken in July 2011.
Signature: Carl F

Sweat Bee

Sweat Bee

Hi Carl,
My what a small and low resolution image you have sent to us.  While resting with wings folded over the body is the typical position used by Sweat Bees while visiting flowers, as you can see from this image on BugGuide, parted wings do represent a possibility.  Perhaps your particular Sweat Bee had just alighted, or it was just preparing to take flight.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possibly a wasp?
Location: Melbourne Victoria Australia
January 25, 2014 12:57 am
Hi there,
Saw this on my bush in my garden, at first i thought it was a group of seeds, until i looked closer, just wondering what they were, and if they were anything to worry about.
Location: Australia, Melhourne, Eastern Suburbs
Season: Second Month Summer
Sorry if the photos are not great, very bright day so was hard to get one that wasnt overexposed a little
Signature: Curious

Bachelor Party of Longhorned Bees

Bachelor Party of Sweat Bees

Dear Curious,
This is a Bachelor Party of male Longhorned Bees in the tribe Eucerni, but we are not certain of the species.  Male Bees do not sting, so they pose no threat to you.  You can see similar images of Bachelor Parties from North America in our archives.

Update:  February 5, 2014
We got a comment that these might be male Green and Gold Nomia Bees,
Lipotriches australica, a type of Sweat Bee that also exhibits this Bachelor Party behavior in Australia.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What are these bees?
Location: Cleveland, OH
September 11, 2013 5:47 pm
Hi Bugman,
These guys have been all over my rose mallow flowers for the last few days in the evening (5-7pm). They zip around quickly until they decide on a flower, spend about 10-20 seconds inside, and emerge covered in pink pollen. They are about 3/4 inch long. They don’t seem to be very interested in the other kinds of flowers in the yard. This is in Cleveland, OH, about a half mile from Lake Erie, on the side of the house facing the lake. It has also been very warm here for the last couple of days — upper 80/lower 90 temps. Thanks very much for your help!
Signature: Laura

Metallic Sweat Bee

Metallic Sweat Bee

Dear Laura,
This is a Metallic Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae.  There are numerous species that look quite similar.  See BugGuide for additional information.  Here is a Metallic Sweat Bee sent in exactly two years ago that reminds us very much of your image.

Hi again, I do think I’ve now managed to identify these as Metallic Sweat Bees, thanks to your wonderfully informative site.

Metallic Sweat Bee

Metallic Sweat Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Colorful Wasps of Summer
Location: Central Maryland, USA
August 27, 2013 10:04 am
Bugman, the wasps and bees really like this particular hemlock weed with many colorful varieties visiting it today. Looks like a Metallic Sweat Bee, a Digger Wasp, and one other black/white wasp. Would the black wasp with white bands possibly be a type of Mason Wasp?
Signature: Roger S.

Metallic Sweat Bee

Metallic Sweat Bee

Hi Roger,
Generally we don’t like making postings with diverse insects, but all your pollinators are in the order Hymenoptera, and they are all visiting the same blossoms for the same reason, to feed on nectar, so we are making an exception.  We agree with your identifications of the Metallic Sweat Bee which looks very much like this image on BugGuide, and the Digger Wasp,
Scolia dubia.

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

The third wasp is most likely a Potter Wasp and we believe it is in the genus Eumenes, which you can find pictured on BugGuide, however, we were not able to confirm a species identification.

Potter Wasp

Potter Wasp

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination