What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

found this bee?
I am not sure what type or even if this is a bee, but was is a very pretty one, I have noticed them more and more lately, is it a coincidence that these bees(?) started showing up around my yard after for the most part all regular honey bees have pretty much stopped? I have lots of them around, my daughter loves looking at them, also I would like to know if I should be worried about her trying to catch one? Do they sting/bite

Hi Sabrina,
This is a Metallic Green Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae. They will sting, but it is very mild. We don’t know what to say about their recent appearance except perhaps you never noticed them before. We have gotten one request recently regarding why these green bees are attracted to purple flowers and your image is just one more example of this common occurrance. Eric Eaton provided this information: “The metallic green sweat bee is a male in the genus Agapostemon. They are common and widespread semi-social bees. Eric”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

15 Responses to Metallic Green Sweat Bee

  1. Crystal says:

    Thank you so much for the info. I have recently found these bees in my yard. We bought this house 3 years ago and have never seen them before. We recently planted 4 o’clocks that are pink and these bees seem to like them. But bees are all metallic green, and never seeing them before we wanted to make sure that they weren’t poisenes. But after reading this we feel better. I also stepped on a bee the other day and since it didn’t leave a stinger and it didn’t swell much (but still hurt!), it must have been this. Thanks again

  2. Gabriella says:

    I found this bug in my yard and i want to know if they sting or not

  3. arelyn says:

    My son and I would like to disagree with the word mild being used to describe this sting. He was helping his father pick up kindling and disturbed a hive. They flew up his pants and he has quite a few stings on his legs and keeps dancing/writhing in pain. I got one sting on my thumb while stripping his clothes off and it hurts terribly and keeps shooting from the tip of my thumb down into my arm and over into my other fingers. Maybe these guys have particularly potent venom compared to the norm. All I know is describing this as mild is misleading.

    • bugman says:

      Pain tolerance is different from person to person, and when attributing a numerical rank for pain in the emergency room, one person’s 2 may be another person’s 9. Metallic Green Sweat Bees do sting. According to Answers.com: “Though sweat bees are seen as a nuisance because of their attraction to human perspiration, their sting is not as painful as other species, and they are often seen as beneficial for their pollination of crops and flowers.” According to BugGuide: “A few species are attracted to sweat, and will sometimes sting if disturbed, though the sting is not very painful.” According to Bee Informed: “You may be wondering where they get the name ‘sweat bee.’ While they do feed on pollen and nectar, the bee is also attracted to human perspiration. Yum. A light brush will dislodge them and they will most likely not bother you again, however if you do happen to get stung it is not a painful as that of a honey bee. Male sweat bees, common with Apis species, also do not sting. So although the bees can be annoying in the heat of the summer, they are really nothing to worry about, rather they are just another important pollinator that helps to keep our ecosystem running smoothly.”

    • Morty says:

      My daughter also got stung, she said it burned for quite a while.

  4. Carl says:

    I just seen one today and they are very beautiful. St. Petersburg Florida 12/19/14

    • bugman says:

      Since you are writing from Florida, we would not rule out the possibility that you saw a Green Orchid Bee, a neotropical species that has become established in Florida since the early years of the twenty-first century.

  5. jazzy31 says:

    I live on the Florida East coast in St Lucie County. We have lots of these bees , they do seem to like the purple flowers.

    Does anyone know where and when they originated?

    • bugman says:

      Metallic Sweat Bees are native, but in Florida, you might be encountering the subtropical Orchid Bee which was introduced or naturally expanded its range in around 2002.

  6. Schwich4 says:

    I got stung by one 3 times and all 3 areas are red swollen and itchy days after? The only reason I think it was this bed is because I found it in my shirt after feeling the stings. Is this a normal reaction to this sting?

  7. Katie says:

    I got stung on the knee at a friend’s house .. I didn’t even know this bee was ok never my pants till it stung me and I actually thought it was a weird looking ant.. I got stung yesterday and it’s still itching badly today and atitle swollen and red.. and on top.of that I’m sick too

  8. Tery says:

    I just found a mound in my lawn that these bees are living in. They are quite lovely, but around here, bees in the ground usually mean yellow jackets – and that is bad news. Are they agresssive bees, or should be just give them space and let them be?

  9. Tanya Bahrman says:

    I just discover I have these bees they are all over my raspberry bushes. I had to wait for one to land so I could see what it was they are very fast and didn’t mind me watering . I live in Portland Oregon

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