Subject: bug identification
Location: Howrah, West Bengal, India
July 25, 2015 12:10 am
these photographs are of a type of bee I guess. They were sucking honey from sacred basil flowers. I shall be grateful if you can provide me with further details.
Signature: Sreeradha Seth
Based on its similarity to North American species including this image on BugGuide, we believe this is a Metallic Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae, but alas, we were not able to find any similar images from India on the internet. We did uncover this technical article including species from the family found in India, but it has no illustrations. Metallic Sweat Bees are solitary bees with each female producing her own underground nest. Your images are beautiful.
Correction: June 22, 2016
We just approved the following comment from Akshay.
The bee in this photograph isn’t of the Halictidae family, but actually belongs to family Apidae.
More specifically, it’s a small carpenter bee, i.e. genus Ceratina: