Currently viewing the category: "Sweat Bees"

Orchid Bee in North Carolina?
April 21, 2010
Hi WTB!
I love your site! I can finally ask someone about the critters I’ve been photographing in my yard. This little green bee was crawling on a lighter on my table one day. It was beautiful and I just had to find out what kind it was. At first I thought it was a Green Metallic Bee, but it didn’t look exactly like one. Then I thought maybe it was an Orchid Bee, but I didn’t think they came as far north as Charlotte, NC. Could you please tell me what kind of bee this is? I’d love to see more of them in my garden. Maybe if I plant their favorite flowers they’ll stick around!
Thanks so much. This site is in my top 10 favorite sites ever!
Rebecca White

Charlotte, NC

Metallic Sweat Bee

Dear Rebecca,
This is a Metallic Sweat Bee, probably in the genus Augochlorini, though the family Halictidae is quite confusing for us.  We matched your bee to a photo on BugGuide.  BugGuide also indicates that it is difficult to differentiate between the three genera Ausochlora, Augochlorella and Augochloropsis. Read Full Article →

Agapostemon Texanus?
Hey there! Some internet research pointed to Agapostemon Texanus – does this sound right? I live in Portland, Oregon and have never seen these before. If it is, it looks like their range is nation wide. These guys appear to be somewhat common on your site.
Also, most sites I’ve seen have been primarily concerned with identification. I’m interested in a bit more, like where they nest, behavioral patterns, etc. Any good links you can recommend? Thanks!

This is a Metallic Green Bee in the genus Agapostemon, but we are not certain the species is texanus. BugGuide shows reports from the west coast of Canada, Washington state and California. Despite now having any submissions from Oregon, we would take an educated guess that Agapostemon texanus can also be found there. Hogue writes: “They nest in tubular burrows dug in the ground, often in clayh banks.”

A couple for you . .
Dear Bugman,
I love your nickname. I know (by Internet) a retired priest who’s nickname is the same because he does bugs for fun too! We live in western South Dakota just east of Rapid City, NOT in the Black Hills. I have two for you, one I think I have identified from your web site as metallic green bees, pollinating our sunflowers. They were everywhere when our sunflowers were in full spate! The other is a mystery – the closest I have gotten is that by “insect definitions” (which I know very little about) is that this is some kind of fly because it only has one pair of wings. There are actually two pictures taken on different days. Both were sucking on early sunflowers along with some (YOW!) yellowjacket wasps which I manged to avoid, phew! The closest on your site was a Bee Fly, and these were definitely not eating bees! These pretty much ignored me as when I took these macros, they did not move! One appears to onlt have on set of legs, but the second picture reveals three pairs. Bless you for a fantasic site, and not just for kids!!!
Diane in South Dakota

Hi Diane,
You sent us three copies of the Metallic Sweat Bees in the genus Agapostemon. The photo is wonderful.

Location:  “Dirt” Burnell, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
We found this beautiful Sweat Bee busily gathering honey and pollen from a wild artichoke in the canyon today. These are solitary bees with metallic green bodies. They nest in a tubular burrow dug in the ground, often in clay banks. They are members of the genus Augochlorella.

ed. Note: (09/06/2004) Eric just wrote in: “The metallic sweat bee is probably an Agapostemon sp. rather than whatever the current name on it is, but they are hard to separate without the specimen in hand.”

(06/07/2004) Are we really a USA Today Hot Site?

Saw your web site – Hot Site from USA Today.
Just shot this last weekend.. The bees were going crazy over this bush in my yard.. Didn’t mind me one bit. It was amazing to me to see how much this bee had stuck to it.
Cheers,
John

Thanks for the Honey Bee photo John.