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

Subject:  Sweat Bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Silverdale, WA
Date: 09/28/2018
Time: 04:28 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’m not sure if this is a sweat bee (possibly Agapostemon splendens) or some type of Flower loving or Syrphid fly.
It was roughly 1/3 inch in length, give or take a few millimeters.
I’m leaning more towards A. splendens, but to be honest, arachnids and mantises are more my forte.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug aficionado

Striped Sweat Bee

Dear Bug aficionado,
This is definitely a Metallic Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae, and we believe you have the genus
Agapostemon correct as well, however, the species Agapostemon splendens is not found in the Pacific Northwest based on BugGuide data.  Members of the genus Agapostemon are known as the Striped Sweat Bees because, according to BugGuide:  “Males are easier to ID because they have strongly black-and-yellow striped abdomen.”  According to Insect Identification for the Casual Observer:  “There are over a dozen species of Agapostemon Sweat Bees. Males are easier to identity than females because of their distinct coloring. The head and thorax of males are a metallic green, but its abdomen is comprised of the black and yellow bands typically seen in the bee family. Females of many species are mostly green all over. Some species are very social and share nests, while others are more solitary in nature.
Nests are burrows dug into dirt or banks. Pollen grains are collected and placed in each egg’s cell to provide food for the expected larva. For this reason, most sightings of adults occur around in or in gardens and meadows laden with blooms. Spring and summer are peak times of year for activity.
Adults drink flower nectar and eat pollen, and are not aggressive. They will sting in self-defense, however, if they are hit or almost crushed.
Agapostemon Sweat Bees sometimes get close to, or touch parts of, the body that are perspiring. They seem to enjoy drinking the salty liquid off of our skin. Some are so small and lightweight, they are able to do so without the person even realizing it!”  We are making your submission our Bug of the Month for October 2018.

Striped Sweat Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Metallic green bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Belton South Carolina
Date: 07/24/2018
Time: 01:04 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I saw these metallic green and yellow bees on the ground over pile of dirt. What I thought was yellow now I’m thinking that it might be just pollen. But they are not a type of bee that we’ve ever seen around here. Hoping you can help me identify them and wondering if they sting.
How you want your letter signed:  Brenda Bryant

Metallic Sweat Bee Colony

Dear Brenda,
These appear to be Metallic Green Sweat Bees in the family Halicitidae, and though they are solitary bees, they sometimes nest in colonies.  According to BugGuide:  “Typically ground-nesters, with nests formed in clay soil, sandy banks of streams, etc. Most species are polylectic (collecting pollen from a variety of unrelated plants).”  BugGuide also notes:  “A few species are attracted to sweat, and will sometimes sting if disturbed, though the sting is not very painful.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Metallic Green Sweat Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  Powhatan, VA
Date: 09/01/2017
Time: 10:40 AM EDT
I have lived in this area for many years and never noticed this type of bee. My fiance’ planted an African Blue Basil plant that is flourishing and it had a couple dozen of these bees all over it for several days. Quickly identified it through your site. Now I’m hooked on looking up the bugs we have around here. Thank you for the work you do putting this site together.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike Talbert – Powhatan, VA

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Mike,
We were hoping we would find a gorgeous image of an insect we have never featured as Bug of the Month this morning, and your submission is perfect.  Your enthusiasm over sighting this Metallic Green Sweat Bee is refreshing, and your image makes a gorgeous Bug of the Month for September, 2017.  Metallic Green Sweat Bees seem to be attracted to purple flowers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Not a Fly
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 12, 2017 2:42 pm
Hi Bugman,
Like most, I stumbled upon your website looking for the identity of a little buddy I found lazily buzzing through my office.
At first, I thought it was a green bottle fly, but on closer inspection its head resembles that of a wasp’s. It’s also much slower than a housefly–its movements are sluggish in comparison and it seems a lot calmer in general. Even as I type this, it makes no effort to escape it’s tiny (albeit temporary) prison.
Whenever possible, I try to catch and release bugs that end up trapped in my car, home, or office. As such, I applaud your stance on extermination, and appreciate this service you offer the public. It’s nice to see folks passionate about a subject, but it’s even more spectacular when said folks share that passion with others. Thank and keep up the great work!
Signature: Julien

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Julien,
Thank you for your kind words.  You are correct that this is NOT a fly.  This is a Green Metallic Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae, but we do not have the necessary skills to provide a definite species.  According to BugGuide:  “Typically ground-nesters, with nests formed in clay soil, sandy banks of streams, etc. Most species are polylectic (collecting pollen from a variety of unrelated plants)” and “A few species are attracted to sweat, and will sometimes sting if disturbed, though the sting is not very painful.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: White bee with green on head
Location: Los Angeles
July 13, 2017 10:19 am
Found this here at my house in Los Angeles what???
Love to send a picture.
Signature: Linda Holler

Metallic Green Sweat Bee

Dear Linda,
This is a Metallic Green Sweat Bee, similar to the one in this BugGuide image, but we are unable to provide you with a species name.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Armored fly
Location: uruguay
December 9, 2016 10:29 am
Hello, this little guy looked very tough, brilliant green, and really loud when airborne. Thanks
Signature: Louis

Sweat Bee

Sweat Bee

Dear Louis,
Unfortunately, the most specific we can get with your identification is to inform you that this is a Sweat Bee in the family Halictidae.  Though your species is most likely different from North American species, you can still see BugGuide for information on the family.  We suspect your individual is a Metallic Green Sweat Bee in the genus
Agapostemon based on its resemblance to North American species pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination