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Sweat Bees

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Sweat Bees

Sweat Bees

Sweat Bees

Sweat bees are small, solitary bees roughly 1/2 inch in length. This particular species is bright, metallic green all over, possessing black antennae.

Female halictids carry pollen on the tibia and femur of their hind legs, except for parasitic species which do not carry pollen at all. Males usually resemble females of the same species except that they are often more slender, do not have scopa and sometimes have a yellow clypeus. Mature larvae are grub-like in appearance, without setae, and usually less than 15 mm long.

Adult sweat bees feed on nectar and pollen and during the summer may be seen with impressive pollen loads on their hind legs as they return to their nest with food for immatures larvae. Founding females dig branching burrows in bare soil . The female provisions cells at the end of each branch of tunnels with pollen balls and nectar. She lays her eggs in the ends of the provisioned tunnels and the developing larvae feed on the balls of pollen and nectar. Sweat bees usually overwinter as larvae or pupae in burrows in the soil.

Sweat Bees

Sweat Bees

Sweat bees are very important pollinators for many wildflowers and crops, including stone fruits, pomme fruits, alfalfa and sunflower. Sweat bee populations can be encouraged with wildflower plantings and by providing nesting areas. Halictids typically nest in bare soil located in a sunny location. Minimum tillage and insecticide use will help to increase populations of Halictidae and other soil nesting bees.

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Beyond Environmental P.C.

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