Green Metallic/Sweat Bees

Family Halictidae
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What do green metallic/sweat bees look like?

a single green metallic sweat bee in arizona

Sweat bees are brightly colored metallic green or blue bees. Some have black and yellow stripes on their abdomens while others are entirely bright green or blue. They range in size from 4 to 15 millimeters. 

Life cycle of the sweat bee

Complete metamorphosis

Adult sweat bees will lay an egg in a burrow and collect pollen back for the larva to feed on once hatched.  Pupation occurs during the winter completing development their second year.  These solitary bees will live independently, not depending on a colony for their survival.

Habits of sweat bees

  • Diet: Adults feed on flower nectar.
  • Activity: Typically seen in summer.
  • Preferred Climate: Warm
  • Defense: Rarely sting but will if provoked
  • Cautions: Attracted to human and animal sweat
  • Home Invasion: Will infest yards if barren creating small mounds with an opening at the top. In some cases, large clusters will be created of these mounds as this solitary bee will often be living in large clusters (aggregations) when prime conditions exist. This can be intimidating to the homeowner.

Are sweat bees dangerous?

Bee stings can produce different reactions, ranging from temporary pain and discomfort to a severe allergic reaction. 

Where do sweat bees nest?

Nearly all sweat bees nest in the ground; a few nest in rotten wood. 

Helpful hints about sweat bees

Properly fertilizing and watering your lawn promotes healthy turf and discourages sweat bees. If you have a large population of sweat bees on your property, professional pest control is recommended. 

Interesting facts about sweat bees

Aptly named, sweat bees are attracted to human and animal sweat. They will land on bodies to collect sweat droplets. 

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