Small Sweat Bees

Small Sweat Bee, Lasioglossum spp. Most of the species nest underground. They emerge in mid spring and will forage throughout the summer. They are generalists and will forage on a wide variety of plants.

Because of their small size they are often mistaken for flies as they swarm sometimes in their hundreds over flowers in gardens or meadows, visiting a variety of plants. The different species are also often difficult to distinguish. The males often have a distinct yellow face, which is a common trait among many species of bees. They have extended hairy hind legs, which often make people mistake some of the bigger species for bumblebees. The hairs on their legs collect pollen which is carried back to the nest, while also pollinating the plants they visit.

Small Sweat Bee
Habitat: Woodland, gardens and orchards
Development: Complete metamorphosis
Food: Herbivore
Flight Period: All summer
Description: Hair sparse. Abdomen usually without white hair bands. Head and thorax often weakly metallic.
Length: 3 - 9 mm

Many species are solitary, that is, the female builds and occupies its nest alone. This is considered the basic, most primitive nesting behavour. In some sweat bee species, females nest communally, sharing a common nest entrance but constructing cells individually.

The males bite or pinch, while the females sting when pinched or removed roughly from the skin as it collects salt from our skin. The sting from a sweat bee however is much less painful than that from a honey bee.

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