Sunday, June 11, 2017

Green Sweat Bee

At this time of year, we should be seeing butterflies fluttering all over the place, yet I have only seen one mourning cloak butterfly, and that was several weeks ago. There are very few bees as well.
Green Sweat Bee, female
As I stood in front of my rhododendron, I heard the familiar buzzing of a few bumblebees. As I searched the flowers, I came upon this green sweat bee. Its metallic coloring really caught my eye and I just had to snap a few photos of it. I used my 100mm lens, hand-held, but the photos aren't the best. It was very windy and the flowers were swaying this way and that, which was compounded by the fact that the bee was zipping around as well;-) I had to wait for small moments of stillness to shoot the photos.
Metallic Green Sweat Bee, female
I watched the bee as she flew from one stamen to the next, gathering pollen.
Metallic Green Sweat Bee, female with pollen stuck to the hairs on her legs
Green Sweat Bees (genus Agapostemon) are mostly solitary bees that generally live alone in small holes in the ground, or sometimes in bark. The pollen will be food for the baby bees that hatch from the brood cells that this female will raise. How do I know this is a female bee? Well, in this species, the females have solid green abdomens whereas the males have striped, black and yellow abdomens. By the way, this species of Agapostemon is not attracted to human sweat as other members of this genus are.
Metallic Green Sweat Bee, female
These bees are common throughout North America. I sure am glad that we have them as they are important pollinators.

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