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Lasioglossum Bee

Lasioglossum spp.

Lasioglossum Bee, Sweat Bee, Base-Banded Furrow Bee

Day 85 - Sweat Bee - Lasioglossum species, Leesylvania State Park, Woodbridge, Virginia

by Judy Gallagher. CC BY 2.0

A insect on the ground
Lasioglossum is a genus of sweat bees. They're called sweat bees after their weird attraction to the smell of human sweat! Lasioglossum holds over a whopping 1700 known species around the world, making it the largest bee genus. Many species are solitary or communal. Solitary means that the female will care for young alone; communal meaning 2 or 3 female bees will share the nesting site and care for young together. Some are parasitic, stealing the nests of other bees. Most are ground-nesting, but some will nest in things like deadwood and tree branches. Most are generalist pollinators, pollinating a variety of crops and wildflowers. Others share special relationships with plants, visiting only a few species or genera for pollen and nectar. Because of their small size, they're seldom noticed by gardeners or those passing by. Often, they're mistaken for flies! There's approximately 30 known species in the UK.
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Traits

Pretty pollinators which are a joy to watch in the garden.
Can be attracted to your sweat!

Appearance

Adults: Bees in the genus range from tiny to the size of a honeybee. They're typically slender and dusky black, with little hair on the body. Those in the subgenus Dialictus are metallic green and shiny. Other species have a brown-red abdomen. Tip* you can distinguish these from flies by looking at the wings! A fly has 1 pair, whereas bees have 2! Larvae & Eggs: They're rarely seen because they stay in the nests, where they're tended to by female worker bees.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Halictidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe, the UK and Ireland; South Africa; the USA; Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some parts of Asia.

Biological treatment

Sweat bees are essential pollinators for wildflowers and crops. It's not recommended to treat gardens where sweat bees are present. They can be a nuisance if they are attracted to your smell, but rarely sting. You can help bees by planting a selection of indigenous plants in the garden which produce blooms throughout the year!

Attracts

Plants from the families Asteraceae (Compositae), Convolvulaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Liliaceae, Malvaceae, Papilionaceae and Rosaceae.

Sunflower

Helianthus spp.

A close up of a white purple Ipomoea batatas flower on a plant

Sweet Potato

Ipomoea batatas

Cucumis

Cucumis spp.

Asparagus

Asparagus spp.

Okra

Abelmoschus esculentus

Daisy

Bellis spp.

Fragaria flower fruit

Strawberry

Fragaria spp.

Repels

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