Sweat bees are the most brightly colored native bees in our area. The shiny, metallic green insects are quite eye-catching.
Augochlora Sweat Bees nest in the ground, building long vertical nest cavities. Most are solitary nesting, but some species share the same nest entrance, but build their own cavities.
They are short tongued, so they visit shallow or easily accessible flowers for nectar. They also steal nector collected by plant parasites, like aphids.
These insects are tiny (less than 1/2 an inch) and are named because of their habit of landing on people and licking the perspiration from the skin in order to obtain salt.
This brilliant “living jewel” performs the same function as other species bees – they are very important pollinators for many wildflowers and crops.
Lately fair numbers of them have been visiting my deck garden and I enjoy seeing them every day.