Jewel-toned! Metallic Green Sweat Bees
Also known as: Sweat Bees
Scientific name: genus Agapostemom (literally "stamen loving")
Photos by: Autumn Shultz
Sweat bees are attracted to human sweat, so community gardens are a great spot for them. They use the salt from our sweat for nutrition. Nesting sites include; wood tubes, loose tree bark, and ground nets. Because they visit many flowering plants, they are great pollinators and are even used as replacements for honey bees for some pollination of some crops, like cotton. Sweat bees are in the same family as honeybees and bumblebees, so people with bee venom allergies should be cautious.
Sweat bees are not very picky and will feed on and pollinate most flowering plants. Aside from the occasional sting, sweat bees are beneficial in your garden.
So are Sweat Bees ok to leave in the garden?
Absolutely, some gardeners even set aside a patch of sunny, sandy, nesting ground to attract these pollinators to their garden.