Sweat Bees

My backyard is so cool. After planting tomatoes at Hacienda T.V., I photographed this bee in my yard. This more than made up for the heat spell killing off my basil and posies.

It's a sweat bee, so called because it's attracted to perspiring skin. While it may bite, it has no sting. It left me alone, and this one paused long enough to get two good pictures in (of the thirty taken).

That said, this bee was very aggressive. Usually I see the carpenter bees defending the apple blossoms and sage flowers by attacking--but never killing--other bees and flies that dare to try to drink the flowers' nectar. But the sweat bee scares even the carpenters away!

Today, this bee attacked a honeybee, which in my opinion isn't very smart, since a honeybee can sting other insects with impunity (it's only leather-skinned creatures that cost the bee her life). But the sweat bee was much faster. The honeybee got the message, and left the sage blossoms alone after that.

Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Halictidae
Genera: Halictus, Lasioglossum

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At 5/4/08, 1:20 AM, Blogger Michael Stone said...

Some interesting facts, there, Vince. Being something of a trivia nut I've filed a lot of it away for future reference. For instance, I didn't know honey bees only die when they sting leathery skinned creatures. Makes sense now you mention it, though. I used to love observing insects when my sight was OK. Thanks for the pix.


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