Green Metallic Sweat Bee
These bees are like flying gems! One species is significantly more numerous than the others, with only four species on the entire continent (A. Pura). The quarter-inch-long bees are a striking metallic or tawny green. They frequently dine on the blossoms of oregano, basil, and thyme. They’re also common on daisy-like flowers including asters, black-eyed Susans, coreopsis, and cosmos.
Solitary nest in hollow stem or tunnel in rotting wood by this small bee. They frequently nest in wood nesting blocks. A cuckoo wasp, a near-identical bug, is often confused with this bee. The cuckoo wasp is more turquoise in hue. Strangely, the cuckoo wasp parasitizes many of our native bees and wasps, consuming their larvae. Tricky!
Bumblebees rock! You may pet them as they pollinate! Their chubby, fluffy bodies beg you to stop and stare. They’re charming, lovable, and bumbling! Bumblebees are abundant across the continent, with 50 species. Bumblebees are hairy and half to an inch long, with patterns of black, white, yellow, orange, and even rusty brown. Each species has its own color pattern, making it difficult to distinguish between them. Pollen balls are carried by female bumble bees. They appreciate garden with coneflowers, blueberries, foxgloves, and salvias. They frequent milkweeds, Agastache and phlox as well.
Bumble bees, unlike most other bees on this list, nest in groups. Mated queen bumbles hibernate amid deaf rubbish. Their nests are commonly in abandoned rodent burrows, empty bird houses, or other cavities in the earth. You can also buy a bumble bee nest box to attract them, but remember to clean it out every winter. The nests are made up of clusters of wax balls, each carrying an egg. If you ever get the chance to witness one, do so. Most bumble bee nests contain only a few dozen individuals, compared to a honey bee colony’s 50,000.
Megachile leafcutter bees:
You’d enjoy watching leafcutter bees work. The females are quite efficient, utilizing their mandibles to quickly extract leaf fragments for their nests. These leaf pieces are used to stack small cups. Each cup has one egg and pollen for the larval bee. Many garden’s epimediums and heucheras are their favorite leaves. Almost any small tunnel, from hollow plant stems to masonary holes in the side of your house, will do. This is where a female usually makes her brood chamber in our porch swing canopy. The nest is then mud-sealed.
There are roughly 140 species of these bees in North America. The upward pointed, flattened, striped abdomen of this bee is unusual. Females carry pollen on their abdomens, not their hind legs. These bees frequent Rudbeckia, mountain mint (Pycnanthemum), and asters in yards.
Long-horned bees are occasionally seen in gardens, usually on sunflowers. Males of this species have lengthy antennae. On the continent, there are roughly 200 long-horned bee species. Their abdomens feature light hair bands and their legs and thorax are hairy. On the hind legs of females. These sunflower experts are often seen night and day on the blossoms. Long-horned bees construct tunnels in the ground to nest, with multiple females using the same entrance.
Halictus species: Sweet Bees
Perspiration bees are so named because they love to land on hardworking humans and drink their salty sweat. Their crawling on you tickles a little, but they’re harmless. On the continent, Halictus sweat bees number around ten species. A quarter-inch to a half-inch long bee. Their modest size and black and creamy yellow patterned abdomens help me recognize them. Pollen clings to the hind legs of females.
These bees love black-eyed Susans, sunflowers, Shasta daisies, and other summer-blooming asters. Female sweat bees in this group make solitary nests in earth tunnels, while some species are sociable. The sweat bees are a genus of bees in the genus Lasioglossum. Smaller (usually less than half an inch), North America has 400 species.