Halictus / sweat Bee
Common Name: Sweat Bee
Color is dark or grayish brown to black, with bands of pale hair on the abdomen.
The female carries pollen in a brush of specialized hairs, called a scopa, on each hind leg.
The common name of sweat bee derives from their attraction to human perspiration, which they drink for its salt content.
Females of all Halictus species mate before hibernating for the winter, emerging in spring ready to found new nests of offspring. There may be multiple generations of offspring throughout the spring and summer season.
True generalists, Halictus species visit a wide variety of flowers for pollen and nectar, and, given the opportunity, are significant pollinators of many crop plants.
Size: Small to medium sized slender bees, 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length.
This is a widespread genus of about 200 species, found mostly in North and Central America, Eurasia and Africa. Although there are only about ten species of Halictus in North America, they are widespread and abundant across the continent.
Number of species in North America
Early spring to summer
Ground nesting. Generally prefer flat, loose soil with low clay content.
Pollinated Garden Crops Include