Green Bees?

Not all bees are yellow and black striped, and a bit on the fuzzy side.

In our area, we see several species of exquisite, small, shiny green halictid bees in the genus Agapostemon, and they are always delightful jewels to find in our pollinator-friendly garden.

Green halictid bee on white cosmo bloom

They are ground-nesting, solitary bees. Even though several females sometimes share a single entrance, each has her own separate nest chamber underground, and the aggregation of nests can be dense in an area of sandy or relatively light soil.

The various local halictids we observe typically have a green metallic head and thorax, and females often continue that coloration to the abdomen, as well, whereas males have a darker abdomen with alternating yellow and green-to-black stripes. 

Male halictid bee on California poppy

Like honey bees, these natives are excellent pollinators of a variety of plants, both indigenous and introduced.

Male halictid bee on aster

With a nearly invisible nest-entry between the flagstones of our garden path, this tiny, less than ¼-inch- long gem paused for a moment on Rich’s hand–just long enough for me to snap a portrait! Male or female: can you tell?

Tiny halictid bee on Rich’s hand

Halictids are in the family commonly called “sweat bees,” because they are attracted to salt as a nutrient.     ………….. Susi Thomas

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