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Sweat Bee
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Sweat Bee

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Halictidae

Pest Status: Sweat bees are not considered pests, but they frequently annoy people by alighting on sweaty limbs and sometimes inflicting a painful sting.

Appearance: Sweat bees are normally black, brown, red, or metallic green and have sparse yellow markings. They are relatively small bees, usually 1/4 to 1/2-inch in size.

Life Cycle: Females lay their eggs in burrowed tunnels in the soil. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on balls of pollen and nectar. Sweat bees overwinter as larvae or pupae in the soil and the adults emerge in the summer.

Where to Collect: Sweat bees prefer shady areas where vegetation is sparse. They are also common in flower patches, where they are easiest to collect.