Bee of the Month – Agapostemon texanus
Also known as "sweat bees," these bright, medium-sized bees are usually metallic in color and slender bodied. Females are usually completely metallic green, at times with a brown or black abdomen. Males usually are smaller and more slender, and have green heads and thoraces, but yellow and dark striped abdomens. Males also have bicolored antennae swollen hind femurs. These bees are not to be mistaken with Osmia!
There are 45 species in North and South America, with 5 species in California. Two species have been found at our garden site, but only A. texanus, also known as the "Ultra Green Sweat Bee," has been found at all of our sites. A. melliventris has only been found in two garden sites in southern California.
Females are generalists and can be found on the sunflower family, Asteraceae. Females most often will nest in the soil in bare, flat ground. Some of the most commonly visited plants include Cosmos, Erigeron, Perovskia, Rosmarinus, and Rudbeckia.