|May Bee of the Month
Above: Female Agapostemon texanus on Red Buckwheat
Our May Bee of the Month is Agapostemon texanus, the Ultra-Green Sweat Bee! We were extremely excited to have recorded individuals of this species visiting avocado flowers in Southern California last month, our first record of native bees on avocado flowers in our several years of having partnered with farmers in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. We think several years of drought may play a role in why we haven't seen bees on the flowers until now.
Agapostemon texanus is a medium to small, slender-bodied bee that is notable because of its bright metallic green color. While females are entirely metallic green, the males have a yellow-and-dark striped abdomen. This bee is very common; we have recorded it visiting all of our urban monitoring sites across the state. They fly from April to October with peak flight activity from May to September. Females are broad generalists and enjoy plants like Rudbeckia, Gaillardia, Sphaeralcea, Calandrina, etc. Keep an eye out for them in your garden!