Pursued by sweat bees

The life of a field biologist…
Sweat bees are not dangerous, and their stings aren’t THAT painful, but man are they annoying. Sometimes they get into the crook of your elbow or the back of your knee and when you fold your arm or crouch down, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. (Sweat bees only sting when they’re about to be crushed to death, so you can’t really blame them)

Sweat bees
This is one of the larger sweat bees…Halictus ligatus, I believe. She did sting me and it was more painful than I expected and I shouted “OUCHIE” at the top of my lungs and everyone is still making fun of me for it
Sweat bees
She stung me but did not fly away so I took some photos…revenge!
Sweat bees
Sweat bees
Sweat bees
Sweat bees
Sweat bees
She’s blowing bubbles, also this is a great view of her complex tongue

Sweat bees
One of the tiny, gorgeously golden sweat bees in the genus Lasioglossum
Sweat bees
She’s dangerously exploring the steering wheel, which has been gripped by many sweaty field biologists over its thirteen years of service
Sweat bees


8 thoughts on “Pursued by sweat bees

  1. Interesting. There are quite few Halictus out around here at present but they dont seem very interested in humans, in fact when I approach with my camera that’s a sure sign for them to fly off.

  2. Sweat bees! I hated them when I was a (sweaty) kid in summertimes past. Don’t you think their buzzing pitch is particularly annoying? And they just hover around you and don’t go away.

    My spouse and I were just talking about sweat bees yesterday. Perhaps it was a halictus…there was one ‘bugging’ him on our back porch. It seemed large to me compared to the tiny sweat bees I recall from my childhood.

    Not being an entomologist, I did not realize there are several species.

    Are they genuinely attracted to human sweat? If so, why? And I notice the one that stung you had legs covered in pollen. Are they good pollinators?

    • They are annoying…but so cute! Yes, they seem to love human sweat…I’m trying to learn more! I think it is because they are interested in all the salts. They’re great pollinators! Just a little annoying for us haha

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