When we think of pollinators, our primary assumption lies in honey bees. It is simple for us to forget that there are other pollinators and play a significant role in our ecosystem. Another valuable pollinator is the sweat bee.
These small bees range in size from less than 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch and may have bright, dark or metallic coloring. In the picture, you can see the most frequently seen sweat bee with a green, metallic exoskeleton. Sweat bees occupy several distinct habitats, such as cracks or soil on the town sidewalk, but they are not aggressive for us. Read more about their nesting behavior. Though a few types create their homes in rotting wood, they most often nest in the floor. While some sweat bees are lonely, others are more social, and together they build nests. Although if they are giving you a lot of trouble, you should get rid of sweat bees.
For instance, those who nest in the ground start doing so in April, digging burrows in the field and then putting pollen and nectar in preparation for larvae at the end of the tunnels. Some of the overwintered females in the nest will assume the function of the worker while others will lay eggs and ultimately, only one egg-laying remain of the female. Some of the women are mating at this stage. They lay eggs in winter that becomes larvae or pupae, living through the winter to start the process the next spring again.
The behavior of sweat bees
Sweat bees are beneficial to crops as they feed on nectar and pollen. You may wonder where the name ‘ sweat bee’ comes from. While they feed on pollen and nectar, the bee is drawn to human suddenness as well. Yum. A light brush will dislodge them, and most likely they won’t bother you again, but if you happen to get stung, it’s not a honey bee pain. Also do not sting male sweat bees, prevalent to Apis species. So while the bees may be irritating, they’re nothing to worry. They’re just another significant pollinator that helps maintain our ecosystem running smoothly.
Sweat Bee Sting
Although sweat bees are often not called aggressive, female bees can sting you. A sweat bee will not sting a person until it realizes the danger. If a sweat bee has landed on your skin, and for some reason, it feels danger, it may end up stinging you. It won’t hurt you if you don’t harm the sweat bee. If the person attempts to destroy the bee’s nest, damage its swarm, and so on, a sweat bee can also sting a human being. Even if you try to keep your bee in your fist or between your index finger and thumb, you will be stung by the sweat bee.
Why sweat bees matter?
Pollination is essential for our planet’s existence. For millions of years, sweat bees and other pollinators have thrived, ensuring food security and nutrition, and preserving biodiversity and vibrant ecosystems for crops, animals, and bees themselves.
Pollinators are crucial for producing many of the fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oils in the world.
In reality, nearly 75% of the world’s plants that produce fruits and seeds for human consumption rely on pollinators for continuous manufacturing, yield, and quality, at least in part.
Animal pollinators are mainly responsible for the diversity of foods available.
We used to rely on wild bees to pollinate our plants. But now wild bee populations are declining owing to disease, extreme weather, invasive species competition, loss of habitat, and climate change.
Farmers purchase in commercially grown bumblebees to compensate for the decrease in wild pollinators. They place them on farmland hoping the bees will forage on the plants they want to pollinate. This technique is costly, may spread disease, and the introduced bees may forage food needed by wild pollinators. Therefore we need to protect sweat bees to prevent consequences.