Get kids outside and teach them about insect pollinator conservation to create connections to the science of nature and nurture empathy. Here is some background info to help you with your backyard observations.
What is it?
This species is the Silky Striped Sweat Bee, Agapostemon sericeus. Sweat bees are attracted to human sweat which they drinks to obtain salts and moisture.
"Halictidae are one of the six bee families in the order Hymenoptera. Halictids (sweat bees) are a very diverse group of metallic and non-metallic bees." Featured Creatures, Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida
Should you be afraid of getting stung?
Sweat bees are gentle solitary bees. They won't bother you. The female will only sting if you aggressively try to harm it. Don't swat it if its drinking sweat from your skin.
Where are they found?
This species nests in bare ground.
How do they help the earth (ecosystem services) and humans?
Native sweat bees are vital pollinators "for many wildflowers and crops, including stone fruits, pomme fruits, alfalfa and sunflower." Featured Creatures, Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida
Bee Conservation: How can we help Sweat Bees?
Have you seen sweat bees where you live?
Register kids, family, students in the dynamic, interactive virtual session: Meet the Pollinators (Pollinator Science).
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