The Sweat Bee

Lasioglossum spp, also known as the sweat bee, are found in every part of the world and pollinate the flowers while feeding on pollen and nectar. These bees get their common name as “sweat bees” because they are also attracted to the salt in human sweat. Though they can be irritating but are usually harmless and help in maintaining the eco-balance.

HOW TO IDENTIFY SWEAT BEES

Sweat bees are either dull in color or metallic black. Some of them might also be purple or metallic green or blue colored. They have a sharp tongue and hairy legs. Sweat bees are usually about 4mm to 14mm in length. They have almost all black bodies and have fine bristles all over them. They get attracted to human perspiration, and can easily be identified if you’re working outdoors.


Appearance and Behavior

sweat bee

By Gideon Pisanty (Gidip) גדעון פיזנטי – Own work, CC BY 3.0, 

Sweat bees do not have the usual yellow color as other bees but are black in color (dull or metallic). Their length varies from 4mm to 14mm. Male sweat bees have yellow and black stripes on their abdomens. These bugs have fine hair on their bodies which help them in the process of pollinating.

These bees have an intense craving for the salt in human sweat, which is where they get their name from. Thus, when these bees come close to you, their purpose is to amass your sweat drops, and not to sting you. Male sweat bees do not sting. Females can sting if you try to harm them or their nests. Sweat bees are not usually aggressive in nature, and their sting is next to painless. However, allergies might happen because of their sting, just as in the case of other insects.

Sweat bees usually make their nests underground. You would easily be aware of their presence if you’re working outdoors and there is a nest around you. Since they get attracted to human sweat, they are easily recognizable and show clear signs of their presence.

Sweat bees, like other bees, are known to play a significant role in maintaining ecological balance and helping various crops to grow, as well as flowers to reproduce.

HOW DO YOU GET SWEAT BEES


Sweat bees build their hives on bare and dry sands. If you have a dry patch of land in your garden, you know why the bees are coming. They may enter from the edges of your lawn, where there is no vegetation or from where the vegetation has been removed.


HOW TO GET RID OF SWEAT BEES


No matter how helpful bees prove to our ecological system, it is always better to get pest control. These professionals will protect your family and pets from the stings and allergies a sweat bee can cause. Following are some remedies to make the sweat bees go away if they get annoying:

  • Since sweat bees live on dry grounds, one of the basic ways would be to grow vegetation in the infested area.
  • Rubbing your skin with mint soap can help in repelling sweat bees since they run away from peppermint.
  • Make a sweat bee spray. Fill one-fourth of an empty bottle with dish soap and the rest with water. Spray the mixture aiming well on the bugs.

Prevention is always better than cure. Follow the given steps to make sweat bees stay away from you:

  • Take a bath regularly.
  • Do not leave dry patches of land in your garden.
  • Water your lawn regularly and properly.
  • Do not let dry or stump trees lie in your lawn since sweat bees can also live in these.

Sweat Bee Facts


  • Sweat bees sometimes lay eggs in the food stored by other bees in their nests.
  • They love human sweat and feed on it. Gross, isn’t it?
  • They get all the nutrients they need from us and other animals, so we are literally helping them to live.