• Family: Halictidae
  • Tribe: Halictini
  • Approximate # species in region: 4
  • Common name: striped-sweat bees

Agapostemon is a group of stocky, metallic-green bees. With a bit of practice, you can identify females of all four species that occur in eastern North America in the field. This group is widespread and found in a variety of habitats, including backyards and gardens. They often land on flowers with their wings up, but fold them back after a few moments of foraging. All species in this group nest in the ground and overwinter as mated females.

Three other genera–Augochlora, Augochlorella, and Augochloropsis–include bees that are metallic green. Comparatively, bees in these genera are smaller and more slender than Agapostemon, without a raised ridge on the back of the thorax, and always have entirely green abdomens (unlike males of all four species, and females of Agapostemon virescens).

Species covered:

Scientific NameCommon NamePhenologyHabitatForage
Agapostemon virescensBicolored striped-sweat beeMay-SeptemberWidespread, backyards, citiesGeneralist, esp. Asteraceae
Agapostemon sericeusSilky striped-sweat beeMay-SeptemberWidespread, backyards, citiesGeneralist
Agapostemon splendensBrown-winged sweat beeMay-SeptemberSandGeneralist, esp. Asteraceae

Species requiring accounts: