Native Sweat Bee Found in Florida & What They Contribute to the Environment
Sweat bees are not your typical bee.
They’re named for their unique trait of consuming human sweat, are very small in size — ranging from a quarter of an inch to a half-inch long. This small stature often makes them unnoticeable.
Sweat bees are found throughout North America and include more than 60 species in the State of Florida alone.
When asked what sweat bees look like, the answer is unique as the bees themselves.
They typically vary in appearance but the majority of the sweat bee species in Florida are brown or black, however some are metallic green, blue, and even purple.
Sweat bees aren’t typically aggressive but will sting if swatted or pressed up against skin.
The sweat bee sting is said to be the least painful sting among the stinging pests.
Sweat bees are equal-opportunity pollinators. While they feed off human sweat for moisture and salt, they also collect nectar and pollen from pollinating a variety of flowers.
These bees play an important role in pollinating the native plants of the areas they inhabit in Southwest Florida. Females sweat bees are equipped to carry pollen on the backs of their legs, although males are not.
Sweat Bee Habitat in Florida
Most sweat bees make their homes in the ground or hollow wood. Some species, like the pure golden green sweat bee, make its home in the loose bark of aged trees.
The queen, called the gyne, is the mated female responsible for laying the eggs, which will eventually become worker bees.
Sweat bees, like most bees, live in either a cooperative group with differentiated roles or solitary colonies. Colonies dig nests which will be used as “cells” to develop eggs into larvae.
Flower Species in Florida Sweat Bees Pollinate
- Canada germander
- Dune sunflower
- Purple thistle
- Seaside oxeye
- Spanish needles
- Turkey tangle fogfruit
Sweat Bee Pest Control
Even though sweat bees can be found most places in the world, residents in Southwest Florida need to be specifically cautious of these bees. They can be a nuisance, especially during the warmer months when they seek out sweat from humans.
Sweat bees can be difficult to locate as they are small and often make their homes within the ground.
If you are experiencing high volumes of sweat bees swarming your home or garden, it is wise to contact a pest management professional.
Trained Catseye Pest Control technicians have the knowledge to help safely remove these important pollinators safe and your home pest free.
For more information, contact our bee removal and control professionals today.