Ogling the Agapanthus

Jul 24, 2009

Seems like many folks assume that all bees are "honey bees."

They're not.

If you look around you, you'll see bees of all shapes, colors and sizes nectaring flowers.

And they're not all honey bees (Apis mellifera)!

The one below, as identified by native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, is a medium-sized striped sweat bee, Halictus ligatus. It's a ground-nesting bee. It's also a native bee (unlike honey bees which arrived here from Europe in 1622 with the colonists).

This particular sweat bee took an avid interest in the Agapanthus in our yard.

The Xerces Society has compiled a wealth of information on native bees. You'll want to check out their Web site and read about the $458,000 grant the society recently received to study native pollinators and protect their habitat.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

NATIVE BEE, a sweat bee (Halictus ligatus) nectars Agapanthus. This is a ground-nesting bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Sweat Bee