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Sweat Bee (Augochlora pura)

Sweat Bee
Augochlora pura
(Order Hymenoptera; Family Halictidae)

Augochlora pura, adult female worker (photo by Alicia Oberg)
(Kansas: Sedgwick County. Wichita, 37°44’22”N 97°15’49”W. Pollinating flower. July 11, 2011).

Adult Diagnosis: Sweat bees are small, solitary bees roughly 1/2 inch in length.  This particular species is bright, metallic green all over, possessing black antennae.


Natural History: Augochlora pura have a flight season which lasts from the middle of April through early September, with active nests found in early May through the beginning of August, resulting in either two or three generations. Sweat bees build nests in the ground, laying their eggs in a series of branching tunnels, which are dug out of the soil and lined with a waxy substance.  They are not social but do build their nests close together, forming a loose type of colony.  Females emerge in August and September, mate during flower visits, and then over winter in a state of ovarian diapause in hibernacula at the bottoms of downed logs.

Larval bees. (from

Distribution: Found throughout the United States but concentrated in the eastern half.


Habitat: Anywhere with a temperate climate, suitable soil for digging, and plenty of flowering plants.

Diet: They are polylectic.  The larvae eat the pollen stocked within the nest cells.  Adult bees feed on nectar.

Conservation Status: Least concern

Green Metallic Sweat Bee Pollinating


Tree of Life
University of Florida

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Submitted by: Alicia Oberg, November 2011


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