Green Bee

  • Compared to other, larger bees, these tiny bees are more slender and have fewer feathery hairs. Due to their small size and lack of hairs, they may be confused with small wasps.
  • Some green bee species are solid green or greenish-blue, while others have a white-black or yellow-black striped abdomen.
  • Females carry pollen on patches of hairs on their hind legs.
  • These bees move very quickly and spook easily, so to observe them, be still and avoid casting a shadow on the blooms you’re watching.
  • Body size is medium to small, ranging from 0.2-0.43 inches long (5-11 mm)

Family: Halictidae

These solitary sweat bees are small (1/4 inch in size) but stand out due to their bright metallic green coloring. These bees are called sweat bees as they are attracted to the salt found in human sweat. Most of these bees nest underground but some burrow in wood. They emerge in mid spring and will forage throughout the summer. Some are semi-social or communal, while others are solitary. They are generalists, visiting many different types of flowers, collecting and carrying pollen on their hind legs.

Body size: 0.2-0.42 in (5-11 mm)
Nesting requirements:
Flight period: Mid-spring through late summer
Foraging habit: Generalist

Green sweat bee on a small squash blossom.

Where they carry pollen

Like most bees in the Halictidae family, green sweat bees generally carry pollen on their hind legs as shown here.

Bicolored striped sweat bee, Agapostemon virescens

Mid-to-late season foragers

These solitary bees nest in the ground, and are most active summer and fall, so look for them on later season blooms like tomato, pepper, and cucumber.

See a beautiful green bee foraging in this 30 sec video.