Blueberry Bee 

A mason, or blueberry bee (Megachilidae), found in Plumas, California. Credit: Public Domain via Flickr/University of Texas at Austin’s Insects Unlocked
Zipping by in a flash of shimmering blues, greens, and even purples, is a member of Halictidae, or the sweat bee. Unlike the social hive behavior of honey and bumble bees, it lives a short, solitary life—collecting pollen and nectar into a sticky ball of “bee bread” for its offspring. And in the midst of tending to your garden or jogging in the afternoon, you may find this small, iridescent bee land on your arm for a quick snack of essential salts in your sweat.

“They almost look like jewels, they just sparkle,” says Shalene Jha, a biologist and bee researcher at the University of Texas at Austin. “I always imagine that they must feel like they’re the most gorgeous creatures on the planet.”

The sweat bee is just one of the many tiny bees—the size of a grain of rice or a lady bug—native to Texas that Jha and her lab studies. But these Hymenoptera gems live all around the world and are common in many environments, from temperate to tropical. In fact, there are more than 20,000 known species of wild bees on our planet, says Jha. While they may be small in size, these bees also play a crucial role in the pollination of native plants.

Source: The Glittery Jewels Of The Bee World 

Categories: Beekeeping, Pollination Plot

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