The Sweat Bee is a Powerful Pollinator

A very large number of people know that there is a difference between bees and wasps. It is safe to say that most people probably know that honey comes from bees and not wasps. People also tend to know that bees are very important pollinators in the wild, gardens, orchards and commercial farms. However, when people think of bees, they normally only think of honey bees. This is very far from the only bee species and the sweat bee is a great example. Actually, there is a large number of species of sweat bees. These insects belong to the family called Halictidae and though there can be a lot of variation between species, they share the trait that they are strongly attracted to the various salts in human sweat, hence the common name. Like other bees, though, they will usually sting if they are angry or threatened. Still, the sting of sweat bees is usually much less painful than the sting of honey bees. While honey bees form large colonies or ‘hives’, sweat bees are much more varied. Some sweat bees do form colonies. Others are solitary, usually burrowing into the dirt. The farther north the sweat bee species is, the more likely it is to be solitary. ┬áSome produce honey, although usually not nearly in the amounts that honey bees produce, while others don’t produce honey. They can also differ a lot in appearance. Some species of sweat bees have a metallic sheen and can look more green and Continue Reading →


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Benefits of Wasps in and around Gardens

  Many people have rather painful memories of wasps. They can bite from the front end and repeatedly sting from the other, since most don’t lose the stinger when they use it. People acquainted with yellow-jackets have probably been subjected to the reminder that wasps are often best left alone. For the home gardener, though, wasps can be a great insect to have around the garden. Bees and wasps Though bees and wasps are similar, they aren’t the same creature. The coloring can be much alike, but they are still not the same. Most species of each do tend to have hives of one sort or another. The number of individuals in the hives of either can be large. Some wasps and bees are solitary and don’t produce large hives or colonies. Still, the point is that wasps aren’t the same as bees. They are different insects. Pollination When people think of flower or plant pollination, they often think of bees. Indeed, bees are important pollinators, spreading pollen particles from one flower to another. What some gardeners might find interesting is that wasps often also┬ápollinate flowers. They may not be as proficient at producing honey, however pollen and nectar are rich energy sources and many species of wasps take advantage of it. In areas where there aren’t many bees, wasps may even do the majority of the needed pollination. Predatory habits A great number of wasp species are predatory, particularly on invertebrates like insects and spiders. They tend to be Continue Reading →


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