The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

November’s Featured Bee

6 Comments

Only one month left and I do hope you were inspired by the monthly featured bee posts throughout the year. Growing up I thought there were bees (honey), and bumble bees so I certainly enjoyed and learned from this calendar, and will most likely purchase another. It is also offered through the Xerces Society, but you must place your order by November 30. It would make a great gift for any gardener.

The month of November in my North American Native Bee Calendar purchased from the Great Sunflower Project, features the Sweat Bee, genus Halictus.

Sweat bees emerge in early spring and throughout the summer. They may produce several generations of offspring throughout season. They nest in the ground. Unlike Carpenter Bees, these bees are very small – some less than a 1/4 inch! They are slender and typically have light colored banding. Sweat bees are attracted to human perspiration, thus their common name. They are true generalists and visit a wide range of flowers for pollen and nectar. I think I have seen these bees in my garden – tiny, tiny – and have stopped to admire them. Someday I do hope to have my own positively identified photos, but for now click here to view images of Sweat Bees. (Control or apple click to open the images in a new tab or window).

Favorite pollen and nectar sources of Sweat Bees include eriogonum (buckwheat), erigeron (fleabane), grindelia (gumweed), cosmos, coreopsis (tickweed).

I am including this image of fleabane from a previous post because you may have learned this is a weed. Now that you know, save a spot for this plant in your garden and see if you might spot a Sweat Bee.

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Author: Kathy Sturr

Author of the Violet Fern blog, artist, and master gardener.

6 thoughts on “November’s Featured Bee

  1. I'm sure I've seen this little guy around, I just don't take the time to pay attention to them. Hey, enjoy our warm weather the next few days here in northern NY!

  2. I wish we had a calendar like that in the UK as I would really like to learn my Bees and it that would help

  3. Sounds like a great calendar . . . learning while marking the days. I think the sweat bees are the beautiful green ones? Not sure but that is the image that surfaces. Maybe I will click to see. ;>)

  4. I have enjoyed your bee posts. I don't know if I have sweat bees, but I do have fleabane, so I will have to watch for them.

  5. Thanks for the bee info. I have noticed a variety of bees and flies in the garden, some quite small. I have erigeron too, and sometimes sweaty skin, so there is a chance I may spot them. If they live this far south.

  6. Thank you. I think it is great to be aware of and pay attention to bees and all insects. It seems to me that more and more people are becoming more conscious of this amazing environment. I enjoy seeing your photos of insects and other wild life in your gardens.

Thank you for joining me in the making of my garden!

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