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Pure Green Augochlora These bees are referred to as "sweat bees" because they like to lick sweat from human skin, most likely seeking salt. Electrolytes such as sodium are important for nerve and muscle function, in addition to a variety of other life processes. So, it appears that sweat bees imbibe human sweat in order to help them maintain homeostasis. Interestingly, as you can see in these photos, these bees are cobbling their nests together using galleries in the wood that were probably made by other insects. Within these galleries, the female bees will leave cakes made of pollen, nectar, and spit, which will soon be food for her offspring. It's thought that her saliva is added to the cakes because it has antiseptic qualities that help keep the food fresh and add extra protection to the eggs. After a brief interlude with a mate, she will lay eggs on the pollen/nectar balls. The nests are lined with a thin, impermeable membrane that she produces from glands in her body. The nests need this added protection because there are many predators that would gladly devour her offspring. When the larvae hatch, they consume the nutritious cakes. Once larval development is complete, they will pupate, and then emerge later as adults.  Augochlora pura,Fall,Geotagged,Pure Green Augochlora,United States,bee Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Pure Green Augochlora

These bees are referred to as "sweat bees" because they like to lick sweat from human skin, most likely seeking salt. Electrolytes such as sodium are important for nerve and muscle function, in addition to a variety of other life processes. So, it appears that sweat bees imbibe human sweat in order to help them maintain homeostasis. Interestingly, as you can see in these photos, these bees are cobbling their nests together using galleries in the wood that were probably made by other insects. Within these galleries, the female bees will leave cakes made of pollen, nectar, and spit, which will soon be food for her offspring. It's thought that her saliva is added to the cakes because it has antiseptic qualities that help keep the food fresh and add extra protection to the eggs. After a brief interlude with a mate, she will lay eggs on the pollen/nectar balls. The nests are lined with a thin, impermeable membrane that she produces from glands in her body. The nests need this added protection because there are many predators that would gladly devour her offspring. When the larvae hatch, they consume the nutritious cakes. Once larval development is complete, they will pupate, and then emerge later as adults.

    comments (10)

  1. I just want to say that I really hope you like the platform because the combination of great photography, zoology skills, educational mindset...across multiple categories is an incredibly rare find. Same applies to Lisa. So tell me where to get more of you and please stay ;) Posted one year ago
    1. Impressive, as always, Christine! This is one of my fave spottings of yours for sure!

      And, oh my gawsh! What a wonderful compliment, fchristant (may I call you Ferdy?)! You might make me cry! I'm really enjoying myself here, so there is no need to worry. I occasionally take breaks from electronics, but I will always be back for more!
      Posted one year ago
      1. Yes, please do call me Ferdy :)
        And I mean every word of what I said, it really is a very rare combination to have. Take all the time you need, we're here to stay. Don't forget about old photos either. We recently had a member uploading 10 year old observations just sitting on his hard disk that showed tremendous value.
        Posted one year ago
    2. Thanks so much! Definitely staying ;). I am really enjoying this site and am in awe of the amazing photography and diversity here! Posted one year ago
      1. That's very encouraging, thank you! Posted one year ago
  2. From today's JungleDragon Facebook post:

    "Pure Green Augochlora (Augochlora pura) are referred to as "sweat bees" because they lick sweat from human skin (most likely seeking salt)! Electrolytes, such as sodium, are important for nerve and muscle function, in addition to a variety of other life processes. So, it appears that sweat bees imbibe human sweat in order to help them maintain homeostasis.

    The female bees are quite interesting in how they prepare for their offspring. They cobble their nests together using galleries in rotting wood that were made by other insects. Within these galleries, the female bees will leave cakes made of pollen, nectar, and spit, which will soon be food for her offspring. It's thought that she adds saliva to the cakes because it has antiseptic qualities that help keep the food fresh. After a brief interlude with a mate, she will lay eggs on her homemade cakes. The nests are lined with a thin, impermeable membrane that she produces from glands in her body. The nests need this added protection because there are many predators that would gladly devour her offspring. When the larvae hatch, they consume the nutritious cakes. Once larval development is complete, they will pupate, and then emerge later as adults. {Spotted in Connecticut, USA by JungleDragon moderator, Christine Young} #JungleDragon"
    Posted one year ago
    1. Is anything known about what molecules give the saliva its "antiseptic" quality. I know that some researchers are looking at things like this for new antibiotics. Posted one year ago
      1. I'm not sure - I couldn't find any specific details. Posted one year ago
  3. I don't know about the Northeastern US, but I have heard that these can be a real nuisance in the tropics. One article I read about a photographer in the Congo said that if you ever stopped walking, your hands were quickly covered in sweat bees. They don't bite, so there was no real danger but it was rather unnerving. Posted one year ago
    1. I've heard that too. I've never known anyone in the NE US to encounter them like that though. Posted one year ago

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''Augochlora pura'' is a solitary sweat bee found primarily in the Eastern United States. It is known for its bright green color and its tendency to forage on a variety of plants. Inhabiting rotting logs, this bee can produce up to three generations per year. Both males and females have been observed licking sweat from human skin, most likely seeking salt

Species identified by Christine Young
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By Christine Young

All rights reserved
Uploaded Jan 4, 2018. Captured Oct 23, 2017 13:22 in 5 East St, New Milford, CT 06776, USA.
  • Canon EOS 60D
  • f/4.0
  • 1/64s
  • ISO400
  • 100mm