It's Pollinator Month: No Sweat?

In the sweltering heat of Solano County (100 degrees) during National Pollinator Month, how about an image of a sweat bee, genus Halictus, a tiny bee that's often overlooked in the world of pollinators.

It's a social bee that nests in the soil. "These nests consist of a complex of tunnels with individual brood chambers," according to California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists (Heyday), the work of UC-affiliated scientists, Gordon Frankie of UC Berkeley,  Robbin Thorp (1933-2019) of UC Davis, and Barbara Ertter and Rollin Coville of UC Berkeley.

My camera caught this Halictus flying over Coreopsis in our Vacaville pollinator garden on June 5.

Camera: Nikon Z8 with a 50mm lens

Settings: Shutter speed, 1/4000 of a second; f-stop, 5; ISO 500.

UC Davis distinguished professor emerita Lynn Kimsey, emeritus director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, and Bohart Museum scientist Sandy Shanks said the species appears to be Halictus ligatus.

Most Halictus species are generalist foragers, according to the Great Sunflower Project. "They use all sorts of genera of plants from the Asteraceae to Scrophulariaceae. They are very common on composites (daisy-like disc and ray flowers) in summer and fall."

We've seen them on everything from mustard to milkweeds to catmint to rock purslane, from spring to fall. They also appear regularly on the tower of jewels (Echium wildpretii).

Not to mention the Coreopsis.