photographs wild bees and native bees

Can anyone identify this bee?

Update June 25: According to Kathy Keatley Garvey and Dr. Robbin Thorp at UC Davis, this is a small metallic sweat bee in the genus Halictus, and is probably Halictus tripartitus. Thank you so much for your help!

I have a lot of these tiny bees. They are about 1/4-inch long (0.6 cm) and appear black at first glance. The one below was on a five-spot flower among honey bees and bumble bees that were also foraging in the area. I’d like to know what it is.

Tiny bee on five-spot. Photo by the author

Another shot of the same bee. Photo by the author


  • I have a bumble bee nest in the wooden wall of my house next to the door I have to use for my office.

    I do not want to kill the bees, but am concerned how long they will remain. Any suggestions?

    • Neil,

      Depending on the exact species, the nest may be active for about 6 weeks or most of the summer. However, they do not overwinter. Once the colony dies out, you can fix the wall so another colony does not use it next year.

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