There are seven species of metallic green bees in Vermont, many of which are frequently encountered in a variety of habitats. They can be split into two distinct groups - 4 Striped Sweat Bees in the genus Agapostemon and 3 genera with one species each in the tribe Augochlorini. Identifying the species from photos ranges from easy to impossible. As with other Sweat Bees, only females overwinter and are active first, with males not being produced until the end of the season.
These important field marks show features that are definitive for a genera or sub-set of genera. Click the images to enlarge.
To identify an unknown bee, choose the most appropriate category below to narrow the options.
Striped Sweat Bees (Agapostemon) Males
Males of all four Striped Sweat Bees have yellow and black stripes and green bodies.
Striped Sweat Bees (Agapostemon) Females
Females of 3 of the 4 Striped Sweat Bee species in VT are solid green. The most common species has black and white stripes on the abdomen of the female.
Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee (Augochloropsis metallica)
This is the largest and most distinctive of the tribe Augochlorini. Best identified by the bean shaped, green tegula.
Pure Green Sweat Bee (Augochlora pura)
A common, log nesting species most often found near woodlands. Generally larger than the Golden Sweat Bee, but with some overlap.
Golden Sweat Bee (Augochlorella aurata)
On average this is the smallest of the green bees, usually with a gold hue, though both size and color overlap with Pure Green Sweat Bees.