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Brief Summary

provided by Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico
This is among the largest and most widely distributed families of bees. All three of its subfamilies occur in the Nearctic Region, but only the Dufoureinae and the Halictinae are well represented by numerous species.
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Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico. 1979. Prepared cooperatively by specialists on the various groups of Hymenoptera under the direction of Karl V. Krombein and Paul D. Hurd, Jr., Smithsonian Institution, and David R. Smith and B. D. Burks, Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Insect Identification and Beneficial Insect Introduction Institute. Science and Education Administration, United States Department of Agriculture.

Life Cycle

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Sweat bees have a range of nesting habits, although all sweat bees are ground nesters. Some species have dispersed solitary nests; others are gregarious with densely situated nests and primitive social arrangements. Females dig branching burrows in loose soil. Each burrow ends in a single cell, in which the female deposits eggs and a pollen ball upon which larvae feed. Females mate before hibernating for the winter and begin nesting in early spring. Daughters are raised first, with males being raised in late summer or early autumn.
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Brief Summary

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Sweat bees, also referred to as halictid bees, (Halictidae) are so named for their habit of landing on people and licking the perspiration from the skin in order to obtain the salt. Bees in this family are common throughout North America, with over 1,000 species occurring in North and Central America. Bees in this family are small to medium sized, ranging from 4 to 10 mm. They generally are black or brownish colored; however, there are species of sweat bees that are bright metallic green and some that have brassy yellow or red markings. Males tend to have yellow faces. Sweat bees build nests in clay soil, sandy banks, and cavities in weeds or shrubs.
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Pollinator

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This family of bees engages in a behavior called sonication, or buzz pollination (see below). The bee places the anther in its jaw and vibrates each flower with its flight muscles, causing pollen to be dislodged. Wild blueberry (Vaccinium spp.)crops are more effectively pollinated through buzz pollination, and sweat bees do pollinate this plant. These bees visit between four and eight flowers per minute and carry significant pollen loads on their hind legs. Additionally, sweat bees are generalist feeders - they feed on, and subsequently pollinate, many different flower types. These behaviors and adaptations make sweat bees efficient pollinators. Examples of crops pollinated by sweat bees include blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). Other plants that benefit from sweat bee pollination include Brazilian orchids like Prescottia densiflora and Campylocentrum aromaticum , shadbush or serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), moosewood, rhodora (Rhododendron, Subgenus: Pentanthera), and raspberry (Rubus spp.). One of the most well-known sweat bees is the alkali bee (Nomia melanderi), a great pollinator of alfalfa. Sonication, or buzz pollination, is used by some types of bees (e.g., bumblebees, southeastern blueberry bee) to release pollen. The bees grab onto a flower and move their flight muscles rapidly. This causes the flower to vibrate and the pollen to become dislodged. Typically, buzz pollinated flowers have tubular anthers with an opening at only one end. The pollen grains are very small and not oily. Examples of buzz pollinated plants include members of the Solanaceae family (e.g., eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes)and some members of the genus Vaccinium (e.g., blueberries, cranberries). Buzz pollination occurs in about 8% of flowering plants worldwide.
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Halictidae

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Halictidae is the second-largest family of Apoidea bees.[1] Halictid species occur all over the world[2] and are usually dark-colored and often metallic in appearance. Several species are all or partly green and a few are red; a number of them have yellow markings, especially the males, which commonly have yellow faces, a pattern widespread among the various families of bees. The family is distinguished by the arcuate (strongly curved) basal vein found on the wing.[3]

They are commonly referred to as "sweat bees" (especially the smaller species), as they are often attracted to perspiration.[4] They are only likely to sting if disturbed; the sting is minor.[5]

Ecology

Most halictids nest in the ground, though a few nest in wood, and they mass-provision their young (a mass of pollen and nectar is formed inside a waterproof cell, an egg laid upon it, and the cell sealed off, so the larva is given all of its food at one time, as opposed to "progressive provisioning", where a larva is fed repeatedly as it grows, as in honey bees). All species (except for kleptoparasites) are pollen feeders, and may be important pollinators.

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Systropha planidens, a specialist pollinator of Convolvulus

Eusocial species

Many species in the subfamily Halictinae are eusocial at least in part, such as Lasioglossum malachurum or Halictus rubicundus, with fairly well-defined queen and worker castes (though not the same as the caste system in honey bees), and certain manifestations of their social behavior appear to be facultative in various lineages.[6] Those species who do not have a permanent, rigid, division of labor, such as Lasioglossum zephyrus, are considered primitively eusocial.[7] Another example of a primitive eusocial bee species from this family is the Halictus ligatus species, for which aggression is one of the most influential behavioral attitudes for establishing hierarchy and social organization within the colony.[8] Primitively eusocial species such as these provide insight into the early evolution of eusociality.[8] Halictus sexcinctus, which exhibits social, communal, and eusocial organization, provides insight into the evolutionary reversal of eusociality. Phylogenetic data from this species suggests that a communal strategy serves as a transitional step between eusociality and a reversion back to solitary nesting.[9]

Cleptoparasitic species

Several genera and species of halictids are kleptoparasites of other bees (mostly other halictids), and the behavior has evolved at least nine times independently within the family. The most well-known and common are species in the genus Sphecodes, which are somewhat wasp-like in appearance (often shining black with blood-red abdomen- German: Blutbienen - usually 4–9 mm in body length); the female Sphecodes enters the cell with the provision mass, eats the host egg, and lays an egg of her own in its place.

"Nocturnal" species

Halictidae is one of the four bee families that contain some crepuscular species; these halictids are active only at dusk or in the early evening, so are technically considered "vespertine" (e.g. in the subgenus Sphecodogastra of Lasioglossum), or sometimes truly nocturnal (e.g. in the genus Megalopta, or species Megalopta genalis).[10] These bees, as is typical in such cases, have greatly enlarged ocelli. The other families with some crepuscular species are the Andrenidae, Colletidae, and Apidae.

Species of economic importance

Some species are important in the pollination of crops. Among these are the alkali bee,[11] Lasioglossum vierecki[12] and Lasioglossum leucozonium.[13]

Phylogeny

Halictidae belongs to the hymenopteran superfamily Apoidea, series Anthophila. The oldest fossil record of Halictidae dates back to Early Eocene[14] with a number of species, such as Neocorynura electra[15] and Augochlora leptoloba[16] known from amber deposits. Currently, the family is divided into four subfamilies, many genera, and more than 2000 known species. Rophitinae appears to be the sister group to the remaining three subfamilies (Nomiinae, Nomioidinae, Halictinae) based on both morphology and molecular data.[17]

Systematics

Rophitinae:

Nomiinae:

Nomioidinae:

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female Nesagapostemon moronei in Dominican amber
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male Thrincohalictus prognathus

Halictinae:

References

  1. ^ Danforth, Bryan N.; Cardinal, Sophie; Praz, Christophe; Almeida, Eduardo A.B.; Michez, Denis (2013). "The Impact of Molecular Data on Our Understanding of Bee Phylogeny and Evolution". Annual Review of Entomology. 58 (1): 57–78. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-120811-153633. ISSN 0066-4170. PMID 22934982.
  2. ^ Pesenko, Yu. A. (1999). "Phylogeny and Classification of the family Halictidae Revised (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)". Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 72 (1): 104–123. JSTOR 25085883.
  3. ^ "sweat bees, halictid bees". Featured Creatures. University of Florida Entomology and Nematology Department. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Sweat Bees". Missouri Department of Conservation. Archived from the original on 2015-09-26.
  5. ^ "Family Halictidae - Sweat Bees". Bug Guide. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  6. ^ Yanega, D. (1993-06-01). "Environmental influences on male production and social structure in Halictus rubicundus (Hymenoptera: Halictidae)". Insectes Sociaux. 40 (2): 169–180. doi:10.1007/BF01240705. ISSN 0020-1812.
  7. ^ Batra, S. W. T. (1966). "The life cycle and behavior of the primitively social bee Lasioglossum zephyrum (Halictidae)". Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 46: 359–423.
  8. ^ a b Pabalan, N.; Davey, K.G.; Packer, L. (2000). "Escalation of aggressive interactions during staged encounters in Halictus ligatus Say (Hymenoptera: Halictidae), with a comparison of circle tube behaviors with other halictine species". Journal of Insect Behavior. 13 (5): 627–650. doi:10.1023/a:1007868725551.
  9. ^ Richards, M. H. (2003). "Variable worker behaviour in the weakly eusocial sweat bee, Halictus sexcinctus Fabricius". Insectes Sociaux. 50 (4): 361–364. doi:10.1007/s00040-003-0691-3.
  10. ^ Greiner, Birgit; Ribi, Willi A.; Warrant, Eric J. (2004-04-03). "Retinal and optical adaptations for nocturnal vision in the halictid bee Megalopta genalis". Cell and Tissue Research. 316 (3): 377–390. doi:10.1007/s00441-004-0883-9. ISSN 0302-766X. PMID 15064946.
  11. ^ "A native ground nesting bee, Nomia melanderi, sustainably managed to pollinate alfalfa across an intensively agricultural landscape)". United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service.
  12. ^ Kuehn, F. (2015). "Farming for native bees: Final report". SARE - Sustainable agriculture research & education.
  13. ^ Adamson, N. L. (2011). An assessment of non-Apis bees as fruit and vegetable crop pollinators in southwest Virginia (PDF) (PhD). Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
  14. ^ Engel, M.S.; Archibald, S.B. (2003). "An Early Eocene bee (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) from Quilchena, British Columbia". The Canadian Entomologist. 135 (1): 63–69. doi:10.4039/n02-030. hdl:1808/16473.
  15. ^ Engel, M.S. (1995). "Neocorynura electra, a New Fossil Bee Species from Dominican Amber (Hymenoptera:Halictidae)". Journal of the New York Entomological Society. 103 (3): 317–323. JSTOR 25010174.
  16. ^ Engel, M.S. (2000). "Classification of the bee tribe Augochlorini (Hymenoptera, Halictidae)" (PDF). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 250: 1. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2000)250<0001:COTBTA>2.0.CO;2. hdl:2246/1598.
  17. ^ Patiny, S.; et al. (2008). "Phylogenetic relationships and host-plant evolution within the basal clade of Halictidae (Hymenoptera, Apoidea)". Cladistics. 24 (3): 255–269. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2007.00182.x.

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Halictidae: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Halictidae is the second-largest family of Apoidea bees. Halictid species occur all over the world and are usually dark-colored and often metallic in appearance. Several species are all or partly green and a few are red; a number of them have yellow markings, especially the males, which commonly have yellow faces, a pattern widespread among the various families of bees. The family is distinguished by the arcuate (strongly curved) basal vein found on the wing.

They are commonly referred to as "sweat bees" (especially the smaller species), as they are often attracted to perspiration. They are only likely to sting if disturbed; the sting is minor.

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