Last updated on: 11th July, 2024
ICAR-Directorate of Cashew Research

Bees of Halictidae

Halictidae bees

Halictids are very diverse group of bees, dull to metallic black or green, blue or purple. Halictids display the more diverse social behaviour. Most species are polylectic and nest underground, while, nests that are built in rotting wood usually resemble ground nests. 

Pseudapis sp. (Halictidae: Hymenoptera)

There are 73 known species of Pseudapis from different parts of the world, particularly Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia. Pseudapis bees do not produce honey but are likely to be important pollinators of crops and wild plants. Females have a sting, but they are not aggressive and will only sting if handled. These ground-nesting bees live independently.  Pseudapis bees have   large tegula and pale bands on the abdomen.  They prefer to nest in soils. In general, these bees prefer flowers of Asteraceae family, but visit other flowers as well. This bee species is less common on cashew flowers, presents erratic movements.




Pseudapis oxybeloides Smith (Halictidae: Hymenoptera)

P. oxybeloides is a soil-nesting bee and known to be one of the major insect pollinators in the world. It is quasi-social, and mostly prefers sandy, alkaline soil with little vegetation. The bees have large tegula and pale bands on the abdomen. This bee species is polylectic and gathers pollen and nectar from a variety of flowers. It collects plenty of pollen grains within a short period and is a very good forager. Nests of this bee species are located in the ground on the open surface, on the sides of water passages in the cashew plantations, and also on the lateritic surface on the ground in Puttur region of Karnataka.




Lasioglossum sp. (Halictidae: Hymenoptera) (Sweat bee)

Genus, Lasioglossum is the largest of all bee genera, containing over 1700 species in numerous subgenera worldwide. Lasioglossum bees are small, black known to have bands of light hairs at the base of their abdominal segments, but not always. Most Lasioglossum species nest in the ground, but some nest in rotten logs. They live independently or in small groups. They are not aggressive but can sting for defence. This species is common on cashew flowers, but can also be seen over the leaf surface at times. Though it prefers nectar in fresh flowers, also visits extra floral nectarines.           






Seledonia sp. (=Halictus sp.) (Halictidae: Hymenoptera) (Furrow bees)

The genus Halictus has 200 species in 18 subgenera worldwide. Bees are shiny in nature and small. The hair bands are apical and not basal. This species is common on cashew flowers. It also collects a lot of pollen grains.  






Photo credit: K. Vanitha, ICAR-DCR, Puttur