Colour/color Digital Painting by J. McCombie.
This tiny bee is busy gathering pollen as he buzzes around rubbing against the all the centre pieces of the Portulaca.
A Green Metallic bee (Agapostemon splendens) is one of over 500 species of native bees called sweat bees. Their name appropriately is derived from the green metallic coloring of their body, however, other sweat bees can be blue or bronze. These small bees range from 1/8 to ½ inch long.
The adult sweat bee will lay an egg in a burrow and collect pollen back for the larva to feed on once hatched. Pupation occurs during the winter completing development their second year. These solitary bees will live independently, not depending on a colony for their survival.
Diet: Adults feed on flower nectar. Activity: Typically seen in summer. Preferred Climate: Warm. Defense: Rarely sting but will if provoked. Cautions: Attracted to human and animal sweat. Home Invasion: Will infest yards if barren creating small mounds with an opening at the top. In some cases large clusters will be created of these mounds as this solitary bee will often be living in large clusters (aggregations) when prime conditions exist. This can be intimidating to the homeowner.
Sweat bees received their name due to being attracted to human and animal sweat. They will land on your body and collect sweat droplets.
Portulaca (purslane) is the type genus of the flowering plant family Portulacaceae, comprising about 40-100 species found in the tropics and warm temperate regions. They are also sometimes known as Rose Moss or more commonly Moss Roses.
Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is widely considered an edible plant, and in some areas an invasive type of weed. Some Portulaca species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Nutmeg (Hadula trifolii).
Purslane can be eaten raw or cooked, and lends itself to stir fry dishes. Some say it has a slight lemon-like taste and mushroom-like texture. It is relatively easy to grow in more northern climates, including the New England area in the United States.
The common name of moss rose is quite descriptive of this plant’s key ornamental features: ruffled, rose-like flowers (to 1” diameter) appearing on prostrate to slightly ascending stems that form a moss-like foliage mat. This annual is a succulent that typically grows to 6-8” tall and spreads to 12” wide or more. Flowers bloom summer to frost and come in single, semi-double or double forms in colors including red, rose, orange, yellow, white and pastel shades thereof. Flowers do not open on cloudy or rainy days. Cylindrical, fleshy, medium green leaves (to 1” long) appear in clusters along reddish stems.