Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Sweat Bee

Nomioides sp.


This little face belongs to a sweat bee that has been a new visitor to the garden. As their name suggests, they are commonly attracted to human sweat which offers not only water but salt and minerals acting to them as an electrolyte (rehydrate) dose to a human athlete. It has also been compared to deer visiting salt licks. Nesting in soil burrows, sweat bees are often observed heavily laden with pollen on route to their nest to store it en mass as food for the young.


Mostly arid areas. With more open soil around after the drought, Sweat bees may have gravitated towards the more forested areas of the Cape.


Sweat bees obtain salt from sources in nature but are drawn to human sweat as a result of oppertunistic behaviour. This interaction with us on such an intimate level often leads to overactions to them landing on us and this leads to stings. While they are not aggresive creatures, they sting when disturbed or are brushed away mostly mistaken for an annoying fly. The stings however are minor due to thier small size.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Michael Strydom
Spotted by
Michael Strydom

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Spotted on Dec 22, 2018
Submitted on Dec 22, 2018

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team