The American Southwest is home to more species of native bees than any other part of North America. There, the sandy soil can be good for building nests in the ground—where this species, Dieunomia apacha, makes its home.Also sometimes found in the prairie states, it’s a member of the Halictidae, or sweat bee family, which is named for some species that are attracted to perspiration.

But biologists have recorded very few sightings of these bees since 2000. Insect numbers often fluctuate for a combination of reasons: in the case of this rare bee, one main reason their numbers may be dwindling is destruction and fragmentation of their habitat. Their nesting grounds are being replaced by both cropland and oil and gas fields. Off-road vehicles can also destroy nests.

Apacha sweat bee
Dieunomia apacha
About 0.6 inches (15 mm)
Vulnerable (natureserve)
Ecological Role
AMNH Specimen Number
AMNH_BEE 000244A A00
Nebraska, U.S.