New York faced with swarms of bees which feed off human SWEAT (but don’t worry, they don’t sting)
The netting of a new, non-stinging bee that sips the sweat of humans is creating a buzz in New York City.
John Ascher, an entomologist, made the discovery in 2010 in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, which is home to more than 90 species of native bees.
‘They use humans as a salt lick’, he told the Wall Street Journal. ‘They land on your arm and lap up the sweat.’
New: The bees prefer sweaty people over most animals because off their salty diets and their stings are relatively harmless
It took months of DNA testing by Cornell University bee specialist Jason Gibbs to work out what the exact species of unidentified bee was.
The pair announced the discovery of Lasioglossum gotham in November last year.
It is just one of the thousands of species of native bees that are found in North America, which are overshadowed by imported honey bees.
Although sweat bees do not make much honey, they are still important in pollinating, plants, flowers and fruits.
Overlooked: The new discovery is just one of the thousands of species of native bees that are found in North America
‘We’ve neglected the native bees because the honey bee was so successful,’ entomologist Anne Averill at the University of Massachusetts told the newspaper.
The bees prefer sweaty people over most animals because off their salty diets but their sting is relatively harmless.
New York City is swarming with at least 250 species of native bees, with news discoveries made regularly.
Mr Ascher, who works for the American Museum of Natural History and oversees a catalog of 700,000 bee specimens, told the newspaper that he comes across new types every day.
‘We are finding out these things at a fast pace,’ he said. ‘I just got another box of bees and there was a new species in Queens.’