tawny mining bee

Will George

tawny minging bee

Will George

Tawny mining bee

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Scientific name: Andrena fulva
The Tawny mining bee is a furry, gingery bee that can often be seen in parks and gardens during the springtime. Look for a volcano-like mound of earth in the lawn that marks the entrance to its burrow.

Top facts

Stats

Length: up to 1.2cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to May

About

The Tawny mining bee is a common, spring-flying, solitary bee that nests underground, building a little volcano-like mound of soil around the mouth of its burrow. Nests can often be seen in lawns and flowerbeds in gardens and parks, or in mown banks and field margins in farmland and orchards. The Tawny mining bee is on the wing from April to June, which coincides with the flowering of fruit trees like cherry, pear and apple. The female collects pollen and nectar for the larvae, which develop underground (each in a single 'cell' of the nest) and hibernate as pupa over winter.

What to look for

The Tawny mining bee is a ginger-coloured bee; females are larger than males and covered in a much denser layer of orange hairs. The males have a distinguishing white tuft of hairs on the face. There are several other species of mining bee that can be difficult to tell apart.

Where to find

Widespread in England and Wales, but rarer in Scotland.

Did you know?

Bees differ from wasps by being herbivorous, the adults feeding on nectar and pollen. Adult wasps are predators, feeding on invertebrates as well as nectar.