Tawny Mining Bee - Andrena fulva

Description

The males are 10 to 12 mm and the females 8 to 10 mm long. The females are covered with fox red hair on their backs and black on the underside, whilst the males are more slender and yellower in appearance.

Photo ID?
Habitat

Gardens on Currants, Gooseberries and other Ribes species.

When to see it

March to May

Life History

It mates in spring, after which the male dies and the female starts to build a nest. Sometimes more than a hundred females build nests in a few square metres but the Tawny Mining Bee normally does not create a colony: each female has her own nest. The nest is a vertical shaft 200 to 300 mm (8 to 12 in) with several brood cells branching off it. The female fills these cells with a mixture of nectar and pollen, on which she lays one egg in each cell. The larva hatches within a few days, grows quickly and pupates within a few weeks. The adults emerge in spring after hibernation.

UK Status

Widespread and common in England, fewer records from elsewhere.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map