Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mining bee

Mining bees include about 1200 species in North America alone. They are solitary bees which means they don’t life in big colonies such as the honey bee but alone. Species like today’s Andrena spiraeana are springtime bees. Some even emerge before all snow has vanished. This might explain their little furry coat and which is very similar to the one bumble bees have.

Their nests are burrows in the soil, the entrance often hidden beneath a fallen leaf or other litter. Like any good homebuilder, the female waterproofs the walls of her brood cells using a secretion from a gland in her abdomen.

The individual species of mining bees are difficult to tell apart and in many cases they are best identified by looking at the flower species they pollinate as they seem to be very choosy when it comes to pollen.

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