Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria)

The 'andrena' bees are often known as mining bees as they nest underground, usually in sandy banks and soil; as a result they are quite often seen on the heaths of Dorset where they feed on heather. They are honey bees, collecting pollen from a wide range of flowers, but only the female takes pollen back to her nest to feed the young grubs.

Seen in spring and throughout the summer, Andrena cineraria is best identified by its genrally black body with white hairs, the thorax in particular has a lot of white hairs but these can wear and fade as the summer goes on.

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