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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

28 June, 2015

Andrena haemorrhoa: the early mining bee | Nature Notes from Dorset

Andrena bees are commonly known as mining bees because they build nests under ground and you find a pile of spoil around the entrance as a result of their excavations. Andrenas form one of the largest groups of bees and there are many similar species. This one, Andrena haemorrhoa, is one of the first to emerge each spring and so is commonly called the early mining bee. 
It is not a large species, smaller than a honey bee but not dissimilar in general appearance but the brown, furry thorax and the black abdomen set it apart. In older specimens the brown fur may be rubbed away and the bee can be almost totally smooth black. This is the female by the way, the males are smaller, slightly different in colouration and are seen much less often. 
Andrena haemorrhoa emerge in March and can be seen through until June 

Read more: Andrena haemorrhoa: the early mining bee | Nature Notes from Dorset