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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!

27 November, 2015

Lasioglossum calceatum: the slender mining bee:

Whilst walking across the downs at Durlston one day in summer I could not help but notice hundreds of small holes in the bare ground on the path and lots of small insects either flying around or  at rest near by. I was eventually able to find one at rest long enough to get this photograph. Given the insect itself was only a few millimetres long this photo came out quite well and I was able to get an identification, it is the slender mining bee (Lasioglossum calceatum).
This is a common mining bee in southern England and can be seen from April through until October and I saw it in May just as its breeding activity was beginning to get under way, hence all the activity. Whilst the are solitary bees, that is to say they do not have a hive with queen and workers, the do seem to like to nest in colonies. Being a mining bee it digs a small nest in underground and that is why the path was peppered with small holes. The Latin name suggest a preference for calcareous soils and that is certainly what you get at Durlston which is limestone. 
This species is

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