Mining bee

Having dropped Alex at work, I headed off to the dentist for a check-up - fortunately nothing to be done apart from a scale and polish. Then it was back home to work on some more Powerpoint slides for my forthcoming lectures, and to scan in various extracts of the National Vegetation Classification, as it seems Leeds Uni do not have any copies available!

After Alex finished work we went to vote. It was Alex and Ben's first time, and they were offered lots of assistance, though they didn't need it, as we'd been through the procedure before we set off. I seemed to cause a bit of confusion as I had a proxy vote for Chris, who was away working in Devon. 

I didn't manage to fit in a walk, so this bee was captured in the garden, just about to take flight. In spring Andrena bees (both males and females) emerge from the underground cells where their prepupae spend the winter. They mate, and the females then seek sites for their nest burrows, where they construct small cells containing a ball of pollen mixed with nectar, upon which an egg is laid, before each cell is sealed. Andrena usually prefer sandy soils for a nesting substrate, near or under shrubs to be protected from heat and frost, but we seem to have plenty in the garden, so some must be able to cope with clay soils too.

Many thanks for all the stars and hearts for yesterday's moth - I feel bad that I'm not really getting around to responding to people individually, but I'm afraid that's the norm between May and July, when we're very busy with fieldwork.

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