Tawny Mining-bee

A welcome spell of sunshine brought out plenty of solitary bees, who particularly like to forage on the rather muted blossoms of red currant and gooseberry. 

My image shows perhaps the most spectacular of the solitary bees in our garden, a female tawny mining-bee Andrena  fulva. The males are very different to the females. They are much slimmer, covered in less dense orange-brown hair and have a very pronounced tuft of
white hairs on the lower face. 

Andrena fulva nests are constructed in the ground, and the nest entrances are surrounded by a volcano like mound of excavated spoil. Nests are often in loose aggregations in tended lawns, flower beds,
mown banks and in sparsely vegetated field margins. 

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