Andrena bicolor – Gwynne’s mining bee

Look closely in your garden for the little things. This little beauty, laden with bright yellow pollen, was scaling a tulip plant. She caught my eye with her golden robes, the richest yellow pollen, so much so that the pollen almost obscured her identity.

In the UK we have 60 species of mining bees. This is Gwynne’s mining bee. She has dark hairs at the side of her thorax and her usual gingery thorax is caked with yellow pollen.

She is a solitary bee, which means she is on her own. She has recently hatched out of her cocoon and is now collecting pollen to make little pollen cakes for her babies. Each egg is laid into a carefully prepared cell underground and furnished with a pollen cake so that when it hatches it has plenty of food to eat as a larvae before it pupates into an adult bee.

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