Mining Bees – Andrena
Mining bees are one of the most diverse groups of bees, represented by 400 species in the United States. They are often the first bees seen in the early spring, though some species emerge in late summer. Many species have a smooth black abdomen, and due to their similarity in appearance, it is difficult to identify individual species.
True to their common name, they are ground nesting solitary bees. Often living in large aggregations, each female lays her own eggs and provisions them with “bee bread”.
Spring mining bees are generalist pollinators found on some of the earliest blooming flowers and are important pollinators of apple trees.
Though a very familiar spring pollinator there are many species that come out later in the season.