Tawny Mining Bee

Andrena fulva

Tawny Mining Bee

profile iconTawny Mining Bee (f) - Andrena fulva 4
by Sarah (CC BY-SA 2.0)
1 of 11
A close up of an Andrena fulva (Tawny Mining Bee)
profile iconTawny Mining Bee (f) - Andrena fulva 4
by Sarah (CC BY-SA 2.0)
1 of 11
Andrena fulva is a fluffy and orange ground-dwelling solitary bee and a beneficial pollinator of earlier blooming flowers. These bees can be spotted in the countryside as well as in urban environments. Small mounds of loose soil on the surface of your lawn is a tell-tale sign these bees are present. Beneath this, is a small nest belonging to an egg which will eventually develop into a larva, before pupating and emerging as an adult bee the following year.
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Traits

A useful pollinator for early blossoms.
May make its nests in cultivated lawns.

Appearance

Adults: Active spring to summer. The female bee is covered in chestnut coloured hair and can be up to about 1.5cm in length (Honey Bee sized). They have black hairs on the legs, as well as under the abdomens and on the face. The male bees are more difficult to identify. They're more slender and less hairy. The hair on the thorax is golden-yellow, with a white tuft of hair on the front of the head. They have thin and delicate bands of golden hair on the abdomens. Larvae and Eggs: These spend their entire life stage in the burrow developing. Larvae pupate over winter, emerging the following spring. The female creates the underground nest by herself, but there may be several females within a small area building individual nests. They lay a large number of eggs which hatch and feed on the pollen and nectar stored in the nest, collected by the mother.

Symptoms

Small molehill like mounds of soil, with a hole through the middle for access to the underground nest. Burrows can be built on garden lawns, grass banks, flower borders and in woodland areas.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Andrenidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

The UK and Europe, but they're now extinct in Ireland.

Biological treatment

Tawny Bees are beneficial pollinating insects that can improve fruit yields in the garden. Attract them by planting early blooming flowers and shrubs, such as blossoming fruit trees.

Chemical treatment

It is advised to tolerate these bees wherever possible because they play a crucial role in the food web. If the bee is a problem for an ornamental fine lawn, please contact a certified pest controller for advice.

Attracts this pest

Lawns and areas of short or minimal planted ground-cover. An excellent pollinator of early blooms.
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Knowledge and advice

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