andrena bee facts

Healthy populations of specialist pollinators such as the cloudy-winged mining bee serve the key function of augmenting the propagation of late bloomers like goldenrod and asters, insuring that not only Andrena bees, but other generalist pollinators, have a sufficient food supply. The flowers of blueberries have an unusual shape – they look a little like miniature hurricane lamps. Note the distinctive rust-colored hair on the female Dunning mining bee's thorax and the characteristic pale brownish-red scopal hairs on her back legs. Andrena erigeniae is an important specialist pollinator that visits the flowers of the native spring bulb Claytonia virginica, known locally as spring beauty. Males look furry:  pale white hairs protrude from their legs, heads and thoraxes. According to Laberge, spring beauty mining bees frequent woodland habitats, nesting along well-drained marginal areas situated where spring beauty grows. Female stylops are wingless and enter their hosts as larvae, feeding on the bees. Female Carlin's mining bees have the facial foveae or "sideways eyebrows" characteristic of Andrena bees. A female Andrena (Melandrena) bee covered with pollen, inside a tree peony.

The bees shown here were found foraging on goldenrod on the sunny edge of a park trail at the end of August and beginning of September. On males, the clypeus (the face part above the jaws) is yellow with a stripe of brown on the bottom edge, and two black dots that resemble  false nostrils. 3/10" - 2/5"   (small), All photos (c) 2014 - 2017 Sharp-Eatman Nature Photography, Andrena forbesii Andrena crataegi are targeted by Nomada cressoni, a parasitic cuckoo bee that enters the mining bees' nests and deposits its eggs inside them. A. barbilabris also has pale interrupted banding on its abdomen. One of these is the repetitively named subgenus Andrena. The term "solitary" relates to the fact that their nesting behaviour is not social (like honeybees and bumblebees). This male bee has a black face and body covered with pale and black hairs. Simply enjoy them! re-occupied year after year if undisturbed. Females have protuberant faces with long heads and convex “roman noses”—as shown in the photo strip at right.

Long-lipped Andrenas are documented pollinators of spring-blooming native plants such as  willow, serviceberry, chokecherry, American plum and wild berries. Once mated, the bumblebee lookalike fly hovers in front of an open nest cavity and flicks its eggs inside with great precision and skill. They also have black scopal hairs on their back legs. With the naked eye, females look black with yellow legs and dark wings. This cuckoo bee enters hairy-banded Andrena nests and lays its eggs in them. The Alleghany Mining Bee's most dramatic trait visible to the naked eye is the presence of two brightly-colored rust-orange tufts of hair on either side of the front end of the thorax. On female Andrenas, pale hairs grow from the foveae,  along the inside margins of the eyes, forming patches that  are sometimes described as looking like  "sideways eyebrows". They tend to commingle in Northeastern blueberry plantings with the very similar blueberry-pollinatiing species Andrena regularis. Within that element, female Bradley’s mining bees stand out from other blueberry-attracted Andrena because Andrena bradleyi bees appear distinctly pale and furry with abdominal bands. Female plum Andrenas have distinctive narrow facial foveae covered with light-brown hairs. The world’s largest bumblebee is the Bombus dahlbomii of South America. Length 0.4 inches (10 mm). According to Schrader and LaBerge, female bees do not surface on spring days when the temperature drops below 55 degrees. In all three locations, the bushes blossom in the last week of April and early May. On this male bee, the abdominal bands are interrupted and fairly weakly defined. (Andrena Subgenus Plastandrena) Identification Information:  Bradley’s mining bees belong to the very small Andrena subgenus Conandrena. True to this subgenus, Forbes Andrena is a relatively small mining bee with a heavily pitted thorax and a wrinkled propedeum (the top part of the thorax, closest to the abdomen).

True to its name, the hawthorn mining bee's preferred food is the flowers of hawthorn.

Identification Information:  Andrena placata and A. simplex males and females are predominantly black bees with dark thoraxes that are bald on top and fringed with pale hairs on the sides; and dark abdomens encircled by weakly-defined pale bands of hair. The male Cresson’s Andrena also has an additional distinguishing trait, somewhat difficult to perceive with the naked eye – the end of the bee’s abdomen has a long, thin, tip. Females, like the one shown here, transport sizeable loads of white blueberry pollen on their back legs. The black scopal (pollen-gathering) hairs on the bottom segments of the bees' hind legs are a distinguishing trait of this species. A notable species within the Melandrena subgenus described above is Carlin’s Mining Bee (Andrena carlini), a strong flyer with a distinctive appearance. Males also have pale hairs on the inner sides of their bottom leg segments. Dunning's Mining Bee (A. dunningi) The bee shown here was found feeding on goldenrod in late August. Superfamily:   Apoidea (Wasps and Bees) This bee appears in the park in mid-May and disappears by the end of June. Plum Andrenas are woodland bees. The genus Andrena is one of the largest bee genera in the world and the most diverse in North America, comprising 400 species on this continent and nearly 1500 worldwide. Honey bees are super-important pollinators for flowers, fruits and vegetables. To the naked eye, the white stripes on the abdomens of cloudy-winged mining bees also appear more crisply defined than those of ligated sweat bees. Males' faces are covered with thick tufts of pale-intermingled-with-dark hairs. A second overlapping subspecies, Andrena cressonii kansensis, is found farther west in the prairie states, and has bright orange-red coloration on its legs (on the femurs and on the middle and hind tarsi, in both males and females). A female neighborly mining bee -- note the abundant pale hairs on the underside of the bees' thorax and the pale hairs on her front and middle legs. making egg cells: in each one she lays an egg and provides both pollen and nectar on which Identification Information:  Plum Andrenas share many similarities with the other mining bees of the subgenus Melandrena shown on this guide page. Andrena (Trachandrena)  are small bees -- they tend to be less than ten millimeters (2/5")  in length. Andrena cressoni cressoni Andrena crataegi does not, however, closely resemble other bees of its subgenus.

"Portland's Sabin schoolyard abuzz": Oregonlive 05/03/2010, "Tickle Bee Time!

In spring, furry-looking black Andrena bees, like those shown at right, appear in significant numbers gathering pollen from tree peonies in the park's Peony Monument garden. The bee's thorax is also covered with pits, another distinguishing characteristic of Alleghany mining bees. The thorax of the hawthorn mining bee is pitted, while that of the confederate mining bee looks matte and unpitted except on microscopic inspection. On the subspecies found in our area, Male neighborly Andrenas have dark abdomens and pale hair on their faces and thoraxes. The hairy-banded mining bee is a specialist pollinator that feeds principally on goldenrod. This means that, The flight period for spring beauty mining bees is 50 days, beginning 10 days after spring beauty starts blooming and ending 10 days before its bloom period ends.

These are graceful, elegant bees with long abdomens, narrow waists, delicate wide heads (shaped a little like ET's head), long antennae and seed-shaped eyes. The segments of the bee's abdomen fit into one another like plates of armor.

Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! In spring, Andrena (Melandrena) can be spotted along woodland paths in the park and visiting fruit trees and blueberries in Stone Barns orchards and. Each spring beauty plant bears multiple flowers; each flower blooms for three days, but its stamens are active only for a single day. Wilkes Andrenas are often categorized as specialist bees that focus principally on clover and vetch.

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