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Tawny Mining Bee - Andrena fulva - Female
Tawny Mining Bee - Andrena fulva - Female


Tawny mining bee
The tawny mining bee (Andrena fulva) belongs to the genus Andrena in the order Hymenoptera, the superfamily Apoidea, the series Apiformes, and the subfamily Andre nina. A scientific synonym for Andrena fulva is Andrena armata.
Tawny Mining Bee - Side view width pollen
Tawny Mining Bee - Side view width pollen
The tawny mining bee is commonly found from Western Europe and southern Scandinavia to the Balkans. This species reproduces once a year and despite having low population densities in some places, is not regarded as endangered.
Andrena fulva - Male
Andrena fulva - Male
The tawny mining bee is not a social insect. The females build solitary nests (solitary bees), which can often be found in close proximity to others of the same species. Under favourable conditions 50 nests can occur in an area of one square metre.
Tawny Mining Bee - Male
Tawny Mining Bee - Male
Adult Andrena fulva reach body lengths of 8-14 mm, the females being smaller than the males. Their bodies have a black base colour. From March, bright auburn hair begins to grow on the chest (thorax) and abdomen. The colouration varies, up to May, from golden to straw yellow. The undersides of the head and body are covered in black hairs, though the males have only a little hair on the abdomen.
Tawny Mining Bee - Front view
Tawny Mining Bee - Front view
The preferred habitats of the tawny mining bee are forests, forest edges, embankments, gravel pits, dry grasslands, parks and gardens. The nest is usually in sunny or partially shady areas with sparse vegetation. The first bees can already be found near the soil in early March. From March to May they live on the pollen and nectar of numerous, different flowering plants including most fruit trees and berry bushes. Some examples are: Aceraceae, Aquifoliaceae, Berberidaceae, Brassicaceae, Buxaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Fagaceae, Grossulariaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae and Salicaceae.
Tawny Mining Bee - Rear view
Tawny Mining Bee - Rear view
Mating occurs in spring and the males die afterwards. Shortly thereafter, the females start building the nest on bare, dry, sandy soil sites. For this purpose they dig a main gallery, which is up to 60 cm deep and leads into the ground, and into diverse brood cells (incubators). The entrance to the nest looks like a crater surrounded by a small mound. The brood cells are filled with a pulp of pollen and nectar by the females and afterwards they lay an egg on this mixture. A few days later the larvae hatch. The development of the larvae to the point of pupation takes a few weeks. The pupae overwinter.
Andrena fulva - Side view
Andrena fulva - Side view
As pollinators of flowering plants, tawny mining bees are very important ecologically. Natural enemies of the tawny mining bee include the bees Nomada signata and Nomada panzeri.


Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Tawny Mining Bee - Andrena fulva - Female
2. Tawny Mining Bee - Side view width pollen
3. Andrena fulva - Male
4. Tawny Mining Bee - Male
5. Tawny Mining Bee - Front view
6. Tawny Mining Bee - Rear view
7. Andrena fulva - Side view
Sources, links and more informations
Tawny mining bee in Wikipedia
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