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« Cliff Nesting Bees - Galley Hill | Main | Castle Water, 10th & 11th »
4:24PM

Yet more bees...

Yet more bees I'm afraid, though little else insect-wise seems to be making any progress in this cold weather and this was such a splendid little beastie that I couldn't resist! This is a female short-fringed mining bee (Andrena dorsata) so-called because of the short fringe of hairs on the upper edge of the very broad hind tibia visible in the image (there is also a long-fringed mining bee though this is somewhat rarer). This one was feeding on alexanders next to the saltmarsh near Monkbretton Bridge in Rye on Saturday. Apparently this was once something of a rarity in the UK though it has become more common in recent years and there are several records from Rye Bay on our database. New one for me though.

On the reserve we have seen the first appearance this year of grey-backed mining bee (Andrena vaga) at Castle Water, with several recorded in the last week. As is the case with most insects the first to appear were the males (the image below) which are more slender than the females (and don't make nests!). All the other mining bees active at this time of year are relatively small so it is quite easy to spot the huge males of vaga as they cruise through the throng looking for lurve.

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