Andrena Carantonica, or the 'Chocolate Mining Bee'
.... are solitary bee species. Here are a pair mating:
I was fortunate enough to have a pair ‘turn up’, or I should say ‘fall out’ of ’nowhere’ whilst gardening.
I had just moved a currant bush in a pot, and topped up the bush with water, when this mating pair fell out onto the wet soil.
I gently picked them up, and there they remained on my hand for no longer than a minute or two, just long enough for my husband to take a photograph before the two bees parted.
Below - Andrena Carantonica - Female
The male is also smaller than the female, and the thorax is paler in colour.
They each remained on my hand for a little while, then both flew off separately.
has a slightly narrow body in comparison with the female.
Above - Andrena Carantonica - Male
Note the tufts of hair on the hind leg of the female. These get covered in pollen.
The name ‘Andrena’ tells us that this bee is a mining bee.
Andrena carantonica are seen in spring, foraging on spring flowering shrubs and plants.
Read about more solitary bee species.
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