Andrena fucata - Painted mining bee

Date: 5th March 2021


Searching through some photographs taken in previous years, I came across several of Andrena fucata - the painted mining bee.  I suspect I have more in various folders, and I may be adding them to this page later!

The photographs of this female painted mining bee foraging on roses were taken at a nearby coastal site - actually a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  This website features many photographs taken in this location, as I have been able to capture pictures of the vernal mining bee, the coastal leafcutter bee, the silvery leafcutter bee, and many more.


Painted mining bee on a pink rose


In particular, the site supports an interesting variety of flora, including coastal wildflowers as well as grasses and shrubs.  Restharrow, sea holly, bird's foot trefoil, clover, evening primrose, thistles, golden rod, poppies and many more are visited by umpteen different pollinators.  There are willows, brambles, and fragrant rose shrubs, and these are popular with honey bees and a range of bumble bees and solitary bees foraging on the blooms, including the painted mining bee.

Painted mining bee on a pink rose - view from above

About Andrena fucata - the painted mining bee

Andrena fucata is a medium-sized mining bee, with females around 9mm long, and males a little smaller.  They are univoltine, and can be seen from late April to July, possibly into August.

View of scrubby coastal grassland with a wild rose shrub

Coastal scrubland is just one of the preferred types of habitat for this species.  You might also see them around woodland clearings, heathland and moorland.  

In such habitats, look out for Andrena fucata foraging on roses, brambles, hawthorns, currants, crucifers and umbellifers.

Scrubby sand dues with grasses, clover  and bird's foot trefoil

Nesting habits

Nesting can occur singly, or small groups of nests may be seen.

Painted mining bee on a pink rose

Parasites

The cleptoparastic nomad bee, Nomada panzeri is known to target nest burrows of the painted mining bee.

Nomad bee, Nomada panzeri in flight over wild garlic






Read about the Chocolate Mining Bee

chocolate mining bee image linking to page about this species






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