Thursday, July 05, 2007


Any fans of bees out there, this might interest you.

Snapped this little blighter this afternoon, on my tatty Tattie plants, during one of our daily hurricanes and monsoons we are having this summer.

A "Hymenopterist" on the WAB site has identified it as a 2nd brood Andrena carantonica (A.Scotica also), known in Holland as the Hawthorn Mining Beetle.

The expert on the WAB site says to find fresh examples (ie not all battered) in July is rare indeed - he does get the odd example reported to him, but they are few and far between.

So, this might well be an example of a 2nd brood from the Mining Bees this year. Nice.

A.carantonica (I don't know why, but all I want to write is Eric Cantona when I type that out) is a common Mining Bee in the UK, and one of the bigger species. It is approximately Honey Bee size (big for a MIning Bee, like I said), and does look superficially similar to a Honey Bee drone, but one look at the method of pollen-collecting on its legs should tell you its some kind of Mining Bee. Honey Bees have wet pollen on their legs; Mining Bees - dry.
It normally appears around April time, (just ready for the Hawthorn blossoms), and pretty well disappears by the end of June.
Unless.... it has a rare second brood!

Maybe this is all a result of the wettest summer ever that we're experiencing at present.

Maybe the Hawthorn Mining Bees have thought - "Ok. Ok. We'll have another go this year".

A nice visitor to the garden though!

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