|Female Tawny Mining-Bee (Andrena fulva)|
Once again its the female of the species seen, I am still yet to find or identify the male Tawny Mining Bee with any certainty, checking every possible candidate for the large jaws and white tuft of hair on the lower jaw. Its getting near the end of their flight season which spans from April to early June so the window of opportunity is rapidly closing for this year.
This Bee often described as common and widespread, has certainly not been the case for me, in fact this is the first year that I have actually seen them, three females, one at Ightham Mote, one at Ashenbank Woods and now this one in the garden.
This individual which crash landed on the patio in front of me, was probably just passing through,
it appeared to be heavily laden with pollen, no evidence of the so called "little volcanoes" in the lawn which indicate a bee burrow.
These Tawny Mining Bees are reputed not to sting, even so, I gingerly removed it to a place of safety, where it remained for several minutes, allowing a few photographs from various angles to be taken.
As suddenly as it appeared, it took off at speed and disappeared, another brief but interesting encounter with this very attractive looking Bee.