Beginners bees & wasps: Andrena fulva - tawny mining-bee

Andrena fulva - tawny mining-bee

A ground-nesting bee, that often nests in lawns and short turf. Common and widespread in England and Wales. In recent years it has been recorded in Scotland for the first time. It is very restricted in Ireland, but almost certainly under-recorded. Flies from late March to mid June.


Key features: Female

The female of Andrena fulva is clothed dorsally (top-side) with long, dense, bright reddish hairs. These contrast strongly with black hairs on the head, side of thorax and legs. The hind legs can appear coloured when covered in pollen.

Frequently observed excavating nests in lawns and short turf.

Similar species

Osmia bicornis is similarly coloured, but does not have the strongly contrasting black look of Andrena fulva, and does not nest in the ground.


The male is indistinctive and is not an easy bee to separate from other male Andrena.


More information on Andrena fulva

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Photo: Female Andrena fulva at rest. Bernhard Jacobi