Andrena tibialis (Kirby,1802)

Description and notes

One of the largest Andrena species in Britain. It is a uniformly brown bee with reddish yellow hind legs, especially noticeable in females, where the yellow scopal hairs accentuate this colouring. It belongs to the group with a raised crest around the rear of the propodeum; this can often be seen with a hand-lens when examining specimens in the net. Males may be found patrolling along hedge-lines and around isolated bushes, flying at about head height, presumably searching for newly-emerged females.


Predominately a southern bee, with only sporadic records north of the Wash-Severn line. There are no confirmed records from Scotland or Ireland.

It is widely distributed in southern and central Europe.

Status (in Britain only)

This species is listed in Falk (1991) as Notable A (now known as Nationally Scarce).


Found in a wide range of habitats.

Flight period

Univoltine; late March to June.

Pollen collected

Polylectic; pollen is collected from both herbaceous and woody plants.

Nesting biology

May nest singly or communally in areas of sunny bare ground, often of a sandy nature.

Flowers visited

Visits a wide variety of flowers.


Nomada fulvicornis Fabricius is a cleptoparasite of this species. Both males and females may rarely be stylopised, the species involved being unknown.

Author of profile

M Edwards

Map compiled by: M Edwards and S P M Roberts.

Year profile last updated