Tawny Mining Bee Andrena armata

The Tawny Mining Bee, also known as Lawn Bee, is not more common than the Early Mining Bee, but is much more noticed. It is a little larger, reaching a length of 12 to 13 mm and has striking orange red hairs, not only on the thorax, but all over. It may remind one of a colourful, slender Common Carder Bee. The Tawny Mining Bee is very indifferent about its nesting location, even though it is extremely fond of shadeless sunny places. It is commonly found between tiles and stones in the garden and also loves well-cut lawns. The entrance to the nesting chambers can be well over half a meter deep. Given good conditions many females may nest in one small location. The coming and going of the striking red bees often draws our attention instantly. It too shows little favour towards certain plants, even though it is very fond of various types of berries. The Tawny Mining Bee flies at the same time the Early Mining Bee does, or even shorter. Most are seen in April and May only. This too is a very common species in continental Europe, as well as the UK.

Until recently the animal was scientifically known as Andrena fulva.