Andrena, commonly called the mining bee, is the largest genus in the family Andrenidae, and is nearly worldwide in distribution, with the notable exceptions of Oceania and South America. With over 1,300 species, it is one of the largest of all bee genera. Species are often brown to black with whitish abdominal hair bands, though other colors are possible, most commonly reddish, but also including metallic blue or green.

Andrena vaga visiting her nest

Body length commonly ranges between 8 and 17 mm with males smaller and more slender than females, which often show a black triangle (the "pygidial plate") at the abdominal apex. In temperate areas, Andrena bees (both males and females) emerge from the underground cells where their prepupae spend the winter, when the temperature ranges from about 20 °C to 30 °C. They mate, and the females then seek sites for their nest burrows, where they construct small cells containing a ball of pollen mixed with nectar, upon which an egg is laid, before each cell is sealed. Andrena usually prefer sandy soils for a nesting substrate, near or under shrubs to be protected from heat and frost.

Andrena bees can be readily distinguished from most other small bees by the possession of broad velvety areas in between the compound eyes and the antennal bases, called "facial foveae". They also tend to have very long scopal hairs on the hind leg.

Temporal range: Late Oligocene–recent
Bee February 2008-3
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Andrenidae
Subfamily: Andreninae
Genus: Andrena
Fabricius, 1775
  • A. (Andrena)
  • A. (Euandrena)
  • A. (Margandrena)
  • A. (Melandrena)
  • A. (Micrandrena)
  • A. (Notandrena)
  • A. (Oreomelissa)
  • A. (Plastandrena)
  • A. (Poecilandrena)
  • A. (Simandrena)
  • A. (Ptilandrena)
  • A. (Zonandrena)


Partial list of species:

See comprehensive separate list.

Andrena accepta

A. accepta

Andrena nasonii. saxifrage

A. nasonii

Early mining bee (Andrena haemorrhoa) Cumnor

A. haemorrhoa, Early mining bee, Oxfordshire

Andrena Subgenus Gonandrena

Andrena Subgenus Gonandrena, dogwood andrena

Andrena nida, m, face, Montgomery Co 2015-12-01-11.55 (24641006220)

A. nida

Plos One 108865 Fig 6 A Andrena antoinei

A. antoinei


  1. ^ Dehon, M.; Michez, D.; Nel, A.; Engel, M. S.; De Meulemeester, T. (2014). "Wing Shape of Four New Bee Fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) Provides Insights to Bee Evolution". PLOS ONE. 9 (10): 1–16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108865. PMC 4212905. PMID 25354170.
  • C. D. Michener (2007) The Bees of the World, 2nd Edition, Johns Hopkins University Press.

External links

Andrena agilissima

Andrena agilissima is a species of mining bee. They are present in most of Europe, the Near East and North Africa and can be found from April through July. Andrena agilissima is an oligolectic species, feeding only on the pollen of a few genera of Cruciferous vegetables (Brassicaceae species, such as Brassica napus, Brassica rapa, Raphanus raphanistrum, Barbarea vulgaris and Sinapis species).

Andrena antoinei

Andrena antoinei is an extinct species of mining bee in the family Andrenidae described from a single fossil found in a Late Oligocene lake in present-day France that existed in semi-arid conditions.

Andrena bicolor

Andrena bicolor, or Gwynne's mining bee, is a common and widespread Western Palearctic mining bee which is found over most of Europe as well as North Africa and the Middle East and which reaches eastwards into Siberia.

Andrena cervina

Andrena cervina is a species of bee, belonging to the family Andrenidae. The species is endemic to Cyprus.

Andrena clarkella

Andrena clarkella, known generally as the Clark's andrena or Clarke's mining bee, is a species of mining bee in the family Andrenidae. It is found in North America.

Andrena lauracea

Andrena lauracea is a rare bee species from the United States. It has been collected twice in Carlinville, Illinois, once around 1897 and once in 1970–1972. There are also two putative specimens from Texas.The Carlinville specimens were collected on Sassafras variifolium (1897) and Prunus serotina (1970).

Andrena marginata

Andrena marginata, sometimes called the small scabious mining bee is a species of the sand bee (Andrena) genus. It feeds on different nectar-bearing plants of the family Dipsacaceae, like field scabious and Devil's-bit scabious (from which its common name derives), though has also been observed foraging on knapweed and creeping thistle. The female builds a nest in the ground and fills the cells with a mixture of nectar and pollen. One egg is placed in each cell and the larva hatches, grow and pupates within the nest. The adults emerge in spring after hibernation.

Andrena scotica

Andrena scotica, the chocolate mining bee or hawthorn bee, is a species of mining bee from the family Andrenidae. It occurs in western Europe and is one of the most frequently encountered mining bees found in Great Britain, where it had been previously misidentified as Andrena carantonica.

Andrena trimmerana

Andrena trimmerana, Trimmer's mining bee, is a species of mining bee from the family Andrenidae. It occurs in the western Palearctic but its true status in some areas is muddled due to issues of taxonomy and misidentification.

Andrena vaga

Andrena vaga, the grey-backed mining bee, is a species of solitary bee which is found in most of Europe but which is very rare in Great Britain, where it may be recolonizing in the south-east after previously being extirpated. It specialises in feeding on the pollen of willows.


The Andrenidae (commonly known as mining bees) are a large, nearly cosmopolitan family of solitary, ground-nesting bees. Most of the family's diversity is located in temperate or arid areas (warm temperate xeric). It includes some enormous genera (e.g., Andrena with over 1300 species, and Perdita with over 700). One of the subfamilies, Oxaeinae, is so different in appearance that they were typically accorded family status, but careful phylogenetic analysis reveals them to be an offshoot within the Andrenidae, very close to the Andreninae.


The bee subfamily Andreninae is a nearly cosmopolitan lineage, with most of its diversity in one genus, Andrena, which contains over 1500 species. The remaining four genera in the subfamily only contain a total of 9 species.

Females of three of the genera (Ancylandrena, Andrena, and Megandrena) have broad, velvety depressions called "facial foveae" on the face between the eyes and the antennae; in all other members of the family, the foveae are much smaller, typically reduced to grooves or pits at the upper margin of the eyes. Ancylandrena and Megandrena occur only in the desert regions of southwestern North America (Nevada, California, Arizona, Sonora, and Baja California), while Andrena is nearly worldwide. Euherbstia and Orphana are rare bees restricted to desert regions of Chile.

Unlike the subfamily Panurginae, none of the species of Andreninae have yellow markings anywhere other than on the face; those markings, when present, are usually found only in males.

Ashy mining bee

The ashy mining bee or grey mining bee, Andrena cineraria, is a European species of the sand bee (Andrena) genus. Its distinctive colouring makes it one of the most easily recognised of the genus. The females are black, with two broad grey hair bands across the thorax. The male is also black although the thorax is entirely covered with grey hairs. The male has a tuft of white hairs on the lower face and white hairs on all femora while the female has white hairs only on the front femora. The female has twelve segments to their antennae and the male has thirteen.The ashy mining bee is common and widespread throughout Europe. ranging from Ireland across central Europe and into Scandinavia. They are common throughout the United Kingdom although less frequent in northern Scotland. Generally docile, they are considered safe around children and pets. The ashy mining bee flies from April until early June, most noticeably during the flowering periods of fruit trees, of which they are an important pollinator. They are also commonly seen hovering just above the ground after mating in spring. Following mating, the male dies and the female starts to build a nest. Each female has her own nest and the ashy mining bee is therefore classified amongst solitary bees. They prefer to nest in tended lawns, flowerbeds, parkland, calcareous grassland, orchards and on the borders of agricultural land.The nest is a simple burrow with several brood cells branching off it. The entrances to the burrows are identifiable by the conical mounds of excavated spoil on the surface. The female fills the brood cells with a mixture of nectar and pollen, and lays one egg in each cell. The larva hatches within a few days, grows quickly and pupates within a few weeks. The adults emerge the following spring after hibernation. The male emerges before the female. The nests are frequently invaded by cleptoparasitic "cuckoo bees."

List of bees of Great Britain

This page contains a list of bees of Great Britain. The following species are all within the superfamily Apoidea.

List of bees of Israel

Israel is home to about 1100 described species of bees. A partial list is given below, with around 850 species as of 2014. Bee taxonomy and nomenclature are in accordance with the Discover Life website.

List of data deficient arthropods

As of July 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 2875 data deficient arthropod species. 30% of all evaluated arthropod species are listed as data deficient.

The IUCN also lists 17 arthropod subspecies as data deficient.

No subpopulations of arthropods have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of data deficient arthropod species and subspecies as evaluated by the IUCN.

List of data deficient insects

As of July 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 1702 data deficient insect species. 28% of all evaluated insect species are listed as data deficient.

No subpopulations of insects have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of data deficient insect species and subspecies as evaluated by the IUCN.


With over 850 species, the genus Nomada is one of the largest genera in the family Apidae, and the largest genus of kleptoparasitic "cuckoo bees." Kleptoparasitic bees are so named because they enter the nests of a host and lay eggs there, stealing resources that the host has already collected. The name "Nomada" is derived from the Greek word nomas (νομάς), meaning "roaming" or "wandering."Nomada parasitize many different types of bees as hosts, primarily the genus Andrena, but also Agapostemon, Melitta, Eucera and Exomalopsis. As parasites, they lack a pollen-carrying scopa, and are mostly hairless, as they do not collect pollen to feed their offspring. Like non-parasitic bees, adults are known to visit flowers and feed on nectar. Given the lack of scopa and general behavior, they are considered poor pollinators.Most kleptoparasitic bees are believed to be solitary, but some may be primitively eusocial. Kleptoparasitic bees have independently evolved more than 16 times where they target social hosts, and over 31 times where they target solitary hosts.

Tawny mining bee

The tawny mining bee, Andrena fulva, is a European species of the sand bee (Andrena) genus. The males are 10–12 mm (0.4–0.5 in) and the females 8–10 mm (0.3–0.4 in) long. It is covered with hair: fox-red on its back and black on its underside.

The tawny mining bee lives in Europe, ranging from the Balkans to southern Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Ireland. It lives in light woodlands and dry grasslands, and also in parks and gardens. It is widely distributed but has a low population density. The Tawny mining bee flies from March until May. It prefers to fly in a multitude to different nectar-bearing plants. It lives in a nest in the ground, and occasionally in larger colonies.

It mates in spring, after which the male dies and the female starts to build a nest. Sometimes more than a hundred females build nests in a few square metres but the tawny mining bee normally does not create a colony: each female has her own nest. The tawny mining bee is therefore classified amongst solitary and communal bees.

The nest is a vertical shaft 200–300 mm (8–12 in), with several brood cells branching off it. The female fills these cells with a mixture of nectar and pollen, on which she lays one egg in each cell. The larva hatches within a few days, grows quickly and pupates within a few weeks. The adults emerge in spring after hibernation.


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