Mining Bees and Bee Fly

In the sunny weather at the start of the week there was an encouragingly good amount of mining bees around the garden. Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria, #61) and Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva, #442) are solitary bees emerging early in the Spring and flying for 6-8 weeks. The females make separate nests in the ground, often many nesting in the same area. The Bee Fly (Bombylius major) is a parasite of the mining bees, especially the Tawny Mining Bee, laying its own eggs near the entrance of the bees nest so its larvae can predate those of the bee. The bees and Bee Fly do visit the garden flowers and are important pollinators. The mining bees seemingly preferring blossoms on the fruit trees, while the Bee Fly goes for flowers like Bluebell.