Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Family Andrenidae - Mining Bees

Bee - Andrena cerasifolii - female Another Yellow Perdita? - Perdita Mining Bee - Andrena prunorum Honey Bee? - Andrena milwaukeensis Andrena sp.? - Andrena small bee on Physalis flowers - Calliopsis Halictus sp. - Andrena Andrena confederata? - Andrena confederata - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees)
Family Andrenidae (Mining Bees)
Other Common Names
Andrenid Bee, Solitary Bee, Burrowing Bee, Ground-nesting Bee
Explanation of Names
3 subfamilies, with >1,200 spp. in 11 genera in our area (Andrena and Perdita encompass 83% of our fauna) and almost 3,000 spp. in 45 genera worldwide(1)
Overview of our fauna (* –taxa not yet in the guide)
Family Andrenidae
Subfamily Panurginae
10-20 mm
Head almost as large as thorax; most species have a short, pointed tongue. Abdomen usually longer than head and thorax combined. Wings smoky to dark. Pollen brush on most of hind leg.(2)
Guide to eastern genera in(3)
Subfamily Andreninae - Mining Bees


♀ ♂



Nests in burrows in the ground, often in aggregations, usually in sparsely vegetated areas(4)
Life Cycle
Female digs long branching tunnel in soil, prepares brood cell at the end of each branch, and stocks cells with pollen balls and nectar. 1 egg is laid on pollen ball in each cell, then cell is sealed. Larvae develop rapidly and pupate in cells. 1 generation a year.(2)
Many small, ground-nesting bees observed in areas of sandy soil are members of the family, Andrenidae. Characteristics of this family (of which there are approximately 3000 species) are: Small size, 20 mm, (or smaller) brown to black in color, and nesting in a burrow in areas of sparse vegetation, old meadows, dry road beds, sandy paths. Although the nests are built in close proximity of one another, the bees are solitary (each female capable of constructing a nest and reproducing). Many species are active in March and April when they collect pollen and nectar from early spring blooming flowers. The female bee digs a hole 2-3 inches deep excavating the soil and leaving a pile on the surface. She then digs a side tunnel that ends in a chamber (there are about 8 chambers per burrow). Each chamber is then filled with a small ball of pollen and nectar. An egg is laid on the top of each pollen ball and the female seals each brood chamber. The emerging larval bees feed on the pollen/nectar ball until they pupate.
Internet References