Very local but widely distributed in southern Britain, the range extending northwards to Nottinghamshire (Carr, 1935) and South Lincolnshire. In Wales, known only from Glamorgan. Also reported from Guernsey and the Channel Islands. There are no records from Ireland. Widespread in the Palaearctic, from southern Sweden south to Morocco, and eastwards to Israel, Pakistan and Mongolia (Ebmer, 1988).
Status (in Britain only)
Classified by Falk (1991) as a Notable B species [now known as Nationally Scarce (Nb)].
Mainly encountered on calcareous grassland, coastal landslips and cliffs.
Females are active from early April to at least August. Males emerge later than those of most other British halictines, being found from August to mid October, with a peak in late September. As a result, this sex is not represented in most collections as collectors have generally terminated their field work before the males appear. Interestingly, on April 8th, 1993, both sexes were found commonly at Tizi ‘n Tichka, one of the passes (2100m.) in the Moroccan High Atlas (G R Else and S P M Roberts, pers. obs.). The ground there is often covered by snow earlier in the spring. It would seem that the males overwinter as adults in this site, a habit unknown in northern Europe.
Nest burrows are rarely found, suggesting they often occur singly and are obscured by low vegetation. However, a huge, extended aggregation of about a thousand burrows was observed recently along about a half mile of the cutting of an abandoned railway line at Reach, Devils Dyke, in Cambridgeshire (J P Field, pers. comm.). The bee is presumed, on available evidence, to be a solitary species, rather than a eusocial one.
Sea campion (Silene uniflora), bramble (Rubus fruticosus agg.), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), clover (Trifolium sp.), ground-ivy (Glechoma hederacea), knapweed (Centaurea spp.) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Males have been collected from knapweed and field scabious (Knautia arvensis).
The bee Sphecodes spinulosus has been recorded as a cleptoparasite of this bee (Perkins, 1923, 1924; Hallett, 1928). Gigantic specimens of S. monilicornis have been observed at the burrows of L. xanthopus (Hallett, 1928). Specimens are rarely stylopized, the parasite being Halictoxenus arnoldi (Perkins, 1891, 1918, 1923).
So very excited to find this bee , its taken 3 years of searching and today it happened , they are just spreading into East Anglia. I also found its cuckoo bee Nomada lathburiana.
The Ashy Mining-bee (Andrena cineraria) is one of
the most distinctive and obvious of all the springflying
solitary bee species over much of Britain and
Ireland, and over recent years has been enjoying a
marked increase in abundance in parts of
The females are black, and have two broad ashygrey
hairbands across the thorax. The males are
similar, but the thorax is entirely clothed with less
dense grey hairs, and has a very pronounced tuft of
white hairs on the lower face.
In Europe, the species is widespread and common
from Ireland eastwards across central Europe and
into Scandinavia. It is more restricted, but still
widespread in the Mediterranean region.
The bee has a single flight period each year and is
on the wing from early April until early June; the
males emerging well before the females. Peak activity
coincides with the flowering periods of fruit
trees such as Pear, Cherry and Apple.
The bees are non-ggressive and safe with children
I have posted info on this bee before .
Another new bee for me slightly worn Andrena tibialis
A. tibialis is widespread but very localised in England north to Yorkshire. It is univoltine and typically flies from mid March to late May. A range of habitats can be used, including heathland, quarries, sandpits and other brownfield sites, chalk grassland and occasionally gardens. It forages from a variety of flowers and spring-blossoming shrubs….. Steven Falk
Quite excited going through my back log of photos form last year , this will be a first A synadelpha.
Found throughout England and Wales, although predominately southern and always local in occurrence. There is one Scottish record and the species should be sought elsewhere in that country.
Distributed in western Europe from Spain to Poland and Denmark, but absent from Fennoscandia, Italy and the Balkan region.
Status (in Britain only)
This species is not regarded as being scarce or threatened.
Most often found in deciduous woodland on a variety of soil types.
April to June.
It is reported as nesting in large aggregations in Germany (Westrich, 1989), but these have not been reported within the range of this Atlas.
A wide variety of flowers are visited, perhaps more often the following: field maple, hawthorn, wood spurge and holly.
Nomada ruficornis (Linnaeus) has been recorded as a parasite. Stylops nevinsoni Perkins is also recorded as being found on it (Perkins, 1918).