Miner Bee

photo by Alvesgaspar CC BY-SA

Mining Bee

Miner Bees burrow into the ground to make nesting sites. If possible, they choose a bare, sunny, sandy spot. Each female bee creates her own nest and cares for her own eggs, but many species are sociable and build their nests close together.

Miner Bees are medium-sized (.4-.7 in long) and brown to reddish-black with velvety hollows beside their eyes. They are often the first bees to fly in the spring, collecting pollen and nectar from Willows, early-blooming flowers, berry plants, and fruit trees. They have very small stingers that may not even penetrate human skin.

The nest tunnels are just slightly wider than the bee and can be up to a foot long with several branches. At the end of each branch, the female digs a slightly larger chamber, fills it with food, lays an egg, and seals off the chamber.

Did you know? Special wing movements while inside a flower shake loose the pollen on the flower's anthers.

See Also: Bumblebee, Honey Bee, Leafcutter Bee, Mason Bee, Sweat Bee, Wasp