Andrena, a member of the Andrenidae family

Andrena, a member of the Andrenidae family, photographed by Gretel Kiefer



Also known as “Mining Bees”, Adrenids  are the most diverse family of bees on the North American continent. Its members are particularly abundant in the spring and are among the first to emerge in the late winter. All Adrenids nest in the ground, generally in flat or gently sloping sites. Many form nesting aggregations that can reach tens of thousands of bees all living in the same small area. Within this, many are solitary, but some will form communal nests. Among the family Adrenidae, the most frequent visitors of Echinacea on our site in Minnesota are in the genus Andrena. (Mader et al. 219-220)



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(Mader et al. Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. 2011. The Xerces Society.)


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