The Spring Beauty Specialist — Andrena erigeniae

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This is the Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica. It’s a lovely little spring ephemeral that sprouts, flowers, and dies all in the two weeks before the trees leaf out in spring.

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This is Andrena erigeniae, a mining bee that specializes on the Spring Beauty. There’s a project to study these bees (link here).

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I came across a nesting aggregation of these bees while hiking in the Catskills last week. I recognized them immediately because I remembered reading an email about the project I linked to above a few years ago.

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They are tiny little bees and very challenging to photograph! Luckily, my hiking buddy had a zen like patience while I chased little bees around with my camera.

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A nest entrance

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A female with a full pollen load.

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So cute!

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Yay! I got a photo of the bee on the flower!

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Pretty sure this is a male

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Contrasty

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9 thoughts on “The Spring Beauty Specialist — Andrena erigeniae

  1. Pingback: Take a hike! (with me?): Touchmenot Mountain | standingoutinmyfield

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