Buffish mining bee aggregation

I found another mining bee aggregation! I’ve lost track of how many bee aggregations I’ve found this spring, which is a good place to be in, in my humble opinion. This is the largest aggregation I’ve seen in Ireland. It’s on a university campus in south Dublin, and again people walk past on both sides without noticing the hundreds of mining bees flying around. I think the cuckoo bee here is Nomada goodeniana, and the bulk of the aggregation is Andrena nigroaenea (the buffish mining bee). However, I did see some ashy mining bees too, so it’s a multispecies aggregation.

Andrena nigroaenea
Mid flight photo
Andrena nigroaenea
You can see how many bees there are!
Andrena nigroaenea
Zzzzooooom
Nomada goodeniana
I think the cuckoo bee is Nomada goodeniana (it has this frowny face on the back of the scutellum)
Andrena nigroaenea
These mining bees are honeybee sized…I suspect the bright orange pollen is the horse chestnut
IMG_7712
Mid-flight confrontation between the cuckoo bee and mining bees, you can also see the size difference
Nomada goodeniana
Nomada goodeniana
They’re cute though!
Andrena nigroaenea
Not as cute as the mining bees, maybe
Nomada goodeniana
Harrumph! Well, tell us how you really feel!
Andrena nigroaenea
High nest density
Andrena nigroaenea
Andrena nigroaenea
IMG_7850
The only blurry evidence I have that the ashy mining bees were also present

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6 thoughts on “Buffish mining bee aggregation

  1. Fascinating and great you saw so many. And more stunning images, especially like that first one.

  2. Love the vagueness of ‘buffish’. Is there a mining bee that is definitely, incontrovertibly buff whereas this one is only buff-ish? Does its colouring not allow for a more certain description? Or maybe it was named for Dr Homer J Buffish, naturalist and bee specialist?

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