Mining Bee

Andrena sp.

Mason Park, Irvine, Orange County, CA. 3/15/12. © Ron Hemberger

Hymenoptera: Andrenidae

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An atypical burrow. Most had nicely rounded holes with excavated dirt piled around them. I'd guess this is an older digging.

Site is adjacent to a walkway in a very dry spot within a few feet of a man-made lake. I saw several of these bees a day earlier. While there were burrows in the area, none of the bees attempted to enter them. Bees would hover above the ground, sometimes touching down and walking around a bit before flying off.

I went back a few hours later in the day, but with similar weather - about 62 degrees under partially cloudy skys. Of the four bees I saw, only one entered a burrow. A second did a touch and go. The other two - shown - alighted and walked around a bit.

...Ron Hemberger