|Featured CA Bee:
Some of these mining bees are very early season bees, like the female Andrena angustitarsata in this photo, visiting Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps'. We have observed notable Andrena activity these past few days and weeks in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Mining bees get their name because they build their individual nests underground in the soil. Some species can be found nesting in aggregations, which is where several females of the same species nest side-by-side, each with their own nest, in one favorable patch of habitat.
These bees range in size and color and are very diverse. They collect pollen on hairs on their legs, as well as hairs that are found between their thorax and abdomen. Keep your eyes out for these bees foraging on Gilia capitata, Ceanothus spp., Phacelia spp., and Ranunculus californicus.