What to look for: Females have rich orange thoraxes and long, slightly lighter-coloured abdomens. Males are smaller, have less thick hair and are browner in colour.
Favourite plants: Salvia, galanthus, echinacea, cosmos, verbena, willow, oil-seed rape, raspberry, orchard trees and other shrubs, wildflowers and bedding flowers.
Making a nest: Tawny mining bees build nests in loose soil often near their favourite plants
When active: Spring to autumn
Where seen: Across the UK
Tawny Mining Bee
The tawny mining bee is one of the more distinctive species in the UK. Females, like the one above, are covered in thick reddish-orange hair and have unusually long abdomens. The males are smaller than the females and have more brown-coloured hair, which is less dense. The males also have white tufts on their black faces.
These bees nest in narrow tunnels with volcano-like mounds protruding out of the loose soil at the entrance. The tawny mining bee will often be spotted buzzing around oil-seed rape, willow, hawthorn, blackthorn, dandelions, and fruit trees such as cherry, pear and apple. These bees are widespread throughout the summer months across the UK.