a somewhat occasional blog

Sand bees nesting at the Lizard, Cornwall

It was happening at my feet. There on the cracked, dried, earthen path of the South West Coastal Path to the West of Lizard Point a minor industry was unfolding. some 10 – 20 sand bees were mining away beneath the walkers feet.

The dried cracks gave the bees some purchase allowing them to create there small burrows to hold their new offspring. The bees seemed unperturbed by the heavy footsteps of walkers. They merely wandered out of step and returned to continue their endeavours once a walker had passed. I am not sure what species these miners belong too but I am pretty sure they are some kind of Andrena bee. I have since found out that it is actually Halictus rubicundus.

Whilst the focus has all to often been on the plight of the honeybee this easily overlooked sand bees, along with other solitary and mining bees are as important to pollination as Apus mellifera – and it was good today to read about the Co-operative Group and Buglife – the Invertebrate Charity setting up a programme to create bee roads. All too often we only see the world through our eyes – honey – rather than the activities of small creatures whose invisible value to ourselves and planet it is all too easy to overlook.

I have since been told that the bees are probably Colletes species – possibly daviesanus

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