Tawny mining bees are solitary spring bees covered in dense ginger hair. You may see these little ginger bees busily flying about your garden or park in springtime.
Just like the happiness I get from seeing my first swallow of the year I also look forward to seeing my first tawny mining bee in spring. I see them each year in the garden buzzing around the tree blossom and making their nest under the fruit trees.
As flowers on fruit trees such as pears, apples etc… start to appear the males are the first to be seen closely followed by the females. The male differs slightly as his hair is less dense than the females and he has a tuft of white on his face. The female is the only one with a stinger but she isn’t aggressive and you would have to go along way to provoke her.
The female prepares the nest which is like a tiny volcano shaped mound of soil with a hole in the middle in the lawn/ flower bed. She lays her eggs underground and gathers nectar and pollen to place inside for her offspring to eat when they become larvae and the whole cycle begins again.
They are such important pollinators and it’s always a joy to see them buzzing about the garden.
While I was looking on the internet for a bit more information about this lovely little bee, I came across websites that showed you how to get rid of them from your lawn. Why would you want to do that?!
I don’t want large frilly flower heads with no fragrance and no benefit to pollinators. I don’t want a manicured bowling green lawn and a garden tidied to the last tiny speck.
I want to step out into a garden and feel at one with nature. I embrace the moss, dandelions and daisies. I welcome the tiny holes and tracks left by wildlife as it show how diverse, rich and healthy the garden is.
I do what I can to help my garden pollinators as they do such an important job and they need all the help they can get especially in springtime.
Next time you are out and about keep your eye out for any tiny mounds with a hole at the top, then stop and say hello to the little bees that made them.