Andrena clarkella (Clarke's Mining Bee)
Females average somewhat larger than a Honey Bee and are very furry
with a reddish-brown pile on the thorax and sometimes the base of the abdomen, and a dense black pile on the abdomen. The hind tibiae and their pollen brushes are orange but the rest of the hind leg is black-haired.

Males are brownish-haired with a strip of black hairs alongside the inner eye margins. Their hind tibiae are usually also orange, which is unusual for a male mining bee, and the tergites are dulled microsculpture.

This is a widespread and locally common bee that can fly from late February to May, peaking with the pussy willow catkins in late March and April (the pollen source). It uses a variety of habitats and soil types and can form large nesting aggregations in earth banks and along well-trodden footpaths. It is attacked by the cleptoparasitc bee Nomada leucophthalma.

BWARS account:
www.bwars.com/index.php?q=bee/andrenidae/andrena-clarkella
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