Glad to read a new article :p
The ashy mining bee, Andrena cineraria, is described as being one of the easiest of the solitary bee species to identify. This is how I know one when I see one.
They are black with two ashy grey bands, the males and females are similarly marked, but the females are larger and the males have tufty grey hairs around their face. You can submit a sighting here.
They fly between early April and June. They nest in the ground, sometimes in groups, in lawns and flower beds. They prefer sandy soil and a sunny position.
They feed on a wide variety of blossoms and flowers. In this instance there were four of them feeding on cow parsley. There were also many other bees and hoverflies at the same time, but cow parsley is also a useful food source for butterflies and moths.
Cow parsley, Anthriscus sylvestris, is…
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