I’ve been distractingly busy with work this week, so no in-depth post today. Just some filler photos of a bee I encountered in Tahoe National Forest. As you can see from the orange on her hind legs, she is busy collecting pollen to feed her young.
(Ranunculus is the scientific name for the buttercup genus, in case you were curious.)
I’m not sure what type of bee this is, because I didn’t collect her for identification (after all, she’s working so hard to feed her family). Based on the fuzzy thorax and the style of striping on the abdomen, I think it might be in the genus Andrena. Andrena is a fairly diverse group of mining bees, or bees that build their nests underground. Unlike honeybees, bumble bees, and some sweat bees, all members of this genus are solitary. Each female excavates and provisions her own nest; there is no hive or queen. Or a more fanciful way to look at it would be to think of each female is the queen of her own solitary kingdom.
See you next week!