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My red headed fuzzy friends

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Total Posts: 2

Joined 2013-06-02

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In my garden I have bees which have red fuzzy heads, and which burrow in the ground to make their hives. I feel honoured that last year I had two such nests in my lawn, but have been quite worried that the heavy prolonged rain may have drowned the bees.

Not sure if both nests survivived but they are buzzing around. In this area they are known as miner bees, but don’t know if that is their name. They are lovely little creatures and we have always taken great care to ensure the white flowers they love are always in the garden for them throughout the year. I know that bees like one colour only, and this varies nest to nest.

Could anyone help by clarifying the name of my lovely friends?

Will post picture when I am lucky enough to get one.

     
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Total Posts: 217

Joined 2012-05-24

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Hello Penguin,

Firstly, welcome to the BBCT Forum !

Secondly, what you describe are bees that probably belong to the large group that are called “Solitary Bees”.
And Mining Bees is a good description of what many of these bees do.
They are called Solitary because the mums die before their “children bees” hatch out the following year.
But sometimes solitary bees make their nests quite close together in what are known as “Bee villages” or aggregations of nests.
Although they are close together, each bee functions separately and there will be no joint working !

The type I have most summers in my back garden make little volcano type mounds of soil in he grass, which have a small hole in the middle, in which the bee sometimes sits. 

There are an enormous number of different species of solitary bee - over 200 in the UK alone and if you were to take a look at the BWARS website, you may well be able to find a picture that fits with what you have in the garden.

Best wishes       Clive

     
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Total Posts: 2

Joined 2013-06-02

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Thank you Clive, if what you say is true, then I may have had bee villages in my garden rather than nests!

They do make little holes in my lawn, and don’t seem to mind if we are sat out near their homes. The bees tend to disappear into the ground rather than sit in the nest.  I shall take a look at the BWARS website to give my friends their proper name.

Again, many thanks

     
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Total Posts: 78

Joined 2012-05-31

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Hello both

just to let you know that Anthony has started to collate some information on our most common solitary bees on this page.

http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/identification/other-bees/

cheers, elaine