mining bee

(Andrena spp.)

mining bee (Andrena sp.)
Photo by Dan W. Andree

Andrena is one of the largest genera of bees in the world. There are more than 1,500 species in 100 subgenera worldwide, 450 species in 47 subgenera in North America north of Mexico, and at least 68 species in 21 subgenera in Minnesota.

Andrena are cold tolerant, occurring at high altitudes and into Alaska and northern Canada. They are among the first bees to fly in the spring, before flowers bloom and even before the snow melts. They nest in the ground. The female excavates a long vertical tunnel with short side cells into which she places singleeggs. Some Andrena are generalist feeders, others specialize on a single genus or species.


Andrena is a small to medium-sized, lightly fuzzy bee. Adults are 516 to (8 to 17 mm) long.

The face is nearly oval-shaped, wider than long. The compound eyes are nearly vertical and the inner margins are parallel. Beside each compound eye there is a facial groove (fovea) with a dense band of pale hairs. Below the base of each antenna there are two grooves (subantennal sutures), but these are not visible without a microscope. The tongues are short.

On the wings the marginal cell, on the leading margin near the wingtip, is relatively long and has a rounded tip. Next to the marginal cell there are three submarginal cells. The second submarginal cell is much shorter than the other two.

At the base of each hind leg there is a tuft of long, thick, pollen-collecting hairs (scopa).


Distribution Map



7, 24, 27, 29, 30, 82.



Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)  


Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)  


Aculeata (ants, bees and stinging wasps)  
  Clade Anthophila  


Apoidea (apoid wasps, bees, sphecoid wasps)  


Andrenidae (mining bees)  


Andreninae (mining bees)  



Subordinate Taxa


Subgenus Andrena

Subgenus Callandrena

Subgenus Cnemidandrena

Subgenus Conandrena

Subgenus Euandrena

Subgenus Gonandrena

Subgenus Holandrena

Subgenus Larandrena

Subgenus Leucandrena

Subgenus Melandrena

Subgenus Micrandrena

Subgenus Opandrena

Subgenus Parandrena

Subgenus Plastandrena

Subgenus Ptilandrena

Subgenus Rhacandrena

Subgenus Scrapteropsis

Subgenus Simandrena

Subgenus Taeniandrena

Subgenus Thysandrena

Subgenus Trachandrena

Subgenus Tylandrena






Common Names


andrenine bees

miner bees

mining bees













Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this insect.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Dan W. Andree


First bee I had seen this season and this early.

    mining bee (Andrena sp.)      





Mining Bees
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Mining Bees  



Visitor Videos

Share your video of this insect.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.


Other Videos
  Mining Bee Andrena nesting
UMN Extension - Yard and Garden

Nov 30, 2017

This video is a collection of video clips documenting nesting habitat of mining bees (Andrena spp.).

The purpose of this video is to give the viewer ideas of where to look for mining bee nests on their own property. Knowing the location gives one the ability to protect and avoid disturbing the nesting site, and potentially expanding it based on characteristics of a location already chosen by the bees.




Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this insect.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.
  Dan W. Andree

Location: Norman Co., Mn.

First bee I had seen this season and this early.

mining bee (Andrena sp.)







Created: 4/26/2021

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 All rights reserved.