Andrenid Bees - Andrena barbilabris
Order Hymenoptera
- abelha, ants, bees, formiga, vespa, wasps
Live adult bees photographed at McKee Marsh Forest Preserve, DuPage County, Illinois, USA.
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Andrenid Bees

Andrena is the largest genus in the family Andrenidae, and with over 1,300 species, it is one of the largest of all bee genera. The typical appearance is brown to black with white abdominal bands. Some species have completely black abdomen without bands (e.g. subgenus Melandrena), while others have bands which are centrally interrupted (e.g. in subgenus Micrandrena), and others have red abdomens.

Females often show a black triangle at the abdominal apex. Andrenid bees emerge from the underground cells where their pupae spend the winter, when the temperature ranges from about 20°C to 30°C. They mate, and the females then seek sites for their nest burrows, where they construct small cells containing a ball of pollen mixed with nectar, upon which an egg is laid, before each cell is sealed. Andrena usually prefer sandy soils for a nesting substrate, near or under shrubs to be protected from heat and frost.

Andrenidae Queen
Andrenidae Queen is a solitary bee.

Andrenid bees mating
Andrenid drones can mate with multiple females.

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Order Hymenoptera: Bees, Wasps, & Ants
Hymenoptera (Latin for membrane wing) is a vast assemblage of insects second only to Coleoptera (beetles) in the number of described species. Hymenoptera number some 115,000 species - 18,000 of them call North America home. Hymenopterans inhabit a wide variety of habitats, and show an incredible diversity in size, behavior, structure and color.
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