Solitary Bees
Some Solitary Bee records occur on the Bees and Wasps page

3 November 2010


Three medium-sized Yellow-footed Solitary Bee, Lasioglossum xanthopum, visited the flowers of the Musk Thistles on the cleared patch on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

Yellow-footed Solitary Bees, 
Lasioglossum xanthopum
on a Musk Thistle

14 April 2009
This small bee was spotted at the extreme southern end of the Coastal Link Cyclepath.

It is an Andrena species.
It looks like Andrena carantonica

Suggested ID by Stuart Roberts
Common Andrena web page
16 April 2007

Brown female Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bees buzzed noisily in the sunshine. I only saw one, but others were reported from the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
14 April 2007
Three Red Mason Bees visited my garden in residential Shoreham.

Adur Bees

10 April 2007
There was a lot of buzzing in my front garden in residential Shoreham, with my first female Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee of the year that visited the flowering Rosemany and exceeded the buzzing of the queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee which buzzed around elsewhere. The black tongue could be seen clearly on the Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee.
9 April 2007
This Andrena bee was seen on an Alexander on the southern part of Mill Hill.
24 March 2007
An interesting orangey coloured Andrena bee briefly visited the flowering Rosemary by the front door of the Hamblett's south Lancing (TQ 186 044) front garden. This was similar to the bee seen on Mill Hill three days previously.

21 March 2007
An interesting orangey Andrena bee entered a small hole in a small earth bank on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It did not come out of the hole so I could not identify what species of bee it was. My best guess would be Andrena flavipes. However, the one seen may be a slightly larger species?
This is the pencil sized hole in the earth bank that the mining bee entered. The vertical earth patches may have been created by Rabbits attempting to burrow or by uprooted Privet, or by erosion by other natural forces. 

2 May 2006
One Alexander umbellifer plant at the top of the Butterfly Copse next to the Waterworks Road was visited by a small bee  illustrated immediately below:

This is surely a species of the mining bee of the Andrena genus, of solitary bees that often live together.

To be precise it is a female Andrena dorsata. This is a common species which has both a spring and summer generation. Note the extremely short hair fringe on the dorsal margin of the hind tibia. This character plus the almost fully enclosed propodeal floccus (pouch) are diagnostic for the female of this species.

ID by George Else on the on the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society Yahoo Group

26 April 2006

The first record this year of the Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee, Anthophora plumipes  buzzed around a north Shoreham garden.

Adur Bees
6 April 2006
This looks like a tiny bee on a Daisy. There were probably at least two more on a Dandelion in the middle Triangle area of Mill Hill

Could it be Lasioglossum albipes

Lasioglossum calceatum

 2 October 2005
This very small flying insect was from the Slonk Hill Cutting.

This was probably a male of the species of Lasioglossum, most likely Lasioglossum calceatum.

ID to genus confirmed and to species and gender suggested by Philippe Moniotte on the British Insects (Yahoo Group)

This is a common eusocial species, polylectic (pollen generalists) and ground nesting.
Lasioglossum List

Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee 

22 May 2005
A brown male solitary bee called the Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes visited the large flowers of the Rhododendron, Catawbiense grandiflorum, in a Shoreham garden near Buckingham Park. Despite its long tongue, it still had to go a long way into the flower and it panicked to make its escape at the approach of the camera on the three futile occasions I attempted to get close enough for an image.

17 April 2005
The Spring (Hairy-footed) Flower Bee* with a long tonque and a loud buzzing sound in a Shoreham garden, was misidentified as a bee-fly at first. It was not a fly at all, but a solitary bee called Anthophora plumipes. It is a female (they are black) and the males are brown.
The straightforward conclusion is the intruder with which it appeared to be fighting was the male of the same species and they were mating.

Identification by Sarah Patton on British Insects Yahoo Group
They have a long slender tongue (about 13 mm) giving them access to nectar in flowers with long tubular corollas, such as Pulmonaria, White Deadnettle, Yellow Archangel, Rosemary, Aubrieta, various Comfreys, Cowslips, Solomon's Seal etc. Sometimes they leave their tongues sticking out in front as they hover between flowers, (looking very much like bee-flies).
Comments by Maggie Frankum on the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society Yahoo Group
Shoreham Town & Gardens
The female is sticking her tongue into a garden Hydranga

Web Site with Photographs

Yellow-footed Solitary Bee

23 October 2005
Image: Left
A Yellow-footed Solitary Bee, Lasioglossum xanthopum, about to take flight from a Hardhead on the middle slopes of Mill Hill, just above the lower slopes.

Image: Right
The same bee on the same flower a 15 seconds earlier. It fed on the flower for about one minute before moving on to a Greater Knapweed

17 October 2005
A Yellow-footed Solitary Bee*, Lasioglossum xanthopum, visited a Stemless Thistle, one of very few plants remaining in flower.
(* ID not confirmed, but likely). This was a large Lasioglossum.
Adur Solitary Bees

28 October 2004
After heavy rain yesterday, the Lasioglossum solitary bee was still attracted to the Devil's Bit Scabious on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. (TQ 209 074) I declined to collect this specimen for examination as there seemed to be only one.

In the absence of identification to species level, I have christened this one as the Zebra Lasioglossum and the scientific species name will have to wait until I can find a book with the identification features. It is was a reasonably obliging insect which could be examined moving around under a magnifying glass. From the side view I noticed the black abdomen underneath the black and white stripes. Alas, the camera was not functioning very well and the images were not as a good as I would have liked. Clicking on the images will enlarge them.
There are 31 species of Lasioglossum found in Britain, although some of these are rare and only found in a few locations.

The solitary bee is Lasioglossum xanthopum - the largest British species of the genus, with males that peak much later than any other species (typically late September/early October - we are still trying to work out how it mates as you rarely see females at this time of year). It is a rather calcicolous species and frequent on the Sussex downs, though I have never surveyed these late enough to see males. It is graded Nationally Scarce at the moment. It can be confused for the similar Halictus rubicundus (slightly smaller with abdominal dust spots at the apices of the tergites as opposed to the bases like your photo).

Identification and comments by Steven Falk (Senior Keeper of Natural History, Warwickshire Museum)

25 October 2004
A solitary bee was discovered nectaring on Devil's Bit Scabious on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It was much slenderer and smaller than the Carder Bee. Its abdomen was also more distinctly striped in black and white and not furry like the usual Carders.  The legs are partly white in this specimen when bumblebee legs are usually black. The nearest match from the New Collins Guide by Michael Chinery (p. 244) is Halictus scabiosa. The bee was about as flighty as most common bumblebees, spending up to three seconds crawling over the blue flower and quickly moving on to the next one. It was only observed interested in the Devil's Bit Scabious.
PS: The Old Collins Guide shows a better match for Halictus malachurus, now Lasioglossum (? not sure of the latest name).
None of the illustrations is large enough to be sure as it could also be a species of Colletes. Colletes hederae is a feeder on Ivy late in the year. It looks quite a good match for the last one, although the thorax seems a bit slenderer? Colletes nest in colonies and there was only one of these bees. There is one vote for a possible Colletes succinctus and it looked more like a male Colletes to me. There is no photograph available of the latter bee. This later suggestion has now been withdrawn after discussion. It also looks vaguely like Halictus langobardicus.

The consensus on the British Insects (Yahoo Group) is that this small bee is a species of Lasioglossum, and not a Colletes, but the species is unlikely to be identified by a photograph (I did not think it was anything special when I photographed it).
A solitary bee


Lasioglossum  albipes
Lasioglossum  angusticeps
Lasioglossum  brevicorne
Lasioglossum  calceatum
Lasioglossum  cupromicans
Lasioglossum  fratellum
Lasioglossum  fulvicorne
Lasioglossum  laeve
Lasioglossum  laevigatum
Lasioglossum  laticeps
Lasioglossum  lativentre
Lasioglossum  leucopus
Lasioglossum  leucozonium
Lasioglossum  limbellum
Lasioglossum  malachurum
Lasioglossum  minutissimum
Lasioglossum  morio
Lasioglossum  nitidiusculum
Lasioglossum  parvulum
Lasioglossum  pauperatum
Lasioglossum  pauxillum
Lasioglossum  prasinum
Lasioglossum  punctatissimum
Lasioglossum  puncticolle
Lasioglossum  quadrinotatum
Lasioglossum  rufitarse
Lasioglossum  semilucens
Lasioglossum  sexnotatum
Lasioglossum  smeathmanellum
Lasioglossum  villosulum
Lasioglossum  xanthopus
Lasioglossum  zonulum

Garden Solitary Bees (External Link)

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