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Mining bee

Colletes inaequalis (probably)

Description:

a solitary bee; smaller than a honey bee; lawn-dwelling, come every spring and only active for a couple of weeks then disappear; dig 1000's of little holes with mounds of excavated soil marking the entrance to their burrows; inside the burrow is a cell is filled with a nectar/pollen mix with a single egg stuck to the cell wall

Habitat:

sunny South facing hill with clay soil urban schoolyard; fying all around our Bradford Pear trees that are also blooming at the same time they are present

Notes:

Harmless to humans; females have stingers, but the stingers are often too small to penetrate human ski; non-aggressive - I walked right through 1000's of holes with bees furiously flying around - not one sting; head of each household has to do everything herself - build a home, lay eggs, collect food for winter, defend her young from other insects, and feed herself - virtually no time to mess with you; Like most native bees, they do not produce honey; holes in your lawn are not hurting your turf - just call it free aeration

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Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Spotted on Mar 9, 2017
Submitted on Mar 9, 2017

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