Spring is here, as we saw today with one of our first sightings this year of a the mining bee of the genus Andrena sp. These medium sized bees (similar to the size of a honey bee) burrow nests about 2-3 inches into the ground and are common during the spring time. We found a large number of nests on a hillside in State College. The nests are easy to identify as they are commonly found on hilly areas with sparse vegetation and loose soil, with their entrances facing toward the sun and a small pile of dirt surrounding the nesting hole. We found close to 50 nests in that one spot today! We collected a sample for the Bee Germs project that is striving to better understand bee pathogens in native bee species that live in cities and agricultural landscapes.
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