Worcestershire Record No. 24 April 2008 p. 21


Kevin McGee

I collected this bee from low vegetation alongside Mill Rough, Drakes Broughton on 22the May.2006. The site is a field boundary footpath along the southern edge of a block of deciduous woodland dominated by mature Oaks and Ashes typical for this part of Worcestershire. During sunny spring weather this area is a rich site for many species of ‘nomad bees’, but something seemed sufficiently different about this one so I took the decision to capture it. Nomada species are brightly coloured bees sometimes mistaken for wasps that are cleptoparasites of mining bees, typically Andrena species. Most Nomada species are host-specific. The host species of N. ferruginata is Andrena praecox (Scopoli). I keyed my specimen out as N.ferruginata (male), but I asked a second opinion from G.Trevis when I became aware of the scarcity of this species. Geoff agrees with my determination. The national status is listed as rare by M.E.Archer.

A.praecox is a rather local mining bee but is widely distributed in areas containing sufficient Willows as females are very dependent on Willow catkins for pollen in March and April. In Warwickshire there are currently three known sites for N.ferruginata, all have healthy populations of the host which nests in small aggregations in dry soils. There is a wealth of information written by Steven Falk found by following the links on the Warwickshire wildlife trust website.

Nomada ferruginata (male). Picture K.McGee.

EDWARDS, R. & TELFER, M. 2002 Provisional Atlas of the aculeate Hymenoptera of Britain and Ireland. Part 4. BWARS
With thanks to Geoff Trevis for his expertise.
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