Genus Andrena is the most diverse bee genera in Vermont, with nearly 70 species recorded. The highest diversity and abundance occurs in the spring, with a distinct set of species flying in the fall. In Vermont, at least 40% of the species are thought to be flower specialists. Andrena are the primary host for most Cuckoo Nomad bees.
Genus level ID
This genus is a good one to become familiar with since they are often a dominant part of the local bee fauna. These are generally dull-colored hairy bees, ranging in size from a few millimeters to the size of a small bumble bee. The most distinctive feature is the facial foveae of the females (see image below, click to enlarge). These hairy groves are unique to this genus, but not always visible in photos.
Males often appear slender, with large, angular heads and long, sparse hairs. In some species, the mandibles and/or antenna are significantly elongated. Some males also have yellow on the clypeus and in a few species, on the surrounding face.
Females have specialized hair for carrying pollen on the rear of their thorax, femur, and tibia.
Cellophane Bees (Genus Colletes) – See the genus page here for more details on how to distinguish Mining Bees and Cellophane Bees.
Furrow Bees (Genus Halictus) – Orange-legged Furrow Bee (Halictus rubicundus) have bold white stripes on the abdomen and could be mistaken for a Mining Bee, though they lack the facial foveae and tend to have smaller heads.
Species Level ID
Many Mining Bees are difficult to ID to species, even with the specimen in hand. A few, however, are readily recognizable by field marks visible through binoculars or in a photo. The following grids break the genus into more manageable chunks based off the time of year and/or associated flower (click an image explore further). Knowing the associated flower will go a long way towards finding and identifying many of the specialists, though the flower alone is not a fool-proof identification feature, since almost all bees will occasionally visit the “wrong” flower. In general males are much harder to ID than females.
Specialization data primarily from Jarrod Fowler & Sam Droege.
The table below is a complete list (as of February 2021) of all Mining Bee species confirmed for Vermont. Links will take you to individual species pages with natural history notes, identification tips, and a map.
All Vermont Mining Bees
|Scientific Name||Common Name||Relative Abundance||Notes|
|Andrena alleghaniensis||Allegheny Mining Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena arabis||Mustard Miner Bee||Rare||Toothwort specialist, one confirmed record for VT|
|Andrena asteris||Aster Mining Bee||Fairly Common||Aster specialist that can also be found on goldenrod|
|Andrena barbilabris||Long-lipped Mining Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena bisalicis||Eastern Willow Miner Bee||Uncommon||Willow specialist|
|Andrena braccata||Uncommon||Associated with goldenrod|
|Andrena bradleyi||Bradley's Mining Bee||Uncommon||Favors blueberries, uncommon to rare in VT|
|Andrena brevipalpis||Short-tongued Miner Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena canadensis||Canadian Mining Bee||Rare||Fall composite specialist, very few records for VT|
|Andrena carlini||Carlin's Mining Bee||Common|
|Andrena carolina||Carolina Miner Bee||Fairly Common||Blueberry specialist|
|Andrena ceanothi||Ceanothus Miner Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena clarkella||Clark's Mining Bee||Fairly Common||Distinctive willow specialist|
|Andrena commoda||Advantaged Miner Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena cornelli||Azalea Mining Bee||Rare||Rhododendron specialist, only known from one site in near the Massachusetts border|
|Andrena crataegi||Hawthorn Mining Bee||Common|
|Andrena cressonii||Cresson's Mining Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena distans||Cranesbill Miner||Uncommon*||Wild Geranium specialist|
|Andrena dunningi||Dunning's Mining Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena erigeniae||Spring Beauty Mining Bee||Fairly Common||Spring Beauty specialist|
|Andrena erythrogaster||Red-tailed Mining Bee||Fairly Common||Willow specialist|
|Andrena erythronii||Trout-lily Mining Bee||Fairly Common||Prefers trout-lily, though likely not a true specialist. Less widespread than trout-lilies in VT|
|Andrena forbesii||Forbes' Mining Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena fragilis||Fragile Dogwood Mining Bee||Uncommon||Dogwood specialist|
|Andrena frigida||Frigid Mining Bee||Fairly Common||Willow specialist|
|Andrena geranii||Waterleaf Mining Bee||Uncommon||Virginia Waterleaf specialist|
|Andrena helianthi||Sunflower Mining Bee||Common||Sunflower specialist|
|Andrena hippotes||Hippotes's Miner Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena hirticincta||Hairy-banded Mining Bee||Common||Composite specialist, common on goldenrod in the fall.|
|Andrena imitatrix||Imitator Miner Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena integra||Short-haired Dogwood Mining Bee||Fairly Common||Dogwood specialist|
|Andrena krigiana||Dwarf-dandelion Mining Bee||Rare||Thought to be a Dwarf Dandelion (Genus Krigia) specialist, though both of VT records are at least 100 miles from known Dwarf Dandelions.|
|Andrena melanochroa||Rose Miner Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena milwaukeensis||Milwaukee Mining Bee||Common||Common, distinctive spring species|
|Andrena miranda||Singular Miner Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena miserabilis||Miserable Mining Bee||Common|
|Andrena nasonii||Nason's Mining Bee||Common|
|Andrena nida||Rare||Willow specialist, perhaps focusing on Sandbar Willow (Salix exigua). Few, if any recent records.
|Andrena nigrae||Black Miner Bee||Rare||Few, if any recent records.|
|Andrena nigrihirta||Black-haired Miner Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena nivalis||Snowy Mining Bee||Common|
|Andrena nuda||Nude Mining Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena parnassiae||Parnassia Miner||Uncommon*||Fen grass specialist, poorly known globally, but found several places in VT recently|
|Andrena peckhami||Peckham's Mining Bee||Rare|
|Andrena perplexa||Perplexed Miner Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena persimulata||Protuberance Miner Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena placata||Peaceful Miner Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena platyparia||Plated Miner Bee||Uncommon||Dogwood specialist|
|Andrena pruni||Cherry Mining Bee||Uncommon*|
|Andrena regularis||Regular Mining Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena robertsonii||Robertson's Miner Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena rufosignata||Brown-fovea Miner||Common|
|Andrena rugosa||Rugose Mining Bee||Common|
|Andrena salictaria||Small Willow Miner Bee||Fairly Common||Willow specialist|
|Andrena sigmundi||Sigmund's Mining Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena spiraeana||Goatsbeard Miner Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena vernalis||Rare||Golden Alexander specialist|
|Andrena vicina||Neighborly Mining Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena violae||Rare||Violet specialist|
|Andrena virginiana||Virginia Mining Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena w-scripta||W-marked Miner Bee||Fairly Common|
|Andrena wheeleri||Wheeler's Miner Bee||Uncommon|
|Andrena wilkella||Wilke's Mining Bee||Common||Introduced|
|Andrena ziziae||Golden-Alexanders Mining Bee||Common||Golden Alexander specialist|
|Andrena nubecula||Cloudy-winged Mining Bee||Common||Fall, associated with Goldenrod|
|Andrena mandibularis||Toothed Miner Bee|
|Andrena thaspii||Parsnip Miner Bee|
|Andrena ziziaeformis||Rare*||Cinquefoils and Appalachian Barren-Strawberry specialist. Known from one site in Rutland County.|
Please note that many of our datasets have not been published yet, so the maps are incomplete.