Andrena tibialis – a mining bee new to Cheshire in 2019

On 20th May 2019 whilst assisting volunteers with a bumblebee transect at Dunham Massey, our route took us through farmland managed by the National Trust a few hundred metres west of the deer park to the edge of a track adjacent to the bank of the River Bollin on one side, and pasture bordered by hedges and trees on the other. A few hawthorn trees were in bloom (GR SJ72358760) and five large female Andrena bees were foraging on the flowers.

A voucher specimen was taken and the combination of dorsally rugose propodeum, punctate scutum, and orange hind tibia indicated it was Andrena tibialis. The identity was later confirmed by Tony Parker (County Recorder for Cheshire) and other B.W.A.R.S. members.

This species has not previously been recorded in Cheshire (VC58), and most UK records are from the southeast and east England, as far north as Yorkshire. There are also a few records from Shropshire.

Andrena tibialis female – (c) Steven Falk