Tanyptera Project: Mining Bees (Andrena)

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This workshop will cover the identification and ecology of Andrena mining bees and is best suited to individuals who are already comfortable with genus-level identification, wishing to gain further experience in identifying Andrena mining bees to species-level.

Andrena mining bees are the largest bee genus in Britain and Ireland. Ranging in size from small ‘mini-miners’ to species larger than the Honeybee, this genus includes some of our most charismatic and familiar solitary bees (such as the Ashy Mining Bee and Tawny Mining Bee) but also some of our most overlooked, least understood, and most challenging species to identify.

We will provide microscopes and dichotomous keys to identify mining bee specimens in the lab, providing a unique opportunity to examine these bees up-close to get familiar with key identification features. We will also discuss bee conservation more broadly and the important role of biological recording. Please bring your troublesome specimens!

The course takes place from 10.30am - 4pm

Our Tutor: Liam Olds is a freelance entomologist specialising in solitary bees and brownfield habitats. Starting his journey in the profession as an entomology apprentice at the National Museum of Wales, he has quickly developed a reputation as a budding expert. Liam has won several local and national awards for his work with invertebrates, including the ‘Adult Newcomer Award’ at the NBN Awards for Wildlife Recording in 2017. Liam also works as Conservation Officer for Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, delivering invertebrate surveys and training across England and Wales.