First Mining Bee sighting of the year
Ever since the delightful Birds Eye aka Tricolored Gilia began to pop up in the native garden, I've been waiting for the mining bee Andrena cerasifolii (male) and Andrena Subtilis (female) visitors.
Although these bees are most often found on Ceanothus and occasionally on salvia plants, the only time I ever see the males is during this time of year, when they visit the gilias. I took these photos yesterday of what I think is a male Andrena cerasifolii yesterday in the native garden. You can see on the hairs of its thorax some of the beautiful blue pollen from the gilias.
There are about 225 species of mining bees in California.
They are solitary bees that nest in flat, bare ground.
Females nest in well-drained soil, as well as clay soil (our soil is hard-pan clay soil).
Here he is diving into one of the gilias.
Look at all of that blue pollen on his hind legs!
You can see why this is also known as a Tricolored Gilia.
The petals are a lovely pale lavender, the blossom's throat is maroon and yellow.
One of the patches of Birds Eye aka Tricolored Gilia.
These lovely native wildflowers are great at reseeding themselves.
I last planted several seedlings a couple of years ago.
All of these are descendants of those seedlings.