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Ashy Mining Bee

Andrena cineraria

Ashy Mining Bee, Grey Mining Bee , Mining Bee

A close up photograph Andrena cineraria grey mining bee on a leaf.

Andrena cineraria f20160417

by Aiwok. CC BY-SA 4.0

1 of 6
Andrena cineraria are a distinctive bee because of their grey hairs. They excavate tunnels in terrain that leads to a burrow of several cells, each containing a single larva. These bees will readily nest in areas where the soil is quite sandy for burrowing; like coastland and moorlands. They're active as early as March, so can be attracted to gardens with flowers which bloom early in the year. Some of these include Gorse, Hawthorn and Buttercups.
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These are hairy bees capable of pollinating many flowers a day.
They may end up nesting in lawns or flowerbeds!


Adults: Females are distinctive. They are about 1.5cm in length. The abdomen lacks hair and is shiny and black; sometimes it can look as if it's got a blueish tint when the light reflects from it. The thorax has two grey furry bands, with some additional silver-white hairs on the face. Males look similar to females but are smaller, with lighter hairs where the thorax and abdomen meet. Larvae and Eggs: Gardeners rarely see these because they spend the life stage developing in burrows.


Little tiny holes or mounds of soil in lawns and flowerbeds.











Widespread across the northern parts of Europe; the UK and Ireland.

Biological treatment

It's not recommended to treat gardens with Andrena bees. Fluffy mining bees like these are excellent pollinators. Having them in your garden will help increase fruits and encourage more flowering in future years. Help these bees by planting flowers which bloom early in the Spring!

Chemical treatment

These bees are top pollinators; ideally, they should be tolerated wherever possible.


Creeping Buttercup

Ranunculus repens


Crataegus spp.

A Prunus spinosa plant with green leaves and black purple berry fruits


Prunus spinosa


Ulex europaeus


Bellis perennis


Taraxacum officinale


Malus spp.

A group of oranges with green leaves and some white flowers from a Citrus × aurantium plant

Seville Orange

Citrus × aurantium

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