Miner Bees Anthophora abrupta.
By Annie Runyon and Gerry Luginbuhl
Below is a photo of a lovely group of the miner bee nest holes. They are active during dry weather for a short time right now. The males emerge, mate and then die soon afterward, leaving the females to rebuild these ground nests. They are active in the middle of the day, rather than morning-evening when it is cooler. Each female has a separate nest chamber. She’ll be busy laying her eggs, building little waxy walls inside to keep her offspring snug and bringing lots of pollen in to pack with the eggs for the larvae to eat. After all this labor she will not live long, but her offspring will develop over the year and emerge again next spring. They are solitary (although do build beside one another) and are not aggressive about defending their nests the way honey bees defend the hive. They are good early season pollinators … important members of our communities! Please don’t disturb them, they are only active for about a month.
Look closely and you can see one of the bees.