Whilst on a recent camping trip, not far from the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, we were delighted to notice an unusual looking bee who kept intermittently returning to a particular spot in our camp.
Unlike our common honey bee she was covered in a brown orange fur rather like a miniaturised bumble bee.
The persistent creature would fly off seemingly to pick up more pollen which covered her legs and then return to us. Her interest was focused on a particular area of dry ground near a small east facing rise topped with grass. Once at her ‘spot’ she would land and proceed to scratch and attempt to dig about in that small area.
She appeared to be rather confused as she searched for….something.
After a few moments of apparent confusion and scuffling she would fly off into the woods and appear again minutes later at her particular spot.
It was very nice to have such a curious little visitor to our camp and she was still there when we packed up and left.
Once home some brief research revealed the bee to be a female Tawny Mining Bee. Upon reading of their habits it was obvious she was looking for somewhere to dig or more likely looking for a burrow she had previously created.
We wondered perhaps if we had disturbed her digging or worse perhaps collapsed her burrow upon our setting of camp.
Hopefully she found what she was searching for and all is well.