Mining Bee Baby Food

Mining bees are the earliest bees to emerge in Toronto. Both males and females spend the winter deep underground. It can be very chilly in mid-April when they dig their way to the surface to begin the new season. 

The female has several challenges ahead of her if she is to launch a new generation of mining bees at this time of year! 

  1. She lives in a tunnel in the ground, and it is very rainy in April. How will she keep the nest dry? 
  2. She is a ‘solitary’ bee, meaning she must find a mate, excavate cavities to use as nurseries, and lay eggs all by herself. She doesn’t have a brood of helpers like a Honey Bee queen.
  3. She must also find enough pollen and nectar to stuff into the cavities for the larvae to eat when they hatch out of the eggs. There are not a lot of flowers in bloom to produce pollen and nectar at this time of year–or are there?

Here’s what we learned about this amazing bee and how she accomplishes all these tasks.

The Toronto Field Naturalists wish to acknowledge this land through which we walk. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississauga of the Credit River. Today it is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to be on this land.