Andrena nitida solitary bee

One of Britain’s best pollinating bee species has been spotted in Lincolnshire for the first time in more than 100 years.

The Andrena nitida species was seen buzzing around a new habitat area created by Beeswax Farming on the Nocton Estate, some eight miles south west of Lincoln.

The habitat area is part of Syngenta’s Operation Pollinator, an international biodiversity programme to boost the number of pollinating insects on commercial farms.

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Although the species is relatively widespread through the south of England, bee entomologist Mike Edwards explained this was the first sighting of the Andrena nitida in Lincolnshire since 1900. 

“Andrena nitida is one of the many solitary mining bee species that play such an important part in pollinating crops and wildflowers,” he said.

“They look very much like honeybees, however their behaviour on flowers, and the fact they carry large amounts of dry pollen as they fly from flower to flower, makes them extremely efficient pollinators.”

Mr Edwards said the increased diversity of the flower species at the Beeswax Farming site played an important part in attracting solitary bees.