Andrena “Mining Bee” Andrenidae
on Ranunculus glaberrimus “Sagebrush Buttercup” Ranunculaceae

Council Grove State Park, MT
March 16, 2015
Robert Niese

Andrena is one of the world’s largest genera of bees. There are probably only a few people in all of North America who possess the specialized knowledge necessary to make a reliable species identification. Andrena bees are remarkably cold tolerant and are some of the first small bee species to frequent flowers in the spring, although this little guy was clearly struggling with the chilly morning air.

Apis mellifera “European Honeybee” Apidae 
on Ranunculus glaberrimus “Sagebrush Buttercup” Ranunculaceae

Council Grove State Park, MT
March 16, 2015
Robert Niese

It’s warming up here in Missoula and spring may have sprung early! The first Ranunculus glaberrimus flowers bloomed around town in early February which is several weeks earlier than previous years. Today was even warm enough to bring out a few species of bees like this European Honeybee.