The Azalea Mining Bee, Anderna cornelli, has been found on Martha’s Vineyard, raising the total of bee species known on the island to 193. Sharon Britton found several individuals on rhododendron flowers in her yard in West Tisbury.
These fascinating bees are kleptoparasites of other bees, laying their eggs in the nests of their host species instead of provisioning there own nests. One cuckoo bee, Coelioxyx octodentatus, was recently added to the Vineyard’s Bee checklist.
The Hairy-banded Miner Bee, Andrena hirticincta, is one of the most recognizable solitary bees known from Martha’s Vineyard, occurring in late summer and early fall wherever goldenrod, this bee’s favorite pollen source, is found.