Many people are familiar with honeybees, but they may not know that honeybees actually make up only one of over 20,000 different types of bees in Virginia!
Different species and types of bees live worldwide, including right here in Virginia.
There are many types of bees in Virginia, so let’s take a look at these different types of bees in Virginia that you might see if you take the time to look for them when you’re out and about in your yard or neighborhood.
1. Hippotes’ Miner Bee
Hippotes miner Bee is the first on Virginia’s list of types of bees. This type of bee can be found in Virginia, Central, and Eastern North America. It is often mistaken for a bumblebee due to its size but is actually a solitary bee.
They are found in meadows, fields, and gardens where their favorite flowers bloom. Hippotes’ Miner Bees are large, about 12-14mm long, with a wing span of about 18-20mm.
This type is the most common type of bee that you might find in Virginia. They typically live underground and have one generation per year (unlike other types, which may have two or more).
The queens lay eggs during the summer, which hatch into male bees or drones who mate with the queen while she hibernates over winter.
2. Hairy-Belted Miner Bee
Andrena hirticincta, also known as the Hairy-belted Miner Bee, are type of bee in Virginia. The black and yellow stripes distinguish them on their abdomen. Female Andrena hirticincta can be easily identified by the pollen mass they carry on their hind legs.
Male Andrena hirticincta have a longer proboscis, or tongue, which they use to reach the nectar at the end of flowers.
Male Andrena hirticinctae are often attracted to other types of bees in Virginia. Such as female Apis mellifera, and collect the nectar and pollen from them before moving on to another flower.
3. Tufted Miner Bee
Andrena illinoiensis are other types of bees in Virginia. A member of the family Andrenidae is known as the Tufted Miner Bee, which nests primarily on sunny slopes.
The males are small and black with yellow markings on their faces and underside. They are often seen visiting flowers while searching for females to mate with.
The females are larger than the males. And they have a tuft or crest on their head, distinguishing them from other types of bees found in Virginia.
4. Imitator Miner Bee
Andrena imitatrix, known as Imitator Miner Bee, is one type of bee that is found in Virginia. They are typically a little larger than most other bees and are the only bee species with orange and brown stripes on their abdomen.
These types of bees in Virginia are usually active during the spring and summer but can be active at any time if pollination is needed.
Andrena imitatrix, known as Imitator Miner Bees, often nest underground, inside holes or cracks in trees or even abandoned animal burrows. It will also nest under loose pieces of bark or inside walls and attics if they can access them.
5. Sunflower Miner Bee
Andrena helianthi, also known as the sunflower miner bee, is a type of bee that you might find in Virginia. These bees are active from spring to autumn and fly around bright yellow sunflowers.
Unlike other types of bees in Virginia, this type does not collect pollen or nectar from other flowers.
Instead, they will chew into the flowers’ petals and create tunnels for themselves to use for food storage. This behavior is what gives them their name: Sunflower Miner Bee.
6. Geranium Miner Bee
One type of bee you might find in Virginia is the Geranium miner bee, also known as Andrena geranii. This species of bee has a black head and thorax with pale yellow markings on the abdomen.
It was first found in North America but has since been found worldwide. It is found mostly on plants from the rose family, such as roses and geraniums, hence its name.
7. Cold Miner Bee
Andrena frigida, or the Cold Miner Bee, is one type of bee found in Virginia. The females often hover near flowers, and the males hover over water.
Andrena frigida prefers to be active from March through June. Females will take their prey (usually a small insect) back to their nest to feed the larvae and themselves.
The larvae remain inside until they emerge as adults; unlike other species where they leave once they reach maturity.
8. Intact Miner Bee
Andrena Integra is also known as the Intact Miner Bee. These types of bees in Virginia are most commonly found nesting near rotting wood or water sources. They tend to construct their nests by chewing off pieces from solid surfaces like tree trunks.
Andrena Integra is one of the most important native pollinators in North America, and they are valuable because they have a long tongue that can reach deep into flowers.
9. Red Mason Bee
Andrena erythroderma is also known as the Red Mason Bee. These bees are found throughout Virginia and North America, but they’re more common on the East Coast than anywhere else.
10. Macoupin County Miner Bee
Andrena macoupinensis, or Macoupin County Miner Bee, is a solitary bee that lives near the shoreline. They are usually seen on sand dunes, along the top of sandy cliffs and embankments, and around the high ground that faces the ocean.
They feed on pollen from plants such as goldenrod, aster, black-eyed Susans, and ragweed. Females can be either fertilized or unfertilized, depending on their age. Unfertilized females live for one year, while fertilized females can live up to four years.
11. Toothed Miner Bee
Toothed Miner Bees are small, solitary bees that are generally black or dark brown with yellow markings. They have a distinctive tooth-like projection on their mandibles, and they make nests by burrowing into the ground.
These types of bees in Virginia live in open areas where flowers are abundant, such as fields and meadows. Toothed miner bees are active from late spring through late fall and will only sting if handled.
12. Maria Miner Bee
Andrena mariae, also known as the Maria miner bee, is a type of bee that can be found throughout Virginia and North America. These bees can often be seen on flowers, gathering pollen and nectar.
The Andrena Mariae are solitary bees, meaning they do not live in colonies or hives like other types of bees. They have an average lifespan of one year, and unlike other types of bees, they do not produce honey.
These types of bees in Virginia are beneficial because they pollinate plants which helps sustain their populations.
13. Wrinkled Miner Bee
Andrena rugosa is a type of bee that can be found in Virginia. They are also known as Wrinkled Miner bees.
These types of bees are usually found on goldenrod plants, and they prefer making their nests under the leaves to avoid predators. They are also not very aggressive and will often run away if disturbed.
Male Andrena rugosa bees produce a pheromone that attracts females to mate with them. The female will then fly off to find her own flower head and make her nest there instead of with the male who she has just mated with.
14. Small Willow Miner Bee
Andrena sanitaria-Small Willow Miner Bee is one type of bee found in Virginia. Its dark abdomen can identify it with a yellow band on the back and two pale bands at the end.
The Small Willow Miner Bee ranges from 1/2-1 inch long, making it the smallest species of bee found in Virginia States. Its range includes the Pacific coast and extends eastwards to Nebraska and Kansas.
It lives primarily on willow trees but also likes to visit asters, goldenrod, meadowsweet, sweet clover, and viburnum flowers.
This particular species feeds on nectar and pollen from these plants but does not gather or store food for winter like some other types of bees do.
15. Sigmund’s Miner Bee
Sigmund’s Miner Bee is one of the types of bees you might find in Virginia. Sigmund’s Miner Bee is a solitary bee that nests along sheltered sandy banks, roadsides, and other open areas with bare ground.
The female Andrena Sigmund- Sigmund’s Miner Bee will burrow into soil or sand to create a nest cell for her eggs.
She does not make a nest for herself, but she does collect materials such as sand grains, pine needles, and small pieces of bark to line her egg chamber with before laying an egg on top.
16. Simple Miner Bee
One common type of bee in Virginia is the Andrena simplex, also known as the Simple Miner Bee. The vernacular name for this species, simplex, comes from the Latin word for simple. This andrenid species was first described by entomologist and taxonomist Pierre Andre Latreille.
These solitary bees are also known as plasterer bees due to their habit of plastering a waxy secretion over their nests. They are often seen flying around flowers, collecting pollen and nectar.
17. Goatsbeard Miner Bee
Nowadays, it is not unusual to find bees in your backyard or garden. However, some types of bees are more likely to be found than others.
Goatsbeard Miner Bee is one type that can be found year-round and is especially common during summer.
These types of bees in Virginia pollinate many flowering plants, including tomatoes, peas, and pumpkins. They also collect pollen from various plants, including goldenrod and aster.
18. Parsnip Miner Bee
Andrena thaspii, also known as the Parsnip Miner Bee, is a type of bee that is native to Virginia and North America. The name comes from its habit of visiting parsnips and other plants in the carrot family for pollen.
This bee is small, with an average length between .6 to .8 inches (1.6-2 cm), and has a black face with white hair on its thorax. The males are more slender than females, who have a wider bodies.
Andrena lives for about six weeks during the summer months and will continue to reproduce until they die at the end of the summer or fall when the weather gets colder.
19. Trident Miner bee
The trident Miner bee is one type of bee that lives in Virginia. The scientific name for the species is Andrena tridens.
They have a black head, thorax, and rusty red abdomen. It feeds on pollen and nectar from flowers. This bee can be found worldwide except in Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica.
20. Neighborly Miner Bee
Andrena, known as the Neighborly Miner Bee, is a type of bee that you might find in the state of Virginia. This type of bee is small, measuring only about 1/8 inch in length.
They are not very aggressive at all and will often ignore people who cross their paths as they do their daily business.
The male and female bees can be distinguished by looking at them. The males will have a yellow thorax with brown stripes on it, while the females will have a yellow thorax with black markings on it.
21. Virginia Miner Bee
Bees are a fascinating group of insects that play a vital role in the ecosystem. There are many different types of bees, and they vary by color, size, and shape.
Andrena virginiana, or the Virginia Miner Bee, is one type you might find living in Virginia. The most distinguishing features of this species are its yellow-orange color and black stripes on its abdomen, which give it a bumblebee-like appearance.
It also has orange hair on its head and thorax (middle body segment).
Andrena Virginiana is found throughout North America and has been seen as far south as Florida to as far north as Quebec, Canada.
22. W-marked Miner Bee
W-marked Miner Bee Including bees that are not native to North America, there are about 4,000 different species of bees in the world. In North America, about 250 species make their home here.
One type is the W-marked Miner Bee. The W-marked Miner Bee has been found throughout Virginia and the United States from Canada south to Texas and from California east to Ohio.
They get their name from the white patch on their face. Which gives them a unique appearance and helps distinguish them from other types of bees in Virginia.
23. Wheeler’s Miner Bee
Wheeler’s miner bee, commonly referred to as the orchard bee, is a solitary mining bee native to Virginia and the eastern United States.
It differs from other mining bees because it does not collect pollen or produce honey but instead feeds on nectar and fruit juices.
Wheeler’s miner bee is also different from other bees because it is able to hover in place while collecting nectar and has a shorter tongue length than other species.
While Wheeler’s miner bee prefers pomaceous fruits such as apples and cherries, they also visit flowers with long tubes such as wisteria and honeysuckle.
24. European Legume Miner Bee
Andrena wilkella, a European legume miner bee, is one type of bee that you may find in Virginia. There are numerous different types of bees in Virginia and throughout the world. And they can all vary drastically based on the type and location.
Andrena wilkella lives on plants such as clover, vetch, pea, and other legumes. The female bee will make a burrow about 1 inch below the surface where she lays an egg and then seals it off with dirt.
So, The larva then hatches from this egg and spends four to six weeks eating the plant roots before pupating into an adult bee over winter.
While Andrena wilkella might be found in your state, there are plenty more types of bees to explore!
25. Golden Alexanders Miner Bee
Andrena ziaiae is a type of bee that can be found all over the world. They are also called golden alexander’s miner bees. They are primarily pollinators, and they feed on nectar and pollen.
Andrena ziziae is an important pollinator for various plants, including golden alexanders, their namesake. These types of bees in Virginia can be identified by their dark abdomens with alternating black and white stripes.
The females tend to have more black than white stripes, while the males have more white than black stripes.
26. Eastern Miner Bee
Calliopsis andreniformis, known as Eastern Miner Bee, is a type of bee found in Virginia. It is part of the Apidae family and the Meliponini tribe.
They are solitary bees that make nests in crevices, small holes, or abandoned rodent burrows. For food, they collect pollen from flowers for their larvae and nectar for themselves.
27. Eight-Spotted Miner Bee
While the bee population is declining globally, there are still many types of bees native to Virginia. Perdita octomaculata, also Eight-spotted Miner Bee, is one such species. The miner bee can be found in temperate regions throughout the world.
This bee is a specialist pollinator, meaning it specializes in only one type of flower, often from a single species within a family.
The Perdita octomaculata, also Eight-spotted Miner Bee, has been known to pollinate plants like apple trees, cucumbers, sunflowers, and more.
One way you might encounter this bee is while it’s buzzing around your garden during the springtime.
28. Small Black Miner Bee
Pseudopanurgus andrenoides, also Small Black Miner Bee, is a type of bee found in Virginia. They are known as solitary bees, meaning they live alone.
These types of bees in Virginia are often described as gentle and sweet-tempered because they do not aggressively defend their territory as honey bees will.
Sometimes these bees nest with bumblebees or sweat bees, which is why the females have brownish wings rather than black wings like other miner bees.
29. Illinois Miner Bee
Pseudopanurgus illinoiensis is a type of bee that is native to Virginia. They are also called Illinois Miner Bees because they have been known to nest near mining areas.
The females can have anywhere from one to four eggs per day and will produce an average of 320 offspring during their lifetime. The males and the females both feed on nectar, but the males will collect pollen as well.
30. Rose Miner Bee
Andrena melanochroa known as Rose Miner Bee (Andrenidae), is one of the types of bees in Virginia. This type can be found on various plants, feeding on pollen and nectar.
Rose Miner Bee is not very aggressive, but it can sting if it feels threatened or if the female feels her nest has been disturbed. It is also important to note that this type of bee can only sting once.
31. Fragile Miner Bee
The fragile miner bee is a type of bee that lives exclusively in Virginia and the Eastern United States. This bee nests underground and typically only emerges to feed on nectar.
The fragile miner bee eats a variety of plant nectar but is especially attracted to elderberry, anise, and bergamot flowers.
Fragile miner bees are usually less than an inch long and have black wings with white markings. Some also have yellow stripes on their abdomen.
Females lay eggs within hollow stems or holes they create themselves. Larvae hatch after about two weeks and then pupate over the winter months before emerging as adults the following spring.
Bees are important pollinators for many types of plants, including some food crops such as watermelon, cucumber, apple, strawberry, blueberry, and more!
32. Forbes Miner Bee
Andrena forbesii, also known as the Forbes miner bee, is a solitary bee that nests in the ground. This bee is not attracted to light and does not have a long proboscis (the snout).
This species lays its eggs on the leaves of plants where larval food sources are abundant. Forbes Miner Bee pollinates crops such as cucumbers and melons.
33. Trout Lily Miner Bee
Andrena erythronii known as Trout Lily Miner Bee, is a type of bee that is found in Virginia and throughout North America. It is an oligolectic bee, meaning it only visits one kind of plant for its nectar and pollen needs.
These types of bees in Virginia are known for collecting nectar from the trout lily, but they also visit various other flowers to collect nectar and pollen.
This species was first discovered in 1884, so little information about its life cycle has been published.
34. Red-Bellied Miner Bee
Andrena erythrogaster is also known as the Red-bellied Miner Bee. It is one of the most common types of bees in Virginia.
These types of bees in Virginia can be found throughout the United States and were introduced to North America from Europe.
Red-bellied miners are solitary bee species, meaning they do not live or work together with other species members.
They are commonly found on flowering plants and trees, including white clover, goldenrod, and dandelion blooms.
35. Dunning’s Miner Bee
Dunning’s Miner Bee is a type of bee that is found in Virginia. It gets its name from the collector who first described it, Charles Duncan Dunning.
These types of bees in Virginia have a metallic green or blue abdomen that can be either shiny or dull. They are solitary ground nesters and will nest near human habitation or other vegetation. The males have long antennae, while the females have shorter antennas.
36. Distant Miner Bee
The Andrena distans also Distant Miner Bee is one type of bee you might find in Virginia. They are often seen around the summer of July and August.
The most common places to find these bees are fields and meadows with lots of flowers, as it is a flower-loving bee.
This species prefers areas with at least six hours of sunlight per day, providing enough time for them to pollinate.
Distant Miner Bees have a black body with yellow markings on their abdomen, which are not always present.
37. Yellow-Legged Miner Bee
One type of bee that is commonly found in Virginia is the Andrena cressonii, also the Yellow-legged Miner Bee.
This type of bee is black and yellow with a fuzzy abdomen, large compound eyes, and long antennae. They are often seen hovering around flowers or landing on leaves to drink nectar.
Typically, Yellow-legged Miner Bees live for about two weeks in their larval stage and for about three weeks as adults.
They prefer to nest close to water sources such as streams, lakes, or ponds where water flow has disturbed the ground.
The males will fly great distances looking for females but can also mate with other males closer to their nesting site.
38. Hawthorn Miner Bee
Hawthorn Miner Bee is a type of bee in Virginia. Andrena crataegi are a species of miner bees. They are not native to the United States but were introduced from Europe as a pollinator for the hawthorn tree.
These bees measure about 9mm and can be found mostly on hawthorns, apples, pear trees, and other fruit trees.
They have been known to sting people and animals, but they are not aggressive. They gather pollen by buzzing around flowers and feeding off nectar while gathering pollen on their bodies by brushing against anthers or the stamen.
39. Advantaged Miner Bee
Andrena commoda, or the Advantaged Miner Bee, is a type of bee that belongs to the Andrenidae family. They live in moist areas and nest underground.
They are not territorial but are often seen near streams and water sources. Unlike other species of bees, they do not produce honey because their primary food source is nectar from flowers.
40. Pigmented Miner Bee
Andrena chromotricha, or the pigmented miner bee, is one type of bee found in Virginia. They are a reddish brown color with dark wings. Male bees have longer antennae than females.
If you spot a bee that matches this description and it is feeding on pollen, it’s most likely an Andrena chromotricha.
41. Ceanothus Miner Bee
The Andrena ceanothi, or Ceanothus Miner Bee, is a type of bee that can be found across Virginia and North America.
These types of bees in Virginia are solitary and nest underground in abandoned rodent burrows. They gather pollen from flowers with long tongues.
The Andrena ceanothi can be found all throughout the United States, but they are most common in the western part of the country, including California and Texas.
Like other solitary bees, this type will not live with a queen bee or form colonies like the European honeybee.
42. Carolina Miner Bee
Andrena Carolina, also known as the Carolina Miner Bee, is a type of bee found throughout Virginia and the Eastern United States.
They are typically found around flowers and are often confused with bumblebees because their size and coloring are similar.
However, unlike bumblebees, they do not produce honey. One way to tell them apart from other bees is by looking at their face: they have two black bands across the lower part of their face, while bumblebees have three.
Andrena Carolina will spend most of its time out in nature looking for plants to pollinate but will come back to a nearby tree (or other sheltered location) every evening to sleep.
43. Carlinville Miner Bee
Andrena carlinia and Carlinville Miner Bee is a type of bee found in Virginia. Carlinville Miner Bee is a solitary bee that does not live in hives with other bees.
The Carlinville miner bee builds its nest by burrowing it into the ground and lining the tunnel with a mixture of soil, plant material, and nectar. The female lays eggs on the surface of the lining and then closes up the entrance to the burrow.
She then moves on to make another nest elsewhere. This type of bee is often seen drinking from flowers or collecting pollen or nectar from flowers such as goldenrod, asteraceae family plants, and sunflowers.
44. Canada Miner Bee
Beekeeping is an amazing hobby that can also be a profitable business. If you’re considering getting into beekeeping, it’s important to first learn about all the different types of bees that might find themselves buzzing around your hive.
One such bee is the Canada Miner Bee or Andrena Canadensis type of bee in Virginia. Canadian miner bees are solitary insects and have been known to be very aggressive towards other species.
They’re most active during springtime as they go out looking for food sources and nesting sites.
Females will chew holes into flowers and make cells where eggs are laid, while males guard outside. It’s not uncommon for these bees to sting if they feel threatened, so always wearing protective gear when working with them is important!
45. Short-Tongued Miner Bee
Andrena brevipalpis, also the Short-tongued Miner Bee, is a type of bee found in Virginia. This type of bee is often seen collecting pollen from flowers and their larvae, like honeybees, live off nectar and pollen.
They are cool to watch because they are not aggressive at all, and some call them the gentle giant. Andrena brevipalpis, also the Short-tongued Miner Bee, is one of Virginia’s most common types of bees.
46. Bradley’s Miner Bee
To the untrained eye, it might be difficult to tell the difference between a bee and a wasp. They are similar in size, color, and shape. You’ll find some subtle differences if you know what you’re looking for.
One example is that bees have shorter antennae than wasps. Another difference is that wasps will sting if they feel threatened or their nest is disturbed. Bees will only sting if they feel threatened or their nest has been disturbed.
47. Eastern Willow Miner Bee
The Andrena basilicas, known as Eastern Willow Miner Bee is a type of bee that is found mostly in Virginia and the eastern half of the United States.
This bee is called EWM and has a gray thorax and black abdomen. They have a black head, pale yellow hair on their thoraxes, and yellowish hairs on their abdomens.
They are usually solitary types of bees in Virginia who prefer to nest underground near water sources like streams or springs.
The Eastern Willow Miner’s diet consists mostly of pollen from willow trees, but they also feed on other flowers like goldenrod, sassafras, and wild grape vines.
48. Bearded Miner Bee
Andrena barbilabris, also known as the Bearded Miner Bee, is endangered. The Bearded Miner Bee can be found in the state of Virginia.
These types of bees in Virginia are solitary and do not have a nest that they go to for shelter. This type of bee is mostly active during the day. They are pollinators who will collect pollen from flowers to make their honeycomb.
49. Barbara’s Miner
Andrena barbara is a type of bee that can be found in the state of Virginia. They’re typically most active from early April to late June and are known for their great foraging skills.
Unlike other species, Barbara’s Miner bees don’t have any stripes on their abdomen, and they’re not very aggressive when it comes to defending territory. They don’t live as long either, only about a month or two.
50. Aster Miner Bee
Andrena asteris, also Aster Miner Bee, is one type of bee you might find living in Virginia. This type of bee can be found in vqnd, the Eastern coast, and the Mid-Atlantic region.
It is also usually seen as a solitary insect but forms colonies to hibernate during winter. The males have black and yellow hairs, while the females are brown with a light stripe on their backs.
Aster Miner Bees are very important for pollination because they feed on pollen and nectar from flowers, which helps encourage growth for many different plants and crops.
These types of bees in Virginia have a great sense of smell which helps them locate food sources from far away distances.
51. Andrena Arabis Mustard Miner Bee
Many different types of bees live in the state of Virginia. One type is the Andrena Arabis Mustard Miner Bee, which can be found on a purple thistle, dandelions, and other flowers.
They feed on nectar and pollen. These types of bees in Virginia also do not have a stinger, so they are safe to touch!
52. Colorful Willow Miner Bee
Andrena andrenoides, also known as the colorful willow miner bee, is a type of bee found in Virginia. These types of bees in Virginia are small, averaging about 4mm (1/5 inch) in length, and come in various colors.
They have long tongues that they use to drink nectar from flowers. Andrena andrenoides live all over the world.
But can only survive where there are willows or other types of plants with shallow roots near water sources where they can nest.
53. Yellow-Faced Miner Bee
Yellow-faced Miner Bee is a solitary bee, and it’s found from Virginia to the Western United States. It also lives in Canada and Mexico.
The Andrena aliciae, also known as the Yellow-faced Miner Bee nest, is a burrow dug into bare soil, sand, or gravel. They are known for nesting near the edge of the woods.
54. Two-Spotted Miner Bee
The two-spotted miner bee is one species of native bee that can be found in the state. They are solitary bees, meaning there is only one female per nest.
They will dig holes into the ground to create their nests. The nest will generally contain about 15 cells for eggs and provisions for larvae when they hatch.
The egg cells are made from pollen and nectar that the female collects during her flights. Once she lays an egg in a cell, she fills it with more pollen and nectar so the larva can eat while they grow. This ends our list of the types of bees in Virginia.
Virginia has many different types of bees that are part of the Apis genus. They range in size from mason bees to honeybees and include bumblebees, leafcutter bees, cuckoo bees, sweat bees, carpenter bees, miner bees, and more.
Above is a rundown of types of bees in Virginia you might find if you visit the Old Dominion soon.