Share

Mostly clear

Sat

10°C | 2°C

Sunny spells

Sun

10°C | 9°C

Mostly Cloudy

Mon

13°C | 10°C

Home   Romney Marsh   News   Article

Rare Andrena vaga bee snapped in Dungeness for first time in more than 60 years by wildlife photographer Roger Tidman

12 May 2014
by Samantha Williams

A bee that hasn't been seen in the UK for more than 60 years has been discovered by a wildlife photographer in Kent.

The female Andrena vaga - also known as the mining bee - was captured by Roger Tidman, 66, when he visited Dungeness.

It is understood that this is the first sighting of the insect in the county since 1946 after it was declared extinct by experts.

The rare Andrena vaga bee. Picture by Kristian Peters

The rare Andrena vaga bee. Picture by Kristian Peters

Mr Tidman - who was drawn to the bee because of its colour - had no idea of its rarity until he showed the photo to his friend and bee expert, Nick Owens.

He told the MailOnline:  "I had no idea it was so rare, but it turns out it has not been since in the UK since 1946.

"It was very exciting when he told me how rare the bee is and when I realised I could be the only person with a clear picture of it, I was thrilled" - Roger Tidman

"I'm not a bee expert, but my close friend Nick Owens is, and when I showed him the picture he said: 'You've hit the jackpot, mate!'

"He explained that this bee was declared extinct in the UK 68 years ago and that he couldn't believe it was back in England."

Mr Tidman's picture shows a female bee gathering pollen, before burying it underground. 

He added: "It was very exciting when he told me how rare the bee is and when I realised I could be the only person with a clear picture of it, I was thrilled."

The Andrena vaga is distinctive due to its grey hair and is more commonly found in France. 

Owen Leyshon, site manager at the Dungeness National Nature Reserve, said: “The grey haired mining bee (Andrena vaga) appears to have been recorded in Hampshire and at Dungeness this spring, which is exciting news.

“Being so close to the continent and with the right wind directions and weather, Dungeness is a prime locality for rare insects to be found which has been proven over the decades.

Owen Leyshon

Owen Leyshon



“With the rich shingle habitat across the landscape and with many initiatives on going to bolster the invertebrate populations, it is all very encouraging.

"Mining bees like a hot sandy, bare shingle environment to make their chambers in the ground during the spring months.”

Click here for more news from Romney marsh.

Click here for more news from around the county.

Comments 

Forgotten Password?

Forgotten Username?

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments.
Please click here for our house rules.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.