Whereas most of the familiar bees are black and yellow stripey creatures sometimes with a white or russet tail, the Ashy Miner Bee (Andrena cineraria) is black and white with a bit of blue…like a Magpie (hence my blog post title, The Magpies being the nickname of The Toon, Newcastle United Football Club, NUFC). Its name made me think ashy, sooty, pits and miners, obviously; once so common an association with the city to which you need not take coals.
This is a solitary bee, but the females will often make their nests in aggregates along grassy footpaths and short turf. Hence another football connection. I spotted this one on the raised footpath along the water at Earith in Cambridgeshire. Look down as you’re walking and you might spot them from March to June.