The Red-twig Dogwoods in my rain garden are beginning to grow leaves again. A small insect was sitting atop one of them yesterday.
Two things catch my eye here. First, I always forget how hairy bees actually are. This one has a full coat of fur! Second, the dogwood leaf also has a carpet of hair. Is this meant to keep it warm, or maybe discourage animals from eating it? Or possibly to keep it cool in hot weather? I’m not sure. Maybe all of these?
As for the bee, I’m not sure what specific kind this was. It was small, so it wasn’t a Honey Bee. Based on a few photos I found on BugGuide, I believe this was probably a Mining Bee. These bees like to “visit early-blooming flowers” according to Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America by Arthur V. Evans. They dig a vertical burrow in the ground where they lay an egg with some pollen around it.