The northern Colletes mining bee is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) priority species listed as Rare.
Since 2001, nesting aggregations of this species have been monitored annually on the RSPB Reef reserve on the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides. Eight nest ing aggregations were found on the reserve in 2001-2002, one was lost to natural causes in 2004 whilst three new aggregations were discovered in 2005-6 bringing the total of active aggregations to ten in 2007 and 2008.
Seven of the nesting aggregations were associated with man-made features. This highlights the ability of the species to nest at new locations as they become suitable and suggests a possible management tool for enticing bees to nest in areas currently lacking suitable nest-sites. Management in the form of winter cattle grazing has maintained a stable population on the reserve.
Since 2000, surveys for northern Colleteshave been undertaken by staff and researchers from RSPB and Hymettus Ltd (formerly the Aculeate Conservation Group) in areas with historical records and of other potentially suitable herb-rich coastal habitat. These have revealed the continued presence of the bee at two sites in N. Ireland: Ballymaclary/Portstewart Strand/Umbra and White Park Bay/Bushfoot Strand, one in England: Duddon Estuary, and six in Scotland: Berneray to Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides, Tiree/ Coll, Islay, Colonsay / Oronsay, Irvine in Ayrshire and Machrihanish in Kintyre.
Optimal habitat management for the bee is being encouraged in all these areas