The hairy-footed Flower Bee on the wing now

You may think there are only a few species of bee in Britain – honey bees and a few bumblebee? Well actually you would be wrong there are in fact 275 species of bee in the country. Yesterday I found, managed to identify and photograph the Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes). It is one of the first species to emerge into the spring – the males can emerge as early as late February.

Hairy-footed flower bee 1
This is a male with its ginger hairs (the females are black) – you can also clearly see his hairy feet along with the long hairs along the segments of his mid tarsi. He is feeding on a Lesser Celandine flower.

Hairy-footed flower bee 2In this photo you can see the buff and ginger markings on the abdomen and the yellow hairs on its face which confirm its identity. You can also see its tongue feeding on the flower.

Hairy-footed flower bee 3Another view showing the yellow face

They make their nests in walls, chimneys and quarry faces. The species is reasonable common in southern England but appears to be restricted to the south coastal area of Devon.

Anthophora plumipes map
Distribution map of Anthophora plumipes courtesy of the National Biodiversity Network

I found this male in my garden in Exeter. This is the first time I have been able to use my new and excellent Field Guide to the Bees of Britain and Ireland (which I wrote about last November – see here). This book is of course the reason I was able to identify the species and tell you about its ecology!

Fancy a new hobby this year?


One thought on “The hairy-footed Flower Bee on the wing now

  1. Pingback: The Hairy – footed Flower Bee – the female emerges – A Dartmoor and Devon blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.