Hairy-footed flower bee

25th March 2012, Sunday

The hairy-footed flower bee Anthophora plumipes has been active in Northiam this week.  The males (see here) could be mistaken for common carder bees Bombus pascuorum, although they are smaller than the queens you would expect to see in the spring, and I have not seen any of the latter species flying yet this year.  The sexes of this species show different colour patterns, with the females being all black in colour, with yellowish hairs on the back legs.  They have a more rapid flight than a bumblebee darting in an out of stands of flowering plants.  More information is available on this bee here.