I've seen a few bee species already this year (inlcuding a few yet to be identified), but one that has stood out by spending a lot of time in our garden is the Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes. Being about the size of a bumblebee, these are quite distinctive and show considerable sexual dimorphism. The males have yellowish-brown hairs and a pale yellow face, while the females are black apart from orange hind femora (which can be hidden). Since a single male appeared on 13th March, I've seen the level of activity increase, firstly with the arrival of a second male and then a couple of females. Most of their feeding has been on Lungwort - they have been seen investigating other flowers such as the ornamental Quince, but this does not seem popular and is regularly spurned. I wondered if it was a nectar-poor cultivar, but today I saw a different bee species (maybe an Osmia) feeding from it. Hopefully I'll be able to add more species photos, but they don't stay still for long...
|A. plumipes male on Lungwort|
|A. plumipes female approaching Lungwort - mmmm, tasty...|
|A. plumipes female approaching Fritillary flower|
|Andrena sp. showing plenty of white fluff plus white bands on the abdomen.|
|Andrena sp. investigating bare soil - is that a burrow?|