Anthophora plumipes (Pallas, 1772)
Length 14-17 mm
Sometimes called the ‘Flower Bee’, the female of this fast-flying solitary bee is jet black, whilst the male is largely gingery-brown with a bright yellow face. Long-tongued bee.
The nests are built in the ground and in the loose mortar of old walls. Feeds on nectar and pollen, and is a good pollinator.
They are seen March to June, although rarely seen in June. Found in flower-rich pastures, including gardens, where Common Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) is a favourite flower. Distributed throughout much of England and Wales, especially south. Absent from Scotland and Ireland.