Hairy- footed Flower Bee


Anthophora plumipes – Lots of these around at the moment if you look out for them feeding from nectar-rich flowers with their long proboscis. It is a sexually dimorphic species, and the male is in the top image, and the female in the bottom image. They never keep still, so you have to hope for the best with these when trying to photograph them. Double-click images to enlarge.


Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes male

Hairy-footed Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes female

© Peter Hillman ♦ 19th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Flower Bee II

Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes male

Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes male


May 2015, male Anthophora plumipes, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2015. Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Flower Bee

Anthophora plumipes

Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes male

Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes male

Now this is quite a curious bee I discovered visiting my garden. Sometimes called the ‘Hairy- footed 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. Size 14 to 17mm.

Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes male

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.

Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes female

Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes female

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.

Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes female


Male, top three images taken April 2007, and female bottom three images taken March 2012, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2007 and 2012.