Spring Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes

Spring Flower Bee female
Spring Flower Bee
The Spring Flower Bee is also called the Hairy-footed Flower Bee. Pictures above show the female. The female is large and black with distinctive yellow/ginger hairs on the hind leg.
Spring Flower Bee female
Spring Flower Bee
The Male Spring Flower Bee, above, looks very different - smaller with ginger body hair. He has a white face and hairy, two-tone legs.
Spring Flower Bee long tongue
Spring Flower Bee drinking
Spring Flower drinking
It is a long-tongued bee which can drink from tubular flowers. Both male and female wake from hibernation around February/March and are active until May/June.
Spring Flower Bee
Spring Flower Bee
Spring Flower Bee bee-holes
Although called "solitary" bees, the Flower Bees will often excavate their nest holes together in groups. Usually these will be horizontally in crumbling mortar or soft masonry. The one above is unusual in being vertical in the ground (beside a block of flats in north London).
Spring Flower Bees
Spring Flower Bees
Bumblebee face Melecta albifrons, female above, is a "cuckoo" bee, a parasite, laying its eggs in nest holes of Spring Flower Bees.
Hairy-footed Flower Bee male
Hairy-footed Flower Bee male The male Spring Flower Bee demonstrating its alternative name of Hairy-footed Flower Bee.