Hairy-Footed Flower Bee

Anthophora plumipes

Hairy-Footed Flower Bee

profile iconAnthophora plumipes fg01
by Fritz Geller-Grimm (CC BY-SA 2.5)
1 of 6
A close up of a Anthophora plumipes on a leaf
profile iconAnthophora plumipes fg01
by Fritz Geller-Grimm (CC BY-SA 2.5)
1 of 6
Anthophora plumipes is a cute-looking bee that can be seen in parks and gardens throughout spring and summer. These bees have distinctively long hairs on their feet which is where they get their names. They are particularly fond of tubular flowers because they're long-tongued, meaning they're able to retrieve nectar from deep within the flower. Because they emerge early spring, they're considered critical pollinators for first spring flowers. These bees are often seen nesting in the cracks and crevices of brick walls and chimneys.
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Traits

These bees are important pollinators for the garden from as early as March.

Appearance

Adults: Females are black, with black/ginger fur on the thorax; they are relatively small in size (1.5cm). The male is golden brown and easy to distinguish from the females, who are fluffy and black. Both have long hairs on the lower legs and feet, which gives them their name. They're one of the few species of bee active early spring, which can make them easier to recognise. Larvae and Egg: Gardeners will rarely see these bees because they will spend most of the life stage developing in burrows.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Apidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

The UK, Europe, USA and Asia with some sightings as far as North Africa.

Biological treatment

It's not suggested to treat gardens for bees because they can do wonders for flowering plants! Help the bees by planting pollinator-friendly flowers, or you can provide bee-friendly habitats.

Chemical treatment

Bees are extremely sensitive to pesticides and herbicides. It's not advised to spray flowering plants because the bees can be affected even if they weren't intended to be.

Attracts

These bees will forage and pollinate flowers that bloom as early as March.
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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