Spotlight on... Hairy-footed flower bee

Hairy-footed flower bee (female) © Steven Falk

Hairy-footed flower bee

Hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes) mostly seen in the South of England, is a bee that nests in steeper ground and walls, and often the species that creates worry from digging into old brickwork and mortar. Compared to other species of bee, it is seldom seen in the UK later than May and males are now being seen emerging in February – so possible a good indicator of climate change.

Males and females are distinct in appearance with females (superficially all-black in Britain) commonly mistaken for medium-size bumblebee, but all-black bumblebees are not at all common. If you look closely, you can see orange hairs on  the female back legs. The yellow face on males are easily seen, and central legs with peculiar long hairs.

Where is Hairy-footed flower bee?

At present TVERC holds just 103 records for A. plumipes. The distribution map probably tells you more about where recorders are than about where A. plumipes is found. The vast majority of the records are for March-May but there is one for Feb and a handful for June and July.

Have you seen any Hairy-footed flower bee?

If you spot any wildlife when you’re out and about, share your records and photos with TVERC. By letting TVERC know what you have seen you will help protect and improve your local environment by increasing the quality and quantity of data we hold. 

Absence records are also very useful, so also let us know if you’ve been out and haven’t seen anything!

Your records can inform a variety of exciting biodiversity projects and help people make informed decisions about how to develop and manage land sustainably. We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation so rely on valuable help from skilled volunteers to improve our database.

Identification help

Check out the BWARS website to help you to accurately identify this species!

To help ensure the your records are valid, it is absolutely essential that any records are supported by photos!

Where should we direct our spotlight next?

If you are a recorder, a local recording group or just have an interest in a species, send us your suggestion for a species, along with some facts and a photo (if possible) to