Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Hairy footed bees

With the increase in sunny weather  have noticed increased activity from the hairy footed bees Anthophora plumipes that visit one particular plant oin our garden near the pond - Margerie fish. I have noticed a female for a few weeks joined just recently by another female. A male bee has also strated to visit. I have only seen the two females and one male at the plant at one time, so  am assuming there is only one male at the moment.
Female showing long feeding probosis

The sexes are easy to tell apart the female is completely black and the male is mainly brown.
                                         Female on the margerie fish

Male hairy footed bee

Hairy footed bees are fast fliers and one of the eraliest solitary bees to be seen in my garden. They are also quite territorial chasing away rivals and any other bees, including quite large bumble bees, that try to visit the plant.

Male hairy footed bees also have a a white face

Hairy footed bees are facsinating to watch. The nests are built in the ground or in the mortar of old walls. Hairy footed bees are present imy garden every year, but I have never discovered their nest site. Unlike the leaf cutterbees that collect leaf materila and nest in our garden later in the year.

No comments: