Anthophora start nesting

12th April 2012
Having managed to get some reasonable shots of Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes) males; nesting activity in our house wall, has provided some convenient opportunities for photographing females too. There's been lots of activity from males this month, constantly patrolling the area in search of females. Now the females are equally prominent.

You could be forgiven for thinking that these are a type of smallish all-black bumblebee, but the Anthophora females are quite easy to recognise with the prominent yellowish hairs on their hind pair of legs (pollen baskets). Their faces lack the prominent white markings of the male.

The image on the lest shows a females peering out from her selected hole in the soft mortar between the blocks in the stone wall of our hosue. Old walls are favoured nesting places.

The yellow hairs on the hind legs are well-illustrated in this images; together will the rather "rounded" general appearance.

If you find an area where these bees are nesting, look out for their cuckoo bee Melecta albifrons. I've been photographing these too and will include some images in a later BLOG post.

For are more images of Anthophora plumipes in the Image Gallery.

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