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Hairy-Footed Flower Bee

Anthophora plumipes

Hairy-Footed Flower Bee

A close up of a Anthophora plumipes on a leaf

Anthophora plumipes fg01

by Fritz Geller-Grimm. CC BY-SA 2.5

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


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.











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.


These bees will forage and pollinate flowers that bloom as early as March.
Some pink flowers on a Pulmonaria officinalis plant


Pulmonaria officinalis


Pulmonaria spp.

A purple Primula flower on a plant


Primula spp.


Symphytum spp.

Some blue Hyacinthoides hispanica flowers

Spanish Bluebell

Hyacinthoides hispanica

Common bluebell

English Bluebell

Hyacinthoides non-scripta


Magnolia spp.

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