Hairy-footed flower bee

Anthophora plumipes

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Bees and wasps
  4. Hairy-footed flower bee


These bees emerge from hibernation in early spring, from late February to March. The males emerge first and then the females a couple of weeks later. They are an important pollinator for early spring flowers, particularly lungwort (Pulmonaria species) but also primroses, comfrey and deadnettle. They feed on the nectar using their long tongues. Hairy-footed flower bees will nest in soft mortar in walls or occasionally in soil. They are commonly seen in gardens in southern England as well as along road verges.

How to identify

The black, furry females resemble small bumblebees with long orange or yellow hairs on their hind legs. These hairs differentiate them from bumblebees. The males are rusty brown and have long hairs on their legs and feet.

Where to find it

Southern and central England and Wales


When to find it

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June

How can people help

Bees are a vitally important for pollinating hundreds of plant species, including many crops. But they are under threat from loss of habitat and the increasing use of pesticides and herbicides. The Wildlife Trusts recognise the importance of healthy habitats to support all kinds of species, so are working closely with farmers, landowners and developers to promote wildlife-friendly practices. You can help too: encourage bees and wasps into your garden by providing nectar-rich flower borders and fruit trees. To find out more about gardening for wildlife, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Hairy-footed flower bee
Latin name
Anthophora plumipes
Bees and wasps
Length 14-16mm
Conservation status
Common in England and Wales, not found in Scotland