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Look out for the Spring Flower Bee

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Joined 2012-05-27

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If you live in the Southern half of Britain and grow Lungwort (Pulmonaria) or early Comfrey such as ‘Hidcote Blue’ in your garden (and if you want to support bumblebees you ought ot be growing these) then now is the time that these plants are also visited by Anthophora plumipes. This is commonly called the Spring Flower Bee or the Hairy Footed Bee.  The females look like black bumblebees, and the males are smaller and brown. There are no workers, because this is a solitary bee. It is easy to identify them and distinguish them from other bees because they dart around and can more or less hover in front of flowers - two things that bumblebees don’t really do.
This year, for the first time, BWARS is asking people to submit records of this bee on-line via their website.  See
http://www.bwars.com/index.php?q=content/new-mapping-project-launched
I suspect that this bee is hugely under-recorded.  Whenever I see a patch of Lungwort and take a look I find this bee, together with bumblebees.

Marc