Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Solitary bee, just hanging around

Every afternoon for the last three days this little solitary bee has been hanging from the same grass floret in our garden, gripping with its jaws. Occasionally it flies over to a lamb's ear Stachys byzantina plant to feed on the flowers, then it returns to exactly the same spot.

I now know it's a fork-tailed flower bee Anthophora furcata

Thanks to the following on twitter, who all agreed on the ID
Africa Gomez @aBugBlog
Bumblebee etc. @wurflenii
Barry @scyrene

The wonderfully helpful naturalist community on Twitter are superb when you need ID help. They came up with the answer within 15 minutes of posting.

One of the interesting things about this species is that it nests in rotten tree stumps and we have several of those in the garden, with some few sawdust where something has been tunnelling into them. I'm hoping it it might be fork-tailed flower bees


  1. Sorry I spent an hour trying to identify it but failed. There is a paucity of good sites for bees and they are almost as difficult as moths to identify. It does look a bit weathered.

    1. Thanks Adrian - I really appreciate that.I posted a pic on Twitter and three people ID'd it for me with 15 minutes. Have you tried Twitter for this? There's a wonderfully helpful community of naturalists there who can identify just about anything ....

  2. Faster than iSpot, which is also very helpful. Terrific photos.

    1. Thanks Caroline. I use iSpot a lot too. Great source of expertise and reference photos from other users.


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