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6218 Views 3 Replies Last post: Mar 29, 2012 6:29 PM by bombuslucorum - Museum ID team RSS
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Mar 29, 2012 4:26 PM

Hairy-footed Flower bee, Anthophora plumipes

Dear Bee Experts,

I have recently been finding a few bees (3-5 per day) in our dining room, mostly completely still and extremely docile (but alive). I live in Bromley, Kent (SE England/London borders)

We have 3 year old twins, so I am a little concerend that we have a nest either under the house, or in the eaves above the window.

Closer inspection showed the bees to have very little, if any colour on their bodies but orange hairs on their legs. Some have a very small dark orange patch around the tip of their tail. All are a similar size which seems slightly smaller than the average "bumble bee".

My novice attempts at identifying it have repeatedly led me back to the "Red-Shanked Carder Bee", but as they seem quite rare, I doubt my ID.

Please let me know

a) what species this is


b) if i should be worried about having these around children.


Many thanks in advance.



(Apologies for the poor image, I will try to get a better one over the next few days)



Message was edited by: Greg-G Subject changed as I mis-identified this as a Red-Shanked Carder bee originally.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 29, 2012 4:07 PM (in response to Greg-G)
    Re: Possible Red Shanked Carder Bee nest - ID please

    This is the female of the Hairy-footed Flower bee, Anthophora plumipes. When more than one example is found indoors this usually results from them having fallen down the chimney, last years females having made their individual nest burrows in the soft mortar of the chimney stack. The cohort that emerges the following spring (now) occasionally emerge into the chimney and fall down. Just cast any you find outside and they will soon warm up in the sunshine and be on their merry way.


    These bees can be seen in gardens at the moment zipping about in the sunshine and visiting flowers, females being all black with yellow legs, males are 'ginger' with conspicuous yellow faces - both fly with their tongues out and have a fast and jerky flight as they visit flowers.


    A small note of caution - if there are dozens over consecutive years it may be worth having a builder check the chimney stack as the structure can be  compromised from successive years borrowings of this Mason bee.

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