There are only five Anthophora species in the UK and the Little flower bee (Anthophora bimaculata), as the name suggests, is one of the smallest. This is a fast moving little beast and my fairly bog standard cameras (and a generally impatient personality) struggle to capture it: Steve Falk’s images do it justice better than I ever could.
Once again, as with the Patchwork leaf-cutter bee, the flowers of Lamb’s ear are a real favourite in my garden. Also like that bee, this is a solitary species, though this is one that nests in dry, sandy soil. I’ve not been able to locate any nests in my own patch and I wonder whether it’s nesting in a nearby garden.
Another generalist species, I’ve seen this bee visit food crops with open flowers such as blackberry and raspberry in my garden. Despite its size it is likely to be quite a good pollinator of those fruit as it’s abundant, fast moving between flowers, and hairy, and can carry significant amounts of pollen.
Interestingly, Anthophora bimaculata was not recorded by Muzafar Sirohi during his surveys of bees in Northampton town centre, so it’s another species that we can add to that urban list.