Most of the Anthophora bees I saw were females. They were also waiting to warm up so I had the unusual opportunity of photographing them at rest (normally they whizz in and out too fast for me to focus).
Also warming up were several cuckoo bees, Melecta albifrons, the cleptoparasite of Anthophora plumipes.
I saw a few female red mason bees (Osmia bicornis). The photos show well the two horns on the face used for building the mud walls between the cells in the nest hole.
Because I was expecting solitary bees this bee puzzled me for a moment. It is a tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) so they also have a nest in the wall.
I posted a few Anthophora plumipes photos on the UK Bees, Wasps and Ants Facebook page recently and this lead to an amusing exchange, which went along the lines of:
We don't need no pollination,
We don't need no swarm control,
No dark Melecta in the mortar,
Keeper leave them bees alone,
Hey, Keeper, leave them bees alone,
All in all it's just another bee in the wall.
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