There’s been a bizarre black buzzing insect in the garden. It zips speedily around flowers then loiters with expert hovering, like a podgy Hoverfly. In a few lucky photos, I managed to identify it as a Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora plumipes).
It is the largest species of Flower Bee, with this entirely black female looking distinctly unlike a bee. The orange blobs on her hind legs are where pollen is trapped in the long hairs of her pollen brushes.
They are common in gardens and parks in most parts of southern England, so keep a eye out for a ‘podgy hoverfly’.
Senior Ranger Stuart