Like tiny suns (and with all of their energy) the fresh male Anthophora plumipes is a beautifully orange bee. He spends his time in the early Spring days zipping with immense speed from flower to flower, defending a small territory. With great skill in the air he can hover as well as a hoverfly before alighting on a petal. Once landed, the reason for his name becomes clear. His feet are adorned with the most wonderful whiskers of hair, though their use is so far unknown to me. He is full of speed while searching for a female however, when he spots one he will lock on to her with a piercing stare. Hovering maybe 10cm away from her at all times he will keep a close eye on her. She is larger than he and lacks his extravagant colours: her beauty is far more understated. Jet black she is a velvety creature and quietly goes about her day sipping on nectar, seemingly bored of the incessant male’s advances. When she does decide that enough is enough she will rocket off, the surprised male in hot pursuit.

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