Wool Carder Bee (Anthidium manicatum)

This bee has been in our garden for a few days now and at first I thought it was a bee-mimicking hoverfly because it certainly loves to hover!

Having failed to find a hoverfly anything like it I broadened my search and those yellow dots on the side of the abdomen and the two on the head led me to the conclusion it is, in fact a solitary bee, the Wool Carder Bee.

This garden flower it is on has very woolly leaves and it rarely strays far from it. It is very territorial and so I guess it is a male and he has chosen this woolly plant as his base camp in the hope that a female comes by to collect up the woolly fibres to line its nest which can be either in masonry or dead wood.

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