I was happily watching the bumble bees on the winter honeysuckle when I saw a much smaller bee that was not a bumble bee.
It was moving much quicker than the bumbles and much more difficult to get a picture of it.
The problem is that when it sticks its head into the flower it covers up its most distinguishing feature.
Even though he is upside down this photograph shows the white facial hairs of the Osmia cornuta male. They are visible while he is flying but not so easy to catch for a photograph.
Sideways on you can see he is slimmer than the females which should be around in another few days. The temperature has gone up to 21 degrees C in the garden today (8 March 2015) and it was the same temperature yesterday despite overnight lows approaching zero.
I’ve put my bee hotels out today and reminded my husband that he had promised to make me another one this year.
Our big plum tree is just starting to flower and I saw what I think is a male Andrena on the flowers.
He has prominent mandibles and I wonder whether it could be an Andrena fulva male as I always see the females on my blackcurrant bushes every year.
Solitary bee season seems to have started suddenly now that the rain has stopped and the sun has reappeared.