Body length 14 - 17mm. The female is all black but the pollen baskets can be bright orange from collecting pollen from Pulmonaria. The male is dull buffish brown with long hairs on its mid-tarsi and a yellow face. The flower bees look superficially like bumblebees but the eyes reach right down to the jaw whereas bumblebees have a 'cheek' between the eyes and the jaws.
Woodland edge, hedgerows and gardens. Lungwort, Pulmonaria, is a great favourite but dead-nettles are also popular. The nest is often excavated in clay cliffs and sometimes in cracks in mortar.
Status and distribution
Common and widespread in the south-east of England. Not so common in the South-west, Wales or Scotland. Common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons.
Best time to see
March to June.