Fun Hairy-footed Flower Bee Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Feb 29, 2024 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Aug 17, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Discover the most exciting hairy-footed flower bee facts for you and your family.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

The hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes) is known for its fuzzy legs. It is believed that this trait helps them to get pollen from flowers more easily than other bee species that have smooth feet. The footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes) can be found in Asia and North America where it pollinates wildflowers like Lungwort pulmonaria by collecting nectar with its long tongues. When the bees find a flower, they poke it repeatedly until its fragrance wafts up into the air before landing on top of it again to collect some sweet reward. The hairy-footed bee (Anthophora plumipes) was first seen buzzing around flowers on an expedition by its discoverer. The tiny insect resembles nothing like any other type you have ever encountered before.

The hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes) has a very interesting name. These bees have this name because their feet are hairy unlike any other species out there. In fact, this species of bee is the only type in North America that does not carry pollen on its hind legs. The hairy-footed flower bee is the most common bee in North America. These bees are also known as 'sweat bees' because they land on people to cool down when it is hot outside, and their feet secrete a fluid that smells like sweat. Native to the South African Cape Province, hairy-footed flower bees are easily identified by their orange and black stripes. Their large abdomen ensures that they can produce any type of nectar needed for pollination including honeydew and pollen. No animal produces more nectar than this bee does. They often live in trees where they make nests with leaves or tree resin, and some even take over old termite mounds which makes them tough.

For more relatable content, check out these solitary bee facts and Africanized bee facts for kids.

Hairy-Footed Flower Bee Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hairy-footed flower bee?

Male hairy-footed flower and female hairy-footed flower bees are a type of bee insect that have a very interesting life cycle.

What class of animal does a hairy-footed flower bee belong to?

The hairy-footed flower bee belongs to the class Insecta, just like many other insects like a giant water bug.

How many hairy-footed flower bees are there in the world?

That is a difficult question. No one really knows how many hairy-footed flower bees there are in the world, but they may be soon become endangered as their habitat is being destroyed by humans. We are encroaching on their natural environment and polluting it with pesticides.

Where does a hairy-footed flower bee live?

This bee is native to North America and can be found in woodlands, forests, meadows, or other lush vegetation areas from Canada all of the way down into Mexico. They are particularly drawn towards blue flowers, especially the footed flower bee male, and they pollinate a large number with their hind legs and middle legs. They also are drawn to fuzzy leaves like oak trees which also provide them shelter for their nests.

What is a hairy-footed flower bee's habitat?

This solitary bee is found typically in the Pacific northwest region of North America which is also known as a temperate rainforest.

Who do hairy-footed flower bees live with?

Well, this is a question to ponder. Some say they are solitary and only exist alone, but others argue that there must be more than one because their nests look like groups of them.

How long does a hairy-footed flower bee live?

They have different life spans based on their gender. Both males and females on average live for about six weeks. However, a hairy-footed flower bee male lives slightly longer than females.

How do they reproduce?

A soft mortar hairy-footed flower bee is a bee that has an interesting process of reproduction. Female hairy-footed flower bees will find their way to the nests or hives, created by a footed flower bee male and mate with them there for fertilization purposes. If male hairy-footed flower bees are lucky enough to have mated successfully then around May, these female hairy-footed flower bees become queen bumblebees and create new colonies in which future generations can be born.

What is their conservation status?

For now, their conservation status is Least Concern but could soon be turning into Near Threatened if humans do not stop the deforestation of the habitats of this soft mortar bee.

Hairy-Footed Flower Bee Fun Facts

What do hairy-footed flower bees look like?

These soft mortar solitary bees have two sets of black wings and the hindwings on females tend to be longer than those found in males. The head is usually yellow with a black face mask that extends from below their eyes all the way back towards its antennae. Their thorax has short hairs while their abdomen tends to lack any hair at all due to it being shorter than most other bees. Unlike many female bumblebees who grow bristles over time, these female bees do not lose theirs until they go into hibernation or die.

Males and females of this solitary bees species have peculiar hind legs along with the middle legs which make their life cycle very interesting.

How cute are they?

Males and females of this bee species are some of the cutest insects that you'll ever see. They have furry little feet with hairs and their bodies resemble other bumblebee species more than anything else.

How do they communicate?

This bee species uses the hairs on their back legs in an unusual way, tapping them against the ground while communicating at close range. The sound these males and females make in the mating season resembles pouring water into a bowl or shaking maracas. It is both distinctive and distant enough not to bother humans nearby.

How big is a hairy-footed flower bee?

These bees measure about 0.5-0.6 in (1.3-1.5 cm) in length.

How fast can a hairy-footed flower bee move?

This bee is a small flying insect that can move at speeds of up to 60 mph (90 kph).

How much does a hairy-footed flower bee weigh?

They grow up to be weighing about 0.02 lb (10 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males are referred to as male footed bees and females are known as female footed bees or queen bees. Both sexes love flying around gardens where there are pulmonaria flowers.

What would you call a baby hairy-footed flower bee?

These babies are known as bee babies.

What do they eat?

This bee species eats pollen and nectar from pulmonaria flowers in any close garden. These bees need to be careful around hawks or hooded crows because they can eat these bees in no time.

Are they harmful?

This species is not harmful, particularly the males. However, they can become dangerous if annoyed or provoked.

Would they make a good pet?

Although petting these insects is a lot of hard work, people still love keeping them as pets. However, these bees can sting you so it is important to keep them safely away from you.

Did you know...

The hairy-footed flower bee nest is mostly situated in a garden with pulmonaria flowers. These birds love pollinating pulmonaria flowers with the hairs on their feet.

Do hairy-footed flower bees sting?

Yes, not frequently but they do! The hairy-footed flower bee sting can be really painful and discomforting.

How do you identify bees in the UK?

While honey bees are the only bee species in Britain, they come with different variations. The most common type is very slim-bodied bee with a sandy thorax.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover!  Learn more about some other arthropods from our paper wasp facts and mud dauber wasp facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable hairy footed flower bee coloring pages.

Hairy-Footed Flower Bee Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Pollen and nectar

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

0.02 lb (10 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

flowering plants, flowers, and gardens

Where Do They Live?

north america, europe, and parts of asia

How Long Were They?

0.5-0.6 in (1.3-1.5 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Anthophora plumipes

What Do They Look Like?

Yellow, white, black, and brown

Skin Type

Hairy exoskeleton

What Are Their Main Threats?

birds and rodents

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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