This is the Wool Carder bee which I managed to photograph when it finally rested near our Flint Barns. A stunning bee which is often overlooked because it just won’t stay still. This is also a very audible bee as it flies, its comparable in size to your average bumblebee.
The striking markings and furry face and legs are distinguishing marks (when it stays still). The carder bee family get their name from the process of nest building which stems from Carding which is a technique used to prepare wool. There are many different species of carder bee and this particular one epitomises its name because the seeds and flowers it collects actually resemble wool lining its nest.
On a different note, this particular bee will defend a patch of flowers by chasing off other insects and has been known to kill! This is actually done by pinching its victim between its abdomen and thorax. So all in all this bee is a beautifully adorned knitting killer.