Fabricius Nomad Bee – Nomada fabriciana

This is the first nomad bee species we have recorded in the garden. On the 1st May 2023 these guys turned up in large numbers as can be seen in the short video below, zooming in and out of our ornamental acer tree, attracted by its small but numerous flowers.

The following specimen who decided to sit on my finger and check me out, is likely a male as it lacks any red segments on its antenna.

Male Fabricius Nomad Bee with no red antennal segments

In contrast, the female seen here clinging by her mouth to a leaf (whilst she was using her legs to clean groom herself), shows the characteristic red markings.

Female Fabricius Nomad Bee with red segments on her antenna

According to Ref 1 below, this is a relatively common species in the south of England and probably just something we have overlooked. A good deal of patience is needed to get a decent picture of this species as it’s a very busy animal indeed. The yellow splodges on the abdomen are not a totally reliable way to identify this species.

Fabricius Nomad Bee
  1. Falk, S. (2016) Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland. London: Bloomsbury Publishing plc.