Over the course of the few weeks of their lives, male plumpies become steadily paler as their pile becomes worn. If you compare today's with this one, you'll see what I mean. Within another month those that remain will be starting to look very bedraggled indeed, but at this stage I think they're still rather attractive - especially set against the purple aubretia.
I was lucky that this bee was relatively accommodating, because the temperature dipped again today and there were very few invertebrates about. According to one of my books, it's being so chunky that allows hairy-footed flower bees to fly in low temperatures - something I should bear in mind myself, I think, when I'm feeling a bit nesh. A couple of days ago I spotted a male plumpie going into a small hole in the mortar of the south-facing wall of the house, and I assume that it's finding these tiny sheltered nooks and crannies that allows them to survive the cold overnight.