1. This study examines variation in thoracic temperatures, rates of pre-flight warm-up and heat loss in the solitary bee Anthophora plumipes (Hymenoptera; Anthophoridae). 2. Thoracic temperatures were measured both during free flight in the field and during tethered flight in the laboratory, over a range of ambient temperatures. These two techniques give independent measures of thermoregulatory ability. In terms of the gradient of thoracic temperature on ambient temperature, thermoregulation by A. plumipes is more effective before flight than during flight. 3. Warm-up rates and body temperatures correlate positively with body mass, while mass-specific rates of heat loss correlate negatively with body mass. Larger bees are significantly more likely to achieve flight temperatures at low ambient temperatures. 4. Simultaneous measurement of thoracic and abdominal temperatures shows that A. plumipes is capable of regulating heat flow between thorax and abdomen. Accelerated thoracic cooling is only demonstrated at high ambient temperatures. 5. Anthophora plumipes is able to fly at low ambient temperatures by tolerating thoracic temperatures as low as 25 sC, reducing the metabolic expense of endothermic activity. 6. Rates of heat generation and loss are used to calculate the thermal power generated by A. plumipes and the total energetic cost of warm-up under different thermal conditions. The power generated increases with thoracic temperature excess and ambient temperature. The total cost of warm-up correlates negatively with ambient temperature.

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