Currently viewing the category: "Carpenter Bee"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant wood-boring flying insect
Location: Rural Bangladesh
November 20, 2014 7:13 pm
My husband took this picture in rural Bangladesh. He says it was a wood-boring insect, about 3 inches long, and that it died right in front of him (he didn’t kill it). The eyes and wings are just amazing.
Signature: Lisa C.

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee

Dear Lisa,
This amazing insect is a Carpenter Bee in the subfamily Xylocopinae.  The female tunnels in wood, creating several nursery chambers that she provisions with pollen.  She lays an egg in each chamber so that her developing larva will have a food source.

Amy Gosch, Jacob Helton liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: First time to see this kind of bee
Location: Flowers on the backyard of the house & also on the farm
November 13, 2014 1:16 pm
Aloha bugman,
Can you identify what kind of bee is this please? Never saw something like this before! Mahalo! :)
Signature: L. Rocknash

Sonoran Carpenter Bee

Sonoran Carpenter Bee

Dear L. Rocknash,
We are guessing by your greeting and closing that you are from Hawaii.  This is a male Carpenter Bee, and we learned on BugGuide that the Sonoran Carpenter Bee,
Xylocopa sonorina, a non-native species, can be found in Hawaii.  Females are black and males a beautiful golden color.  This image from FlickR depicts a male Sonoran Carpenter Bee in Hawaii.

 

Jacob Helton, Amy Gosch liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: This is totally a real bug!!!
Location: Phrao, Chiang Mai, Thailand
August 3, 2014 8:20 am
Hey bugman (or should it be bugmen)
I love nature and bugs are part of that even if I know people who would be totally disgusted by them. While in Thailand, I took many random photo of bugs whenever, wherever I could and loved the opportunity to do so. I don’t have a great camera but its mostly the experience and photos to remind you of them.
Anyways on with the bug. I’ll tell you the story so to as accurate as possible about the situation I saw this bug. It was actually close to the end of my time in Thailand in January 2013 (after 14 months) when I spotted this little gem of a bug on a pot plant outside a kindergarten surrounded by harvest fields (not sure what they were harvesting during the time). I actually thought it was fake at first because of its shininess (so shiny you can see my silhouette reflection on its back) and for the fact that the wings looked like they couldn’t close but when I got close to it it flew away. I was disappointed but after about a minute it returned to the same spot. I captured these two photos before I was called away and when I returned it was gone. I never saw it again.
Hope you guys will have better luck finding out what sort of bug this is. I’ve tried looking it up but tend to find edible insect sites because I put Thailand in my search bar.
This is a great website, keep up the good work. Hope I haven’t taken too much of your time with my ranting.
Signature: PsychPeter

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee

Subject: Not sure if Ask WTB form worked
August 3, 2014 8:27 am
Hi WTB
Just sent in a Ask WTB form but not sure it worked because I had the page opened awhile and then I did the math and sent it and it just went back to the form. It’s called “This is a real bug!!!” so if you can check and confirm if it went through that would great. Sorry for the bother just I’ve saved my message just because the sending was slow just in case it didn’t got through and if it didn’t then I can send it again. Hope you can find the bug out for me.
Thanks
PS. Just for that fact if someone completes a form maybe it should say something to confirm form successful sent or failed. Thanks
Signature: Peter

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee

Hi Peter,
We did receive your submission, and you should get an automatically generated response from us stating:  “Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!”
  Your insect is a Carpenter Bee and it looks very similar to this individual from Thailand posted on Photographers Direct that is identified as either Xylocopa tenuiscapa or Xylocopa latipes.  There are many insect delicacies in Thailand, so it is understandable that you kept encountering edible insect sites.

Hi bugman
Thanks for the quick response. Only found out later that my confirmation emails all went to my junk mail. No idea why. Good to find out what this bee is. Keep up the good work and I hope to send you more.
PsychPeter

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Possible Blue-eyed Carpenter Bee in the Woodpile
Location: Coryell County, Texas
June 3, 2014 8:11 pm
Hello! We’ve been puzzled by buzzing at our woodpile many warm spring/summer evenings for two years, and I finally captured some semi-clear photos of the insect. (I hate to tell you how many times I tried to photograph it! Had to use a flash, sorry.)
I thought it was a fly, but found this page on Bug Guide: http://bugguide.net/node/view/238002/bgpage
I also found this gorgeous photo on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jim_mcculloch/3003647472/in/gallery-29697818@N03-72157623044374947/
Is this a Blue-eyed carpenter bee? It was actually chewing wood, and would buzz from one area of the woodpile to another, sometimes climbing between the logs.
Thank you for helping us solve a two-year-old Mystery of the Woodpile!
Signature: Ellen

Horse Fly-like Carpenter Bee

Horsefly-like Carpenter Bee

Dear Ellen,
We agree that you have correctly identified your Carpenter Bee,
Xylocopa tabaniformis parkinsoniae, however, the common name Blue Eyed Carpenter Bee was made up by the person who posted the image to FlickR.  The scientific community carefully regulates the scientific names for insects, ensuring that like other life forms, each has a genus and species name that combine into a binomial, and the link to BugGuide that you provided also includes a subspecies name.  If we follow back to the species page on BugGuide, the common name is the Horsefly-like Carpenter Bee, and that is based on the scientific species name of “tabaniformis” and Tabanidae is the family name for Horse Flies.  The common name for the species is hyphenated, but in addition, the normal spelling of Horse Fly has been changed to Horsefly, and we find that quite curious.  We don’t know how official that name is because the only place we can find it being used is BugGuide.  So, though we agree with your identification, we cannot confirm a common name for this delightful bee.

Horsefly-like Carpenter Bee

Horsefly-like Carpenter Bee

June 3, 2014 8:22 pm
I just revisited the gorgeous Flickr photo, and realized that Blue-eyed Carpenter Bee is just what the photographer was calling the insect. He states that as far as he knows, the insect has no common name. He lives in Austin, TX.
Sorry for the mix up! The scientific name is perhaps Xylocopa tabaniformis parkinsoniae?
Thank you again!
I’ll go ahead and send a few more photos…
Signature: Ellen

Horsefly-like Carpenter Bee

Horsefly-like Carpenter Bee

Update:  June 4, 2014
Subject: Horsefly-like Carpenter Bee Leaves Us in the (Saw)dust
Location: Coryell County, Texas
June 4, 2014 12:44 pm
Hello again. I realize that I should be working and will have to make up this time later this evening, ha!, but I remembered that I had written about the buzzing from the woodpile and sawdust before. I found that post: Locust Borer On October 2, 2013 · Category: Longhorn Beetles
The locust borer was not the insect creating sawdust, so I went back to the oak firewood just now and sure enough, more sawdust. I turned the log above the sawdust over, and found our Carpenter Bee, hard at work. The log has several tunnels carved into it by the industrious bees. I’ll attach some photos. In one, you can see her (?) abdomen as she busily kicks out sawdust. She paid absolutely no attention to me whatsoever. Another photo shows the entire piece of wood, and one shows the empty tunnel entrance after she had kicked out sawdust and climbed all the way back into the tunnel to chew some more. I wonder if the long tunnel to the right of the working bee had housed larvae before? It had some sort of substance in part of it, that looked like old sawdust, perhaps, or pollen?
I also discovered and photographed a beautiful little moth that was trying hard to look like a lichen, and succeeding very well. It can be seen at the lower left part of the log.
After taking the photos, I turned the wood back over and placed it where it had been before.
So, now I suppose we should locate the woodpile farther away from the house, given the bees’ prodigious wood-chewing abilities, and I’ll see about repainting the trim on the house soon to discourage any house-chewing, and I wonder if I’ll need to check for tunnels in the wood before burning firewood next winter? Would hate to be a home wrecker!
Thanks again! Love your site, except for folks’ parasite questions but that’s part of life, too, I guess.
How you answer so diplomatically I’ll never know, but I always learn something or have a bit of a laugh when I visit What’s That Bug.
Best wishes,
Signature: Ellen

Horsefly-Like Carpenter Bee
Nest of a Horsefly-Like Carpenter Bee

 Hi Ellen,
We are very happy you wrote in and clarified the mystery of the holes in the wood from the Locust Borer sighting last year as well as connecting it to the more recent Horsefly-Like Carpenter Bee sighting.  We suppose this means you will be inspecting the wood carefully before tossing it on the fire to ensure that any logs with nests are saved until the Bees emerge.  Providing habitat for local pollinating insects insects helps to ensure that the plants in your yard will be fruitful.  We are also happy you find our responses amusing.  In selecting which of the many identification requests we receive each day to post, we try to have a nice balance between gorgeous images, exotic locations, common sightings, seasonal occurances and the absurd.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Odd Carpenter Bee Behavior?
Location: Eastern Massachusetts
May 16, 2014 8:49 am
Dear Bugman,
Out in the yard yesterday my son and I noticed what appeared to be two mating eastern carpenter bees (at least I think they are carpenter bees). They bumbled around together for a moment then dropped into the grass. One lay motionless in the grass and the other hovered several inches away. We thought the one on the ground must be dying/dead and were amazed to see that the hovering bee stayed in place, hovering several inches away from the “dead” bee for approximately 15 minutes. We were very surprised then to see the “dead” bee (we assumed the female) suddenly take flight and the hovering bee immediately resume mating. They flew together for another moment then landed again in another part of the yard. Again, the female played dead for about 10 minutes and the male hovered diligently (wishfully?). Eventually they flew off again, this time out of the yard. What was going on?? Did the female “have a headache” and was trying to get the male to ta ke a hike? Was she exhausted and dying? The picture shows the hovering bee on the left and the motionless bee on the right.
We were fascinated by this odd behavior and there were of course many “birds and bees” jokes to be made! Thanks for any insight!
Signature: Suzanne and Sean

Courtship Behavior of Eastern Carpenter Bees

Courtship Behavior of Eastern Carpenter Bees

Dear Suzanne and Sean,
We agree that this must be courtship behavior of Eastern Carpenter Bees, so we are tagging the posting as Bug Love, one of our editorial staff’s favorite tags.
  We will write more later.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee lovin’!!
Location: Philadelphia, PA
April 23, 2014 4:21 pm
Dearest bugman,
Please accept this photo my friend took of two bees getting intimate on another friend’s shoulder. I think it was too sweet she allowed them to use her shoulder as a love nest.
I feel embarrassed as I do not know what kind of bees these are. Perhaps carpenter bees?
Happy Spring!
Signature: Julianna from VT

Mating Eastern Carpenter Bees

Mating Eastern Carpenter Bees

Dear Julianna,
We are positively blushing at your superlative greeting of endearment.  We find your photo quite amusing, and an interesting counterpoint to an image we posted early this morning of a male Eastern Carpenter Bee being mounted by an unknown and considerably smaller Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination