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

Subject: Inch long far hairy yellow flying insect
Location: Walnut creek California
March 19, 2014 11:21 pm
I found this bug dying on my lawn today and am wondering if it is anything to be concerned about with respect to sting allergies? I have not seen it before and it’s size is concerning: an inch long, maybe more, very yellow and very hairy
Signature: Not needed

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

This is a male Valley Carpenter Bee, and we just featured a posting of a sighting in after our own posting with a Mount Washington, Los Angeles sighting.  Male Bees, including Valley Carpenter Bees, are incapable of stinging because the stinger is a modified ovipositor, an organ for laying eggs, and only female bees can lay eggs.  Female Valley Carpenter Bees are black.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange bumble bee
Location: Chino, California
March 17, 2014 9:46 am
I found this burnt orange bumble bee type bug on my walk in Chino, California this morning.(3-17-14)We do have bumble bees around here but I’ve never seen anything like this one.
Signature: Melissa

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Dear Melissa,
We just posted a photo taken at our offices in Mount Washington yesterday of similar male Valley Carpenter Bees nectaring on wisteria.  We believe male bees emerge first and defend territory against other males, though that is just speculation.  The seem much more wary and flighty than the larger black females that are so sexually dimorphic that they appear to be a different species.  Female Valley Carpenter Bees are the largest Bees in California, and their eggs, according to BugGuide, are the largest of all insect eggs.

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Male Valley Carpenter Bees nectar from wisteria
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
March 16, 2014  11:30 AM
This morning while working in the garden, we observed at least three male Valley Carpenter Bees,
Xylocopa varipuncta, gathering nectar from the wisteria growing on the front porch.  The Valley Carpenter Bee exhibits extreme sexual dimorphism, with the male having a lovely golden color while the female, who appears to be a different species, is a deep black.  There were no black female Valley Carpenter Bees to be seen, though we did notice females earlier in the week.  The males fly for a very short period of time, unlike the females that live much longer so that they can have time to provision a nest with pollen for their broods.

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bees are perfectly harmless, though they will attempt to defend territory.  Since they do not have stingers, they are incapable of harming a human.  Females do have stingers, but they are very reluctant to use them.  Valley Carpenter Bees frequently visit wisteria and sweet peas in our garden, but they do not have tongues long enough to reach the nectar, so they use their mandibles to pierce the base of the bloom, allowing access to the nectar.  In researching this posting, we learned on BugGuide that:  “Their eggs are the largest of all insect eggs. The Valley carpenter bee egg can be 15mm long. (UC, Davis).”  While taking these images, we observed the first Western Tiger Swallowtail of the year flying overhead, but it did not alight for the camera.  Guess our 90˚ temperatures today have brought out many spring creatures a bit early.

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Male Valley Carpenter Bee

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: hovering green fly
Location: south florida
March 4, 2014 4:54 pm
greeting and salutations!
it took me about 100 shots but I finally was able to get a decent photo of this hovering fly. there were several at the location and they would bumble around each other in small tight circles. the location is central south florida. growing up we always had these flies. I don’t think we ever had a name for them. do you know what it is?
Signature: many thanks! -cassi lou

Carpenter Bee

Southern Carpenter Bee

Dear cassi lou,
This is a Carpenter Bee, and we suspect that based on the golden eyes and the behavior you describe, which sounds like that of a male Carpenter Bee staking out territory and waiting for a mate,
this is indeed a male Carpenter Bee.  It sure looks like this gorgeous Xylocopa micans or Southern Carpenter Bee that is pictured on BugGuide.

Carpenter Bee

Southern Carpenter Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug id
Location: rawalpindi Pakistan
March 3, 2014 4:04 am
Need identification of this bug. Please help. Thanks
Signature: hijab

Carpenter Bee, we believe

Carpenter Bee

Dear hijab,
Does this insect have two wings or four wings?  It is very difficult to make out some details, but we at first thought this might be a Bot Fly.  Upon enlarging your images and attempting to lighten them, we now believe it is a Carpenter Bee.  See the images on the Nature, Cultural and Travel Photography Blog of Pakistan for some additional photos of living specimens of Carpenter Bees.

Carpenter Bee, we believe

Carpenter Bee

Hi there
Thanks a lot for quick response.
I don’t really remember 2 or 4. But I remember they were transparent and had some colors in them .
I’ve attached photo of degradable plastic spoons of same color as wings.

Hi again Hijab,
Thanks for sending the photo of the plastic cutlery, but we will not be adding it to the posting.

Carpenter Bee, we believe

Carpenter Bee, we believe

Oh yes I Googled. It is carpenter bee. You are right.
Thank you.

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Thought they were Hummingbirds
Location: papagayo, guancaste, costa rica
January 1, 2014 6:06 am
Hi. I am in costa rica and saw what I thought was hummingbirds eating on yellow flowers on the tops of tall trees.
However, when I went to show my kids, they look like insects. If they are indeed insects, they are very large.
Can you identify them?
Thanks much,
Signature: Knight

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees

Hi Knight,
These are definitely Bees, and we are nearly certain they are Carpenter Bees in the subfamily Xylocopinae and the genus
Xylocopa.

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee

Thank you so much for your response.
Are the inordinately large bees?  They looked big.  And, the one in the flower looked to me like a beetle almost.
Happy New Year.

Some Carpenter Bees grow quite large.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination