Subject: What is this insect?
Geographic location of the bug: Corona, CA
Time: 11:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Is this a female Carpenter Bee? I found it in my side yard.
How you want your letter signed: Carrie in Corona
Dear Carrie in Corona,
You are correct that this is a female Valley Carpenter Bee, a species with pronounced sexual dimorphism. Male Valley Carpenter Bees are golden in color and females are black. Male Valley Carpenter Bees, like other male bees and wasps, are not capable of stinging since the stinger of wasps and bees is a modified ovipositor, an organ used by the female to lay eggs. Female Valley Carpenter Bees are not aggressive, and though they are capable of stinging, they rarely do so.