Carpenter Bee from South Africa

Subject: What is this bee type please and is it dangerous?
Location: Johnannesburg
March 14, 2016 10:35 am
Hi there
We have discovered a bee hive in our chimney and found this guy in our driveway and were wondering if you have any information about him/her particularly dangerous or normal bee?
Signature: Alan, JHB

Carpenter Bee
Carpenter Bee

Dear Alan,
We believe we have correctly identified your Carpenter Bee as
 Xylocopa caffra thanks to this image on iSpot, and iSpot images here and here look similar, however most of the images on iSpot depict yellow banded individuals like this rather than having bluish white bands on the body, and we are not certain what that means.  According to Wikipedia:  “The females are black with two white or yellow bands over the hind thorax and first abdominal segment respectively, while the males are uniform greenish yellow in colour. Females with white bands are associated with dry climatic conditions during larval development, but females of either colour, or colour grade, may emerge from the same brood. In the Western Cape all have yellow bands however. A form with orange-red bands occurs in East Africa.”  Female Carpenter Bees are capable of stinging, but they are not aggressive, and we rarely learn of a person being stung.

2 thoughts on “Carpenter Bee from South Africa”

  1. Good day
    I read you article regarding the Carpenter bee. I just want to inform you regarding this insect. I was stung by it on Monday the 19th of September 2022.
    It hurt like hell when it happen. The next day it starts to make like your normal bee; itching and swelling with a red of color.

    Thank you for sharing the article.

  2. We have plenty of them at our place in Limpopo, they are a problem because of the holes they make. Yesterday one of them came in the car and stung my daughter. Shame that was very very hurtful. I gave her allergex, something for the pain and Anethaine (local anaesthetic cream)… it helped but today her arm was swollen a lot and warm. It is very itchy with pain as well.


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