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

Subject:  Identification of Insect Request
Geographic location of the bug:  Trinidad & Tobago, Caribbean
Date: 07/06/2020
Time: 05:24 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help me identify this scary looking creature. I saw it outside my home a couple weeks ago when the rainy season became more intense. I live on the hilly part of North Trinidad, which is an island in the Caribbean. The bug was probably one and a half inches long and 1 inch wide. I left it alone and it disappeared after a while. The area is a little bushy with a few fruit trees around. Thanks for your help.
How you want your letter signed:  Aisha Baptiste

Male Carpenter Bee

Dear Aisha,
This is a harmless male Carpenter Bee.  Male Carpenter Bees are incapable of stinging.  Only the females, which are generally larger and often exhibit sexual dimorphism, are capable of stinging.  While males of many species of Carpenter Bees are often gold in color, the females are generally larger and often black in color, appearing to be a different species.

Dear Daniel,
Thanks so much for your prompt response! I do appreciate all of this information.
Best Regards,
Aisha.

Dear Daniel,
Sorry to bother you again, but after reading the Barbados account, I just realised that we also refer to the female Carpenter bee as a black bumble bee in Trinidad (and I was stung by one as a child). This was a real eye opener. Thanks again!
Regards,
Aisha

Hi again Aisha,
Female Carpenter Bees are not aggressive, though they are capable of stinging.  We are cheered to learn our response was helpful and eye opening.

I agree they aren’t aggressive. I was about 5 or 6 years old and it actually landed on me when I was walking home from school. I began to yell and scream and another child told me to hit it with my lunch kit and that’s when I got stung on my belly.

Swatting an unknown insect that lands on one is a good way to get bitten or stung.  Creatures will defend themselves.  Though at five or six, you might not have realized this, but it is a far better method to blow an unknown creature off of one’s body, if possible.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Pollen Thief
Geographic location of the bug:  Spartanburg SC
Date: 03/23/2020
Time: 08:40 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Good Morning,
Spring has sprung here in the Carolinas. I was watching the bees on a holly bush when I saw two bees, one much smaller than the other. The smaller bee got on the back of the larger bee, shook him like crazy and stole the pollen from his legs! Is this common in the bee world?
How you want your letter signed:  Mike Healy

Mating Eastern Carpenter Bees

Dear Mike,
This looks to us like a pair of mating Eastern Carpenter Bees,
Xylocopa virginica, and the male, who is on top, has a white face.  We do not think pollen thievery was on his mind.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults take nectar from many flowers, often biting into base of flower to “rob” it without pollinating (but seen to pollinate Passiflora incarnata quite effectively–pollen is deposited on thorax).”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for the ID on my bees. Little did I know that I was interrupting an intimate moment! My son was morning the grass and the larger females were everywhere that there was a flower of any kind. Do three Carpenter bees sting? My son was terrified by then but they really didn’t seem to care about me, walking right up to them. I do remember from my childhood in CT, that there was a best of Carpenters in the garage and they would dive bomb us.
The picture that I took was that of the bees in a Holly bush. There were hundreds of them.
Thanks again for the education. I love What’s that bug!
Mike Healy

Hi Mike,
Male Carpenter Bees are incapable of stinging, and females are not aggressive and rarely sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fuzzy Buzzy Bee
Geographic location of the bug:  23454 – Va Beach, VA
Date: 08/18/2019
Time: 05:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve noticed a new pollinator in our gardens this summer but don’t recognize the species.  I’m estimating 20-25MM in length, fairly robust, but not “chunky” like a bumble bee.  I saved one in our pool and grabbed a couple closeups of their uniquely colored eyes.  He/she flew away safely  :-]
How you want your letter signed:  W/ appreciation

Thank you for the response.  I see many similarities, however the size, shape, and coloring of the eyes do not correspond.  Head scratcher.  :-]

Eastern Carpenter Bee

Hello again,
Because you wrote back, we took a look at all your images and we believe you have submitted images of two different species.  We still believe the individual on the flowers is a Bumble Bee, but the one you saved from the pool appears to be an Eastern Carpenter Bee.  Check out the similarity in the eyes with this individual posted to BugGuide of
Xylocopa virginicaMale.  As you can see from this BugGuide image, the Eastern Carpenter Bee has a dark colored abdomen, which is why we feel certain you have submitted two different species.  Since you rescued this individual, we are tagging the posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Eastern Carpenter Bee

I’m sorry for creating confusion!  …but am grateful for your extra effort :-]
Thanks guys!!
R/ M Coughlin

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Some sort of bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Rocky River, Ohio
Date: 05/11/2019
Time: 08:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Some sort of bee sits on the same screen each spring and then seems to die. This year there are two. Do you know what kind of bug this is. Looks like a big bee.
How you want your letter signed:  Michelle

Possibly Eastern Carpenter Bees

Dear Michelle,
There is not enough detail in your image to be certain, but based on your description that they are big, and based on the fact that our editorial staff is currently just outside of Youngstown, Ohio and we have witnessed male Eastern Carpenter Bees on the wing right now, we suspect your visitors are also Eastern Carpenter Bees.

I didn’t want to get too close! I think you are right about being a carpenter bee. They never leave the screen though. Lazy carpenter bee maybe? Haha
Thanks for your input and prompt response. We have a big garden so maybe they are just waiting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Please identify
Geographic location of the bug:  Westville (Ed. Note:  Presumably South Africa)
Date: 02/01/2019
Time: 06:22 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this beautiful guy but not sure what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks Tammy

Carpenter Bee

Dear Tammy,
Is Westville in Canada, South Africa, the UK, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, MIssouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma or Pennsylvania?  Those are the choices Wikipedia provides.  We are going to guess South Africa.  We found matching images of the South African Carpenter Bee,
Xylocopa flavorufa, on both Alamy and FlickR.  It is also pictured on Discover Life and iNaturalist.

Yes South Africa. Thank you very much.
Never seen 1 before.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bug identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Iraq
Date: 12/12/2018
Time: 11:55 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Mr. Bugman I found this kind of bee or bug on the street and it couldn’t fly for some reason… Its length about 3cm, width about 1cm
How you want your letter signed:  Raf

Carpenter Bee

Dear Raf,
This is a Carpenter Bee and we suspect it is a male because of the golden color.  Carpenter Bees in many parts of the world exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning the males and females look very different from one another with females having black coloration and males having gold coloration.  See this image from our archives.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination