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

I can’t find it…
…and I don’t know how your readers get such clear closeup photos! I just found a (dead) fuzzy golden winged beetle-looking bug in the driveway. I’m attaching a couple of also fuzzy photos.
Richey and Lee Grude
Sunnyvale CA

Hi Richey and Lee,
This is a male Valley Carpenter Bee. The golden males are very short lived. The black female bees live much longer. There are currently 3 females busily gathering nectar from our wisteria which has just begun to bloom.
Regarding your problems with focus on your digital camera: Many digital cameras have a macro feature for close-ups. We would strongly recommend enrolling in a digital photography class at your nearby Community College. At Los Angeles City College, we offer a beginning digital photograpy course and many people who just want to learn to use their own digital cameras more competantly enroll in the course. They also benefit from close association with dedicated studentw who want to make photography their career.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Golden Bee on Don Juan Rose
This bee seemed to be coming out of a pupae ? state since it couldn’t fly at the time these pictures were taken. I live in Tucson, AZ. and I also have a nest of giant Carpenter Bees in my back yard. Although they are black and do not appear to have a stinger. Could this be a youngster or a Queen? Thought you might like to see the pictures. I know you guys are busy! This was just a curiosity not an emergency. Sincerely,
Steve Dennett

Hi Steve,
The Valley Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa varipunctata, is sexually dimorphic. The female is the large black bee you mention, and the male is the lovely golden bee in your photo. These bees are found in California, Arizona and Baja California Mexico.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bumble Bee
Dear Bugman:
I’m very fond of your site. I love the beautiful photos your readers send in, and I love the way your writing both demystifies and celebrates our insect friends. I took this picture the other day in my garden. I was rather lazily weeding when I heard a very loud buzzing. This fellow (male? female?) was trying to collect from the columbine flowers, without much success since he was so big and heavy, and the flowers are on weak, nodding stems. I’m anthropomorphizing, but I swear the buzzing sounded grumpier and grumpier the more times he flopped off. I followed him (?) around with my camera for about five minutes before he stayed still long enough for me to get this pretty decent shot. I thought you might enjoy it, as well as confirm that this is indeed a bumble bee?
Stephanie Bowker
Des Plaines, IL

Hi Stephanie,
Thank you so much for your sweet letter. There is nothing wrong with a little anthromorphization. Fabre, one of the pioneering insect authors of the 19th Century, was a master of anthromorphization. Your columbines are quite lovely. It is one of our favorite flowers. We thought this was a Bumble Bee, but Eric Eaton set us straight: “the bumble bee is actually a female carpenter bee, Xylocopa virginica.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what kind of bee is this?
I live in San Jose. These are the biggest bees i have ever seen.

Hi Jay,
Male Valley Carpenter Bees are golden while females are blue-black. Males are short lived and fly in the spring.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Need help identifying beetle species
Hi there…
I was looking at your beetle database trying to identify this one. At first I thought it’s part of Dynastes tityus female, then I notice that the back is totally different. It’s a big one though. I would say at least 2”.
Amrul Isham Ismail

Hi Amrul Isham Ismail,
You don’t have a beetle at all, but what appears to be a Carpenter Bee. We really like your action photos.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I am scratching all over after seeing the pictures of the bugs on your site… 😉 My boys caught a bug today and put it in a jar (boys will be boys) and asked me what it was. Now, I am no bug woman so I found you on the web…. It’s got three pairs of fuzzy black legs, Two wings that are a shiny blueish-green. Its body is in three parts. It’s got two mandibles (is that what those things on the mouth are called??). It looks like a giant fuzzy spider/bee!! I am reading this and I can’t
believe it!!! Well, I hope I have given enough info for you to start identifying this thing in a jar right next to me!!!!!! (eeek!)

Hi Cynthia,
Might be a Carpenter Bee. All insects have
six legs and three body parts, so that is a general description. Bees are often hairy, so your guess might be correct.

Thanks, I don’t think it’s a carpenter bee cause it is much bigger (2.5 to 3 cm). The body (the third part) is like a shiny black slinky and is fuzzy on the edges. I tried to take pictures of it, here is one : Boy, what a mommy will do for her boys, and thank god there are people who have the info!!
Thanks again,

Hi again Cynthia,
We are fairly sure that is a Carpenter Bee. Don’t know where you are writing from or what the species is.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination