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

What bug would make this hole?
I live in Southern California. Over the weekend, I noticed sawdust on a bougainvillea plant in my backyard. It runs along a concrete wall that borders my neighbors property. The sawdust was the result of these perfectly round, pencil erasure sized holes which have been recently dug into the plant. What bug would do this? Thanks,

Hi Chuck,
This is the nest of a Valley Carpenter Bee. The large black female bee makes and provisions the nest. The male bee is a lovely golden color. The Valley Carpenter Bee is an important native pollinating species, and the presence of this nest will not do any lasting harm to your bougainvillea.

Thank you so much for your informative reply. I am pleased your site exists. In explaining the harmlessness of this important native pollinator, you have helped me from making a grave, unnecessary mistake of adding a systemic poison to my bougainvillea the way a member of the Home Depot gardening staff suggested to protect it from “wood boring beetles”. I’m glad I had the presence of mind to contact you but I am more pleased at your willingness to share your expertise on this subject and the timeliness of your answer. Thanks again,
Monrovia, CA

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Carpenter Bee in Flight, New Hope, PA
I was able to get some pretty neat action shots of this carpenter bee as it kept returning to the same area to hover. I thought you might enjoy the photo.

Hi Tamar,
Thank you for submitting your photo of an Eastern Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa virginica.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

This isn’t a bug, it’s an alien!
I love your website. I’ve always been fascinated by the strange and wonderful world of creepy crawlies. What is this bug? My girlfriend had a nighttime rendezvous with it in her garage. She lives in Southern California. Thanks,

Hi Joel,
This isn’t an alien, it is a native (to Southern California) male Valley Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa varipuncta. We saw our first male Valley Carpenter Bee yesterday flying around our oak tree sapling in a territorial manner. Females of the species are a rick black color and are slightly larger.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Grizzly Bee?
This thing has been flying around a dedicated area of a guava tree outside my window all day without taking a rest. It has to be 2 inches long… What is it? I live in San Diego, CA.

Hi TN,
This is one of our favorite harbingers of spring in Southern California, the male Valley Carpenter Bee. The golden male bees with green eyes fly for a short period of time in the spring and they have a rapid aggressive flight. The black female bees look like a different species. they have a more plodding flight and they are longer lived.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

can you please identify this bug?
We found this bug in our garden near the beach in southern California. Would you be able to identify it for us? Thanks for your help!

Hi Lindsey,
What a wonderful “up close and personal” image of a Male Valley Carpenter Bee you have sent our way. Female Valley Carptenter Bees are a rich black color.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Another bug to identify. Sorry. But its super weird!
I was in Acapulco in mid-November. There were a bunch of these guys flying around our house. They are fairly large, about 1.5 inches long. They make a loud noise when they fly around. There were a couple of dark colored ones and this copper colored one. They hung out in the palm tree thatch on the roof of the patio. I asked the houseman about them and he said that they nest or eat the thatch. He also said that they were called ‘abehoron'(sp?) if that helps.

Hi Brian,
This is a male Carpenter Bee, possibly the Valley Carpenter Bee. Female Valley Carpenter Bees are the dark insects. The female builds a nest by tunneling into wood. She then provisions the nest with pollen and nectar and lays eggs. The adults feed on pollen and nectar. There was probably a nest in the wood supporting the thatch.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination