Currently viewing the category: "Carpenter Bee"
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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.
jay

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”.
Regards,
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

Hi,
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!)
Thanks,
Cynthia

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,
cynthia

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

The black Female Valley Carpenter Bees have been having a field day on our sweet peas and honey suckle.

Valley Carpenter Bee Male

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi Bugman,
Big delimma here. We live in Las Vegas, NV close to the Red Rock Mountains, which is just high desert and red rock, but in the warmer months, we get these GIANT , solid black flying bugs that make a buzzing noise while in flight, they are about the size of a baby humming bird, and they have very round full bodies. We are at a complete loss as to what family these monsters belong to. Could they be some sort of giant fly, bee, or buzzard? We have actually been chased (or so it seemed at the time) by these things. Please give some sort of clue as to where we might be able to even start to identify these awful things. Because of these and their size, my poor children are afraid to go out doors to play. Please email back
as soon as humanly possible.
Thank you so very much
Blondi

Hi Blondi,
My first guess would be a Carpenter Bee. the females are black and buzz. They burrow into telephone poles to nest. While large and loud, they are not aggressive and rarely sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination