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  • Eastern Carpenter Bee - (Xylocopa virginica)

    Eastern Carpenter Bee - (Xylocopa virginica)

    The female Eastern Carpenter Bee bores holes into wood for egg-laying and the male acts as sentinel.




    Staff Writer (1/5/2016): Though it looks like a Bumble Bee, the Carpenter Bee does not have a fuzzy abdomen, though it may have a few short hairs here and there. They are quite common along the middle and eastern parts of the continent. They can be found in parks, garden and woods, fields and are adept at finding flowers from which to harvest pollen. They are beneficial pollinators and should be welcome visitors to any landscape. Though adults feed on flower nectar, they sometimes eat through stems, causing some unsightly damage, in order to get it. They move quickly from flower to flower, covering a large area in a short time. They don't seem to mind sharing flower patch territory with other varieties of bees. Watch some of them pollinating flowers with other bees here:



    Females use their strong jaws to cut into wood, making holes as large as their bodies. These somewhat deep holes may appear on wooden fence posts, lumber, tree trunks and other thick wooden structures. They rarely bore enough holes to weaken the structure they're digging into. This nest is where a female will deposit her eggs, adding some pollen grains for each egg to serve as a food supply once the larvae hatch.
    A male will guard the entry to the nest, preventing other males from potentially reproducing with the female.

    Males and females look similar save the light yellow/white patch of hair on the male's face. Males are not known to sting, though females may. All adults are most active from spring through summer. They all hibernate during the winter.

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    Details of the:
    Eastern Carpenter Bee


    Category: Bee, Ant, Wasp and Similar
    Common name: Eastern Carpenter Bee
    Scientific Name: Xylocopa virginica

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hymenoptera
          Family: Apidae
           Genus: Xylocopa
            Species: virginica

    Size (Adult, Length): 20mm to 25mm (0.79in to 0.98in)

    Identifying Colors: black; yellow

    Additional Descriptors: fuzzy, stinging, flying, helpful


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Mexico


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.