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Valley Carpenter Bee

Scientific Name: 
Xylocopa varipuncta

This large black bee resembles a bumblebee but lacks the yellow band on the body.  It is most frequently seen feeding on flowers such as the Palo Verde, Cassia and Senna where it exhibits "buzz pollination" a process where the wings are vibrated causing the pollen to fall out of the anthers.  Carpenter Bees nest in dead tree trunks and branches as well as fence posts and discarded lumber.  The male is a golden color with green eyes and does not feed on flowers but may be seen flying back and forth by a shrub or branch hoping to attract the black female bee.  Photo by Laurel Woodley

Garden Location: 
Garden Wide
Xylocopa varipuncta visiting a cassia flower
Xylocopa varipuncta buzz pollinating
Xylocopa varipuncta old nest site in a dead branch
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