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Common Name: Carpenter Bee
Scientific Name: Xylocopa varipuncta

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Anthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Apidae
Genus: Xylocopa
Species: X. varipuncta

 

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The Carpenter Bee is a unique creature that has characteristics that set it apart from other bees. Female carpenter bees are black and males are gold. Carpenter bees are harmless and are actually excellent pollinators. Carpenter Bees can be found all over the United States. Also, you can find carpenter bees in valley and foothill areas. I want to tell you why carpenter bees are important yet interesting.

Carpenter Bees can stand out from other bees. They are 1 inch or 2.5 centimeters in length and are the largest bees found in California. Females are metallic black while males are fuzzy and gold with green eyes and don’t have a stinger. Even though Carpenter Bees are good pollinators, deeper flowers are a challenge to them. They also buzz pollinate. To notice a carpenter bee from a regular bumble bee, bumblebee abdomens are hairy, the top of a carpenter bee's abdomen will be hairless, black, and shiny. That is why Carpenter Bees are important because they will break into the toughest flowers so they can pollinate them.

Carpenter Bees can be found mostly everywhere. They are located from Texas to California, across the Southern United States from Arizona to Florida, and in the eastern United States north to New York. You can see them wandering in valley and foothill areas. There are 500 species of carpenter bees and the population is not changing. Since there are plenty of Carpenter Bees, they can pollinate flowers.

Unlike some bees, carpenter bees don’t eat wood. They digest pollen and nectar. Mostly spiders will try and hunt carpenter bees. A carpenter bee protects its self from predators by camouflaging or by stinging them. This tiny insect among the food web has to do what it can to stay alive.

Carpenter bees are important because they are excellent pollinators. They will do anything to stay alive. I think how they are tough and fearless stood out because that shows why they are so important. Carpenter bees are important insects yet also really interesting.

Author: Sarahjoy Williams
Published: 3/13

Sources: http://bugguide.net
http://en.wikipedia.orghttp://www.pollinators.info
Photo Credit: Karen LeMay