Carpenter collecting pollen - 2015-10-11
Our maximum temperatures varied between 38 & 42 degrees Celsius the last week. Our animals were suffering, they stayed close to water resources in the shade of trees with lots of activity during the first two and last two hours of the day. Warm wind made it difficult for butterflies to maneuver.
Lots of blossoms attracts many insects. Almost all the trees in our fenced off area is blooming and an abundance of nectar and pollen is available.
Carpenter Bees were amongst the insects visiting the flowering trees. This one collecting pollen hovering from floweret to floweret.
Carpenter bees are large bees distributed worldwide. Some 500 species of carpenter bees are in the 31 subgenera. Their common name is because nearly all species build their nests in burrows in dead wood, bamboo, or structural timbers
Scientific name: Xylocopa
Like other species, they will sting only if provoked, and are mostly interested in foraging and going about their business.
Males cannot sting. However, they are territorial, and it can come as a bit of a surprise if they seemingly fly at you! They seem to be attracted to you the more you waft your arms around.
However, they cannot harm you in any way. The females are able to sting, but like bumblebees they are docile, and will rarely do so.
Carpenter Bee Lifecycle
They emerge from hibernation in the spring. They overwinter as adults in wood within abandoned nest tunnels.
By late spring or early summer, you may see them hovering around searching for mates and suitable nesting sites. After mating, the fertilized females excavate tunnels in wood.
As with some other solitary bees, the female constructs the nest alone. She lays her eggs within a series of small cells, each supplied with a ball of pollen on which the larvae feed. The larvae emerge as adults in late summer, and hibernate until the following year.