For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Close-up of a Carpenter Bee

I found this carpenter bee which had a damaged wing and could not fly so I took it home to get photos of it to show you.
Carpenter Bees get their name because of their annoying (to humans) habit of excavating living galleries in all kind of wood to create a nest. Although they do bore into wood, carpenter bees generally do not cause structural damage.

Although carpenter bees are good for pollinating plants, they can also be a nuisance to humans who live and work around them. They are noisy and will dive-bomb and fly erratically around humans who walk nearby. The male bees are extremely territorial, and may fly aggressively.

They do have some resemblance to the bumble bee, but they do not have any yellow hairs on their sleek, black abdomens, nor do they have the pollen baskets on the hind legs sported by bumble bees. Also, carpenter bees nest in wood, not in the ground.

They do not have stingers, however, so the male bees are completely harmless and the female bees are docile and only sting if they are handled. Yes, that is my finger it is on. LOL!!

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