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Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: Valley carpenter bee

The Beauty of a Carpenter Bee's Wings

Iridescent wings of a female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta. The bee is nectaring on showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa, but she's the one putting on a show. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

There's an old saying applicable to child-rearing: "First you give them roots, and then you give them wings." Roots. Wings. Roots to ground them, to love them unconditionally. And wings for them to lift off and launch new beginnings. Quote...

Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 3:01 PM

Bully in the Bee Garden

Male European wool carder bee (Anthidium manicatum)targets a female Valley carpenter bee (Xylocopa varipuncta) on a bluebeard (Caryopteris). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

He's the bully in the bee garden. If you've ever watched the male European wool carder bee (Anthidium manicatum) patrolling "his" flower patch, you'll see him targeting insects several times larger than he is. Take the case of the Valley carpenter bee...

Sharing the Bounty with the Bees

A male leafcutter bee, Megachile sp., in flight, heading toward the milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Move over, monarchs. Bees--and other pollinators--gravitate toward the enticing aroma of the milkweed, too. The milkweed is widely known as the larval host plant of the monarch butterflies--and a nectar source for the adults--but they have to...

Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 5:25 PM

A Most Unusual Photo

Male and female of the same species, Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipunta, share a single passionflower blossom. The female is solid black and the male, a green-eyed blond. (Photo by Nicole Nicola)

It's an incredible photo. Nicole "Nikki" Nicola, a staff research associate in the Frank Zalom lab in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, University California, Davis, captured an image in her back yard of both the male and female...

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 5:14 PM

Who's the Boss of the Lavender?

A Valley carpenter bee and a honey bee sharing the same lavender stem. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Some folks refer to them as "those big, black scary bumble bees." They're not bumble bees. They're not scary. But well, they ARE big. About an inch long. The Valley carpenter bee (Xylocopa varipuncta) is the largest bee in California. The female is...

Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 4:25 PM

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