Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
University of California
Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: Valley carpenter bees

Got Milkweed? Bees Like It, Too!

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta (aka

The Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis, stocks a "Got Milkweed?" t-shirt in its gift shop. In real life, insects "get" milkweed. We all know it's the only host plant of the monarch butterfly--where monarchs lay their...

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta (aka
A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta (aka "teddy bear bee"), heads for the showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa. A honey bee is already there. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta (aka "teddy bear bee"), heads for the showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa. A honey bee is already there. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Three's a crowd? That's how many bees are on this milkweed. One carpenter bee and two honey bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Three's a crowd? That's how many bees are on this milkweed. One carpenter bee and two honey bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Three's a crowd? That's how many bees are on this milkweed. One carpenter bee and two honey bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the male Valley carpenter bee's tongue or proboscis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of the male Valley carpenter bee's tongue or proboscis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the male Valley carpenter bee's tongue or proboscis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female Valley carpenter bee arrives to take her share. The male of this species is a green-eyed blond (a clear case of of sexual dimorphism). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female Valley carpenter bee arrives to take her share. The male of this species is a green-eyed blond (a clear case of of sexual dimorphism). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female Valley carpenter bee arrives to take her share. The male of this species is a green-eyed blond (a clear case of of sexual dimorphism). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 3:28 PM

Sold on the Salvia

A female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, forages on grape-scented sage, Salvia melissodora. Note the

Ever watched Valley carpenter bees (Xylocopa varipuncta) foraging on salvia? Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, distinguished professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, recently noticed a flurry of carpenter bees in the...

A female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, forages on grape-scented sage, Salvia melissodora. Note the
A female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, forages on grape-scented sage, Salvia melissodora. Note the "pollen cap." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, forages on grape-scented sage, Salvia melissodora. Note the "pollen cap." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Check out the
Check out the "pollen cap" on this female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, foraging on grape-scented sage, Salvia melissodora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Check out the "pollen cap" on this female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, foraging on grape-scented sage, Salvia melissodora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 9:18 PM

The 'Gold' That an Apple Tree Yielded

A male Valley carpenter bee (right) peers from a hole. A female (all females are solid black) occupies the hole next to him.

Thar's gold in them thar apple trees. Gold? When a rotten apple tree was cut down last week on private property in Davis, scores of eyes peered from the drilled holes. Soon, adult male Valley carpenter bees (Xylocopa varipuncta)--those green-eyed...

A male Valley carpenter bee (right) peers from a hole. A female (all females are solid black) occupies the hole next to him.
A male Valley carpenter bee (right) peers from a hole. A female (all females are solid black) occupies the hole next to him.

A male Valley carpenter bee (right) peers from a hole. A female (all females are solid black) occupies the hole next to him.

A cluster of male Valley carpenter bees.
A cluster of male Valley carpenter bees.

A cluster of male Valley carpenter bees.

Extension apiculturist (emeritus) Eric Mussen holds a handful of male Valley carpenter bees.
Extension apiculturist (emeritus) Eric Mussen holds a handful of male Valley carpenter bees.

Extension apiculturist (emeritus) Eric Mussen holds a handful of male Valley carpenter bees.

This male Valley carpenter bee backed into its drilled hole to keep warm.
This male Valley carpenter bee backed into its drilled hole to keep warm.

This male Valley carpenter bee backed into its drilled hole to keep warm.

Posted on Monday, January 5, 2015 at 10:33 PM

Pollen Power

A Valley carpenter bee receives a brush of pollen. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Female Valley carpenter bees are solid black--except when they're foraging around passion flowers. Then they're black and yellow--the yellow being the color of the pollen transferred to their thorax. Beautiful? Absolutely. Mary Patterson, one of the...

A Valley carpenter bee receives a brush of pollen. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Valley carpenter bee receives a brush of pollen. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Valley carpenter bee receives a brush of pollen. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Check out the yellow pollen on this Valley carpenter bee's thorax. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Check out the yellow pollen on this Valley carpenter bee's thorax. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Check out the yellow pollen on this Valley carpenter bee's thorax. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bees frequent the passion flowers, too. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bees frequent the passion flowers, too. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bees frequent the passion flowers, too. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 8:47 PM

'Teddy Bear' Bees

Male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, is blond with green eyes. This is on a germander bush, Teucrium fruitcans. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Along about this time of year, the calls come pouring into the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and the Bohart Museum of Entomology. "I just saw a golden bumble bee. I think it's a new species! Can I name it?" "I just saw a huge bee...

Male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, is blond with green eyes. This is on a germander bush, Teucrium fruitcans. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, is blond with green eyes. This is on a germander bush, Teucrium fruitcans. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, is blond with green eyes. This is on a germander bush, azure bush germander Teucrium fruitcans. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Female Valley carpenter bee is solid black. This is on a rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Female Valley carpenter bee is solid black. This is on a rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Female Valley carpenter bee is solid black. This is on a rockpurslane, Calandrinia grandiflora.(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 9:50 PM

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