Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County
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Cooperative Extension San Joaquin County

Posts Tagged: Xylocopa varipuncta

Valley Carpenter Bees: Drama in the Garden

Don't bug me, I'm trying to wake up. This female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, peers over a blue spike salvia (Salvia uliginosa) blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Some folks call them "bumble bees," but they're not. In size, the female Valley carpenter bee (Xylocopa varipuncta) resembles a bumble bee, but certainly not in color. The female Valley carpenter is solid black with metallic wings. The male of the...

Don't bug me, I'm trying to wake up. This female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, peers over a blue spike salvia (Salvia uliginosa) blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Don't bug me, I'm trying to wake up. This female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, peers over a blue spike salvia (Salvia uliginosa) blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Don't bug me, I'm trying to wake up. This female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, peers over a blue spike salvia (Salvia uliginosa) blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The female Valley carpenter bee sips nectar from a blue spike salvia, Salvia uliginosa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The female Valley carpenter bee sips nectar from a blue spike salvia, Salvia uliginosa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The female Valley carpenter bee sips nectar from a blue spike salvia, Salvia uliginosa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The metallic wings of the female Valley carpenter bee gleam in the sun as she sips nectar from gold coin, Asteriscus maritimus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The metallic wings of the female Valley carpenter bee gleam in the sun as she sips nectar from gold coin, Asteriscus maritimus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The metallic wings of the female Valley carpenter bee gleam in the sun as she sips nectar from gold coin, Asteriscus maritimus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the male Valley carpenter, Xylocopa varipuncta,  bee on germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This is the male Valley carpenter, Xylocopa varipuncta, bee on germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the male Valley carpenter, Xylocopa varipuncta, bee on germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 6:17 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Yard & Garden

Under Attack: European Wool Carder Bee Vs. Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Meet Mr. Teddy Bear, a green-eyed blond trying to nourish himself on foxglove nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meet the competitors. In this corner, meet Mr. Teddy Bear. He's a blond, green-eyed carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, a native, and one of three species of carpenter bees commonly found from northern to southern California to western New...

Meet Mr. Teddy Bear, a green-eyed blond trying to nourish himself on foxglove nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Meet Mr. Teddy Bear, a green-eyed blond trying to nourish himself on foxglove nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meet Mr. Teddy Bear, a green-eyed blond trying to nourish himself on foxglove nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meet Mr. Bodyslam, a very territorial European wool carder bee. He patrols the foxgloves. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Meet Mr. Bodyslam, a very territorial European wool carder bee. He patrols the foxgloves. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meet Mr. Bodyslam, a very territorial European wool carder bee. He patrols the foxgloves. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mr. Bodyslam targets the unsuspecting Mr. Teddy Bear.
Mr. Bodyslam targets the unsuspecting Mr. Teddy Bear. "Hey, get away from my flowers and nobody gets hurt." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mr. Bodyslam targets the unsuspecting Mr. Teddy Bear. "Hey, get away from my flowers and nobody gets hurt." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mr. Bodyslam is moving so fast, he's a blur. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Mr. Bodyslam is moving so fast, he's a blur. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mr. Bodyslam is moving so fast, he's a blur. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And the battle begins! Mr. Bodyslam attacks Mr. Teddy Bear.
And the battle begins! Mr. Bodyslam attacks Mr. Teddy Bear. "Hey, can't a fellow get a bite to eat in peace?" (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And the battle begins! Mr. Bodyslam attacks Mr. Teddy Bear. "Hey, can't a fellow get a bite to eat in peace?" (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gotcha! The attack turns vicious. Mr. Bodyslam slams into Mr. Teddy Bear, a blow that prompted Mr. Teddy Bear to depart (only to return). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Gotcha! The attack turns vicious. Mr. Bodyslam slams into Mr. Teddy Bear, a blow that prompted Mr. Teddy Bear to depart (only to return). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gotcha! The attack turns vicious. Mr. Bodyslam slams into Mr. Teddy Bear, a blow that prompted Mr. Teddy Bear to depart (only to return). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Boys Are Back in Town

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectars on a a mustard blossom in Vacaville, Calif. on Sunday, March 25. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The boys are back in town! Well, at least one is. We don't know where the girls are. Neither, apparently, does he. A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, aka "the teddy bear bee," buzzed into our mustard patch Sunday and nectared on the...

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectars on a a mustard blossom in Vacaville, Calif. on Sunday, March 25. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectars on a a mustard blossom in Vacaville, Calif. on Sunday, March 25. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectars on a a mustard blossom in Vacaville, Calif. on Sunday, March 25. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Peek-a-bee! The male Valley carpenter bee peers at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Peek-a-bee! The male Valley carpenter bee peers at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Peek-a-bee! The male Valley carpenter bee peers at the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

We have lift-off! The teddy bear bee, Xylocopa varipuncta,leaves a mustard blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
We have lift-off! The teddy bear bee, Xylocopa varipuncta,leaves a mustard blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

We have lift-off! The teddy bear bee, Xylocopa varipuncta,leaves a mustard blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 3:36 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture Environment

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

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...

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)
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)

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)

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

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