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Valley Carpenter Bee

Xylocopa varipuncta


Shown is a male of the species, fuzzy and gold with with green eyes. Females are metallic black. These are the largest bees found in California, growing to around 1 in (2.5 cm) in length.


These bees are named for the Central Valley of California that they commonly are found in, and for their ability to bury into, and make their nests in, hardwood and telephone poles. They feed on nectar.


Only female of this species has a stinger, and it will only sting if provoked. These bees cause damage to telephone poles and other unpainted hardwood by tunneling into it, but are helpful in pollinating native plants and shrubs. This bee was spotted at the South Coast Botanical Gardens in Hidden Hills.

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Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

tese are awesome!

catgrin 9 years ago

Thanks! I really wish the last one was in focus. I included it because the angle is so good for showing how they use their wings to hover.

Wild Things
Wild Things 9 years ago

Awesome action shots!

catgrin 9 years ago


Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 9 years ago


catgrin 9 years ago


Great shot, Christine!

Spotted by

L.A., California, USA

Spotted on May 31, 2012
Submitted on Jun 1, 2012

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