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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.