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Valley Carpenter Bee (male)

Xylocopa varipuncta


There were at least three yellow, fuzzy, male bees with green eyes and one black female in this burrow in the tree. This species is the largest bee found in California and the eggs are the largest of ALL insect eggs. The last image shows the entire branch with the bee in the entrance of the tunnel.


A tunneled hole in a cut branch of an Avocado tree in the front yard. This species will "burrow into, and make their nests in, hardwood and telephone poles." "The bees tunnel through wood with their mandibles, although they do not ingest the wood in the process. The tunnels average 6 to 10 in (15 to 25 cm) in length and consist of a linear series of partitioned cells. They prefer untreated or unpainted wood. The adult bees spend the winter in the tunnels."


They were not happy I was near their home so they flew all around me and right up to my face. The males are harmless as they don't have a stinger but are rather aggressive. They're also known as the Teddy Bear Bee.

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44 Comments (1–25)

Thank you Lauren and Jemma :)

Hema 6 years ago
Thought of your spotting when I saw this one!

LaurenZarate 6 years ago

This is still one of my favorites!

Thank you Todd and Andrea!

Andrea Lim
Andrea Lim 7 years ago

Great macro shots, great series Cindy!

Thank you so much!

randp1 7 years ago

The detail on the eyes is really impressive!

NuwanChathuranga 7 years ago

Congratulations Cindy!

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 7 years ago

Very very nice! Congratulations :)

Thank you all so much! These large bees are such a joy to watch in the yard. They do drive the dogs crazy though with their loud buzzzzzzing ;)

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 7 years ago

Congratulations Cindy. Well deserved SoTD.

Hema 7 years ago

Karen P ,these busy are really adorable, They literally are flying teddy bears,

MrsPbio 7 years ago

Thank you for such an informat ive post! I love bees, and I learned about a new one now.

MayraSpringmann 7 years ago

Lovely, great series!!!

LeanneGardner 7 years ago

Wow! Congratulations Cindy on this wonderful series & your SOTD :)

Gerardo Aizpuru
Gerardo Aizpuru 7 years ago

Wow extraordinary series Cindy Congratulations !

Fyn  Kynd
Fyn Kynd 7 years ago

Awesome spotting, congratulations CindyBinghamKeiser!

Ricardo Salgueiro
Ricardo Salgueiro 7 years ago

Amazing photo!!! Congratulations CindyBinghamKeiser!

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 7 years ago

Incredible series. Congratulations on Spot of the Day. It looks so sinister. HA! I love all the photos and the last stump photo with just a glimpse of it peaking out is very cool.

LuisStevens 7 years ago

Congrats Cindy! Great series!

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 7 years ago

Congratulations Cindy! Wonderful series!

Harsha Singh
Harsha Singh 7 years ago

Very well documented. Congrats Cindy!

Debbie Stewart
Debbie Stewart 7 years ago

Lovely photos Cindy, congratulations on spotting of the day.

Wild Things
Wild Things 7 years ago

Great spotting! Congratulations!

arlanda 7 years ago

Congratulations Cindy!

Escondido, California, USA

Spotted on Mar 17, 2013
Submitted on Mar 18, 2013

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