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Eastern Carpenter Bee

Xylocopa virginica


Friendly, nosy, wood-destroying little buggers.


Shady, wooded areas.


Carpenter bees chew holes into wood--particularly soft, dead wood. The bees create extensive tunnels throughout the wood. Starting at the farthest side, the female lays an egg and seals it away with the wood she's chewed away to make the nest; Another egg, another partition. The female supplies each egg with a dark mustard yellow ball of pollen and nectar for the larvae to grow on. These guys are destroying a wooden cabinet on my back patio. They have about 20 holes between five shelves and one hole in the inner wall of the cabinet. While some carpenter bees are solitary, "my" bees cohabitate; Multiple females share one nest. In the evening, they swarm heavily around the cabinet. Larvae have begun dropping from the holes. While I appreciate their terrific job as pollinators, their population is so high and their destruction is unacceptable. I've seen them squeezing into the eaves and am convinced they have nests there, so I've begun to kill them off. This is not without some sadness, for I quite enjoy their personalities and company.

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1 Comment

AmeliaPatterson 8 years ago

Two more larvae have dropped from the nests.

Spotted by

Sikeston, Missouri, USA

Spotted on Jun 5, 2013
Submitted on Jun 6, 2013

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