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Newly Eclosed Valley Carpenter Bee

Xylocopa varipuncta (Male)

Description:

I had a very unique and fascinating encounter today. Today my backyard came alive with Carpenter Bees. There were 4 orange ones and one black one.The female has set up a nesting site in the apple tree. Looks like it was a successful nesting site.She probably had 3 male children ,judging from the number. You can see a newly eclosed bee in the picture. it had warm colors and wet wings. i saw it fly off the apple tree and then buzz around a few apples on the ground and then it just became still.Maybe it was warming up and drying it's wings off. After a while it started pumping it's abdomen and then it took off. All this while the parents were vigilantly buzzing around,to the dismay of the hummingbirds!

Notes:

The nest opening in the wood is 1/2"in diameter, extending directly into the wood 1". It then turns 90 degrees and extends 4-6" with the grain of the wood. After the female carves out this nest, she puts a combination of pollen and honey deep into the bottom of it, lays one egg on top of this food mass, and seals it off, forming a cell. She continues doing this until about 6 or 8 such brood cells are formed, each containing an egg and the food mass for the hatching larva. From egg to flying adult takes about 1-3 months. Observing the bee usually leads you to the entrance hole. Look for round holes the size of a dime. Males cannot sting; but females will sting if molested. In California, the Valley Carpenter Bee male is tan in color, and the female is black.

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28 Comments (1–25)

This spotting has been disqualified from the 2017 wildlife competition as it was submitted in 2013 and therefore infringes the stated rules.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

thank you ,Lauren!

LaurenZarate
LaurenZarate 9 years ago

Beautiful Jemma!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Arya,the carpenter bee is one of the cutest looking bees and usually known as the flying bear. Closeups show too much details and sometimes take the cuteness away. Hope you get to see it.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

HaHa, I see why you say that.
It was quite a fascinating and surprising event that took place in my backyard. This newly eclosed bee was vigilantly protected by it's parents till it took flight. The parents were around for 4 hours and drove the hummingbirds away.much to their frustration.

Arya
Arya 9 years ago

Very cool! The thumbnail of this picture makes it look like a cross between a Nutria and Tarantula!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Thanks Namitha! Celebration of life so to say!

namitha
namitha 9 years ago

Awesome spotting Jemma, when seen as a small pic, it looks like the face of a fantasy world chipmunk. Lovely!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Thank you for all the likes for this newly born bee! What a great way of welcoming it into the world! If it only Knew! :))

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

thanks so much Purple Scarf!!

Love these bees and thank you for the info learned a lot !

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Thanks Misha. I am glad you enjoyed the spotting.

Sew
Sew 9 years ago

nice spotting and an amazing story...

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

thanks,Satyen. Something so unusual and unexpected!!Like they say ,nature never ceases to amaze!!

Wild Things
Wild Things 9 years ago

Beautiful series!

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Yes Elaine,nature is grand and right in our own backyard too! today I saw 3 types of unusual worms.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

thanks, David! it is great to share it with all of you1 Makes it even more greater :)

DavidMroczkowski
DavidMroczkowski 9 years ago

Wow! wonderful pictures. great info.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

KAren, You may be right. But I did observe intense maternal and paternal care till the bee was able to lift off safely. The hummingbirds were buzzed away, I was buzzed off. There was constant patrolling and buzzing in the backyard for the entire day! The 4 hummingbirds had a hard time accessing the feeder! therefore i though .that since some parental care was witnessed , I might add it to that mission! Thanks so much.

KarenL
KarenL 9 years ago

Hi Jemma, I've removed this from the Brooding Behavior mission as the brooding behavior is not shown in these photos.

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/307...
Here is a pic of a female for comparision.
these are large bees and The males are usually known as "Teddy Bears"

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Thanks , Antonio. I always wondered how Bee's emerge. I have seen crane flies which are newly eclosed,ladybugs too. This is the first time I saw a Bee. The mother was hovering vigilantly over it till it needed to shape up! That was something which awestruck me.

Gorgeous capture jemma,brilliant series,very cool ,congrats and thanks for sharing

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Yes Robby,these are great pollinators.
“Carpenter bees are beneficial in that they pollinate flowers in native plant communities and gardens,” he said. “That far outweighs any damage to wood structures.”
We try to minimize are use of chemical and pesticides,

Hema  Shah
Hema Shah 9 years ago

Thank you Suzanne. I was surprised because I never imagined this.
thnx Mads.
And Sachin ,what can i say about my artistic abilities?! :))

HemaShah
Spotted by
HemaShah

Concord, California, USA

Spotted on Sep 10, 2013
Submitted on Sep 10, 2013

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