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Sonoran Carpenter Bee female

Xylocopa sonorina


Large black bee.


Area around house near beach.


Females rasp or “chew” though wood for the purpose of making their nesting tunnels, using their powerful mandibles. Female bees are hard-working single mothers (there is no queen). Occasionally daughters or other female bees may help with nest cleaning or guarding, before going off on their own to mate and nest. Nest tunnels are referred to as galleries, because they can be long and narrow with multiple “rooms” or cells. In each cell, the mother bee sculpts a loaf of “bee bread” made of pollen and nectar, on which an egg is laid. The larval bee feeds on the “bee bread” and after metamorphosis, will be fed by her mother until she is ready to fly on her own. Mother bees collect pollen on their hairy rear legs.

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Spotted on Oct 13, 2014
Submitted on Oct 31, 2014

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