Xylocopa virginica

Eastern Carpenter Bee
Xylocopa virginica

Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica male
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica male on Grape bulb flower (exotic). Apr 15, 2012. Wheatley, Ontario.
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica male
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica male on Obedient Plant or False Dragonhead Sep 12, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica male and female nest in pine board fence
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica male and female just emerged from hibernation. Homes made in pine board fence. April 18, 2008. Wheatley, Ontario.
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica female
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica female on Obedient Plant or False Dragonhead Sep 09, 2007. Wheatley, Ontario.
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica female
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica female on Stonecrop Sep 18, 2004. Wheatley, Ontario.
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica female
Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica female Jun 17, 2013. Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Female head entirely black. Male has yellow spot above mouth and green eyes.
Thorax: Yellow with a small, center bald spot.
Wings: Dark
Legs: Female has entirely black hairs; hind leg hairs used to collect pollen, but no basket like bumblebees. Males have yellow fringe on underside of entire front leg.
Abdomen: Flattened on underside. Segment 1 yellow, sometimes worn off, especially in females. Rest of abdomen shiny black with some hairs at side edges and tip only.

Size: 20 to 25 mm

Habitat: Anywhere wood can be used as a nesting site. Uses pine boards or dead pines without bark.

Food: Nectar and pollen from a variety of flowers.

Flight Time: Mid-April to early June; again from mid-August to mid-September.

Life Cycle: Use same nests year after year. As populations increase, new nest holes, perfectly round with a chewed out tunnel will be made adjacent to old nests. Only one new generation per year (Aug to Sept), overwinter as adults in the same nest in which they were born, emerging the next spring to mate and lay eggs. 6 and 8 end-to-end cells are constructed in the tunnel. Each cell provisioned with pollen and regurgitated nectar, 1 egg laid on top, then capped with chewed wood pulp. Very docile, not known to sting. Parasitized by Bee Fly Anthrax.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee National Park and Ojibway Prairies. Throughout Ontario and southern Michigan.

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