Small carpenter bees everywhere

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The Eastern Carpenter bees have tiny little cousins, called naturally enough, the Small Carpenter Bees. Instead of digging into wood, the Small Carpenter bee nests in a broken or cut stem, adding cell after cell, forming a row of larvae. When she gets to the end, she builds a cell for herself and there she rests until her brood emerges.

The ones I see are a deep, dark, shiny green, but they’re so small it’s easy to think they’re tiny black bees. They’re so small, you might not  notice them at all, but I’ve been seeing them all over the place this year. They clamber between the anthers of strawberry flowers, buttercups, wild rose, bladder campion, catmint, and more. I do leave stems and stalks standing over the winter, though I don’t know which ones they’re using. They might overwinter in the stems of the raspberries, or the rose bush, or last summer’s sunflowers, or even the sumac trees next door. Apparently, you can make it easier for them by cutting just the ends off and leaving the stems or canes standing. So maybe instead of pruning the spent raspberry canes all the way down to the ground this summer, I’ll try leaving a foot or so for the bees in nest in, and see what happens.


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