Tag Archives: carpenter bee

Carpenter Bee on patrol

Carpenter bee on patrol

Right about when the bumblebees show up, the Carpenter bees come out too. Bumblebees are placid, fuzzy fellows that take no notice of you. While they look like extra large bumblebee, the Eastern Carpenter Bees have a shiny tail, and the males will get in your face, and tell you in no uncertain terms to get out of their territory. You can tell the males by the way they patrol a nice patch of flowers, and by the pale patch on their face. For all that sass, male bees are all show and no stinger. (What they have instead of a stinger is deployed for the lady bees only.)

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A day of good bee hunting

I enjoyed hosting today on the Life-Friendly Garden Tour. Nice people stopped by and let me show off my bees. If you’re interested at all in bees, you know about honeybees going missing. If you want to help honeybees, the best way is to keep a hive. It’s not hard, so they say, and it means more bees in your neighbor’s yard. But I want to support the native bees, and that’s even easier.

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Don’t use chemicals (the theme of the Tour!).

Grow flowers (preferably native flowers).

Avoid disturbing the ground (and leave some bare).

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Carpenter bees

More bees. Here’s some carpenter bees big and small. Both kinds tunnel their nests into wood, but they’re two separate families.

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The last few years in the spring, a big fat male carpenter bee patrols the yard. He can be pretty intimidating, flying by, but he can’t sting you. Aside from the pure bluster, you can identify the males by the white patch on their face. And they’re not bumblebees, bumblebees are fuzzy.

The small carpenter bees are so small they look like tiny little flying black ants. Only up close you can see their actual greenish color.

Goldenrod for a lazy bee

Carpenter bee clinging to goldenrod

We went out for dim sum today, and I feel as lazy as a bee hanging on the goldenrod with a faceful of flower. This is a Carpenter bee, and you know it’s a male because of the light spot on his face. He was so sleepy, I could move the goldenrod to an easier reach and put the camera right in his face. And yes, bees sleep.

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Buzzapalooza on the goldenrod

While I’ve been reading, all sorts of bees have been busy buzzing at the Goldenrod Buzzapalooza.

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A bee seeing you

Carpenter bee keeping an eye on you

It turns out one of the bees that has been cruising the yard has been cruising the yard looking for dates.

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Ode to asters

Oh, asters, wild asters, beloved of bees.

Honeybee gathering pollen

Honeybee gathering pollen

You tumble down hill and sway on the breeze.

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The bees’ last summer dance party

Humongous carpenter bee

Humongous carpenter bee

Don’t tell the bees that summer is ending. They’re still crowding out the butterflies on the butterfly bush. The butterfly bush is where I first met the carpenter bees, and they’re still scaring me whenever I brush by.
Yes, it may be hard to be believe but there are bees that scare me. That rattling buzz right in the ear is hard to take, even when you know they’re just passing by. They make no mistake about who they think is getting in whose way. So when they decide they’re going to hang around, I stay out of their way and move very slowly.
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Collards in flower

Collards form towers of flowers

Collards form towers of flowers

Carpenter bee hanging from a collard flower

Carpenter bee hanging from a collard flower

Have you ever bought some bok choy and left it in the fridge while you figured out what to do with it until it opened up bright yellow flowers? That’s why my collard plants did, only six feet tall. Tall, outspread candelabrae of flat yellow flowers just begging for big fat bees. It’s covered in bees, carpenter bees the size of your thumb.

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Bee v. Bee

Carpenter bees in luv?

Carpenter bees play rough

There’s a big, fat bee that likes to hover over the patio controlling the territory. He looks like a large bumblebee, but the white spot on its face and shiny butt mark him out as a male Carpenter bee. I’ve been buzzed a few times passing through. Lucky for me, I’m not another bee.

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