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Carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.), also known as large carpenter bees, are so named because they build their nests in wood, using their strong mandibles to create perfectly circular holes.

Carpenter bees are large, usually 20 mm or bigger. They resemble bumble bees (Bombus spp.), except that they have smooth, shiny black abdomens whereas bumble bees have very hairy abdomens. Carpenter bees are typically black, metallic blue, greenish black, or purplish blue. They have pale yellow on the thorax, legs, or abdomen. Some males have yellowish areas on the face and much larger eyes than females.

Five species are native to the United States (X. virginica and X. micans are common in the east and X. varipuncta, X. californica, and X. tabaniformis are common in the west). Species in this genus range from Arizona east to Florida, and north to New York and California.


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Supplier: Bob Corrigan

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