Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)

Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa virginia) have inhabited these wooden benches for the past thirteen years that I have passed by them.

They are big bees, flying energetically in the weak sunshine of the early spring. Their food consists of flower nectar. Sometimes they cut a hole in the base of the flower and sip nectar through the hole.

When I took this photo, they were flying in a group. I suppose they hibernate in the wooden benches over the winter. They must have nest tunnels dug deep into the wood.

These bees excavate their own nest tunnels in wood rather than use preexisting cavities made by other animals. To do this, the bees have very powerful jaws.

These bees can sting but rarely do.

I like seeing the Carpenter Bees each spring. It is nice to know that they have a home year after year and that they haven’t been evicted like so many animals are.

Humans cut down and dig up places where birds, insects, mammals and other animals live without the slight thought to the lives of others.

But, thank goodness things are changing. And we are returning to the way we were in the past. We have probably made our ancestors proud. And maybe even relieved.

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