The B52 of the Bee World, the Violet Carpenter Bee

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One minute your sitting in the Algarve Serra enjoying the birds singing, then you hear the deep buzzing noise of the Violet Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa Violacea) coming as if it’s on a bombing mission.

The first time people see these giants they may think they are dangerous, yes the females have a stinger (like all Bees, the males do not) but they pose no real threat of stinging.

They happily fly around you, sometimes bashing into things as they do appear to be drunk a lot, without even seeming to care you are there.

They are very common up here in the hills of the Algarve and grow to almost 4cm long!

They nest in dead wood or Bamboo. They will only choose rotting wood so pose no great threat to construction unlike species of Carpenter Bee found elsewhere in the world.

The males are often seen this time of year hovering looking for females.

Here’s a picture from the garden late this afternoon.

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Violet Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa Violacea) - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ 300mm, f/3.5, ISO800, 1/800sec - {Flickr Link}

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Bees and the Bottle Brush

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Whilst drinking my morning “Bica” (Portuguese Espresso-type Coffee) I couldn’t help notice the stunning colours of the Bottle Brush Plant (Callistemon) against the glorious bright blue morning sky. The Honey Bees where busy collecting from it so I grabbed the camera.

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Bee and Bottle Brush - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ 300mm, f/6.3, ISO720, 1/4000sec - {Flickr Link}

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Honey Bee’s are still hard at work in the Algarve

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In this region of the Algarve, there are a lot of Honey producers and no matter where you go you will find Hives, even in very remote locations.

It might be near the end of December, but the Bee’s are still hard at work.

This one looks like it’s doing the Michael Jordon Air Walk!

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Honey Bee - D810, AF-S 500mm f/4, f/6.3, ISO360, 1/2500sec - {Flickr Link}

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