The B52 of the Bee World, the Violet Carpenter Bee

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.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
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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