The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making


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October Buzzed By …

… and I didn’t get a chance to post October’s featured bee. The month of October in my North American Native Bee Calendar purchased from the Great Sunflower Project, features the Large Carpenter Bee, genus Xylocopa.

These bees are large, often over an inch, and I definitely have these in my garden. You can’t miss them if they buzz by (like October). They are typically black. I’ve seen these bees mating and also buzzing around my shed (made from rough hewn lumber) which makes sense since they are wood nesting bees. The female will use her jaws to excavate a nest tunnel in soft or rotten wood. These bees are known to “rob” nectar, too, by excavating a hole at the base of a flower. Males may put on an “air show” of darting and swooping flight patterns near flowers where females are attracted. To view images of the Carpenter Bee, click here. (Control or apple click to open the images in a new tab or window).

You might attract a Carpenter Bee if you grow salvia, Cercis (Redbud), lavender or wisteria.