Violet Carpenter Bees - Xylocopa violacea

Scientific Name: Xylocopa violacea.

English Name: Violet Carpenter Bee.

French Name: L'Abeille charpentiere or Xylocope violacé

5 Key Characters:
  • the largest and most striking bee you will see in this area (20 - 25 mm long).
  • entirely irridescent blue black, including the wings.
  • not aggressive, and almost never stings.
  • often observed foraging in flowers, covered in pollen, or investigating holes in wooden structures.
  • loud buzz.
Lookalikes: X. valga, which is not so common here and the males do not have red tips to the antennae.

Habitat: Gardens, orchards, parks.

Flight Period: Spring, summer and autumn.

Status: Common.

References and Further Reading:
A post on Violet Carpenter Bees on our daily blog Days on the Claise.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:
All photos will enlarge in a new window if you click on them. Row 1 on columbine in a garden in Roux.

Foraging on Liatrus in a garden.

Foraging on ornamental sage Salvia sp in a garden.

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