Carpenter Bee on Blueberries

By April 7, 2011 Day-to-Day, Insects 4 Comments

Taken with iPhone

This handsome fellow is—I think—a large carpenter bee of the Xylocopa persuasion.* He is on my blueberries, and there is an excellent chance that he is pollinating them. There is also an excellent chance that he is chewing a hole in the side of each flower to get to the nectar. Since I think his family probably pollinated last year’s crop, I’m not going to begrudge him the holes. I am deeply delighted by my native pollinators and really need to rig up a mason bee house this year…

The bugs are out in force in the garden right now, Mt. Mulch has been reduced dramatically (I think I may actually have it down to about 40% of it’s former glory, although I am seriously running out of things to mulch at this point) the bees are lumbering through the flowers, the little spring butterflies are cavorting amidst the weeds, a birdhouse that I had long since given up on appears to be favored by Carolina chickadees, and no trees have tried to kill me for a couple of days now. Almost everything has broken dormancy, including the milkweed and Joe-Pye-Weed, always slow to emerge, (my American spikenard lives! Woohoo! I had nearly lost hope!) and I’ve pretty much given up on the cannas—think we just got too damn cold this winter. Gonna see if I can find the native canna at Niche Gardens and give it a try.

Time to go lug the laptop to the cafe and get a thousand words done on either Dragonbreath 7 (Fairybreath) or Bread Wizard…

*There is a  chance that she is actually a bumblebee queen, but he’s pretty shiny and not real hairy on the backside, which is supposed to be the telling bit.  As you can tell, my bee ID skills are not great yet.


  • Mud says:

    Carpenter bees as just goofy, wonderful bugs.
    I had a friend who found a bunch, of December, lying belly up on the ground. She collected them and brought them inside. Then it turned out they were hibernating through the winder and woke up, confused, in her kitchen.
    Yay bees!

  • Ellis says:

    It’s April 8 we still have a huge drift of snow and the frost hasn’t left the ground yet. Alberta sucks.

  • Wow, I’d no idea an iPhone could take such a great photo! Of course it does need a photographer behind it. I’m not going to be trading in my ultra-basic, cheapskate Virgin phone for an iPhone anytime soon though. I’m just not sold on the marketing of Apples. Are you still speaking to me now I’ve said that?

  • Altogether I agree with most of what you have written and will follow this upon my carpentry website. Thanks