This afternoon I tried to capture a few good pictures of a carpenter bee that was pollinating my rose bushes.
This is a valley carpenter bee (Xylocopa varipuncta). The male of this species is gold and the female is a metallic black.
When writing a post two years ago about A Bee in my Rose Garden I found out that the male does not have a stinger. I decided to not worry too much about him stinging me and tried to get close and get some pictures.
The valley carpenter bee is the largest bee in California and can be as large as an inch in length.
Even so, it was really hard to get a good picture as he is a fast little guy and rarely stays in one position for any length of time.
The wings on the carpenter bee move so fast and make a very distinct droning sound. You definitely know when one is around. I always hear them before I see them.
Even though the picture above is really out of focus, it catches the fast moving wings and gives you a bit of an idea of how fast he is moving.
I still didn’t get this one quite focused, but you can see a bit of detail. He is an interesting looking little bee.
I saved the best focused picture for the last. It really is an amazing looking little bee. It is a marvel as to how this fat little bee stays aloft.
My nickname for this little bee is the Golden Snitch.
I am still trying to get a good picture of a female valley carpenter bee. I have seen a few of them, but mainly among the blossoms of the trees in the yard and a bit out of reach.
I hope you enjoyed these pictures even though they are a bit blurry.