Among all the variety of species of bees, there are single species that differ from their counterparts not only in appearance, but also in behavior, habitat. One such species is the carpenter bee, which is not a honey plant, but is of interest to beekeepers. It is considered a real fossil, since it existed many centuries ago.
Bee carpenter: description
An interesting insect is the common carpenter bee. Absolutely not like her fellows. Leads a solitary lifestyle, does not accumulate honey reserves, does not differ in large brood and is rarely used by humans to realize their goals.
It is quite easy to recognize it. Such carpenter bees are large in size, which more closely resemble a bumblebee. But the carpenter is distinguished from him by a dark purple hue with a large fluff. The yellow stripes familiar to the bee are absent. Dark, but slightly lighter than abdomen, wings with abundant membranes. The female is much larger than the male, but there are a number of characteristic differences:
- there is no proboscis for collecting nectar;
- antennae on the head are black with yellowish tints on the lower part;
- the hind limbs of the female have several teeth and a kind of platform;
- only females have a sting; drones do not pose a danger to humans.
The carpenter bee has a short life cycle, about six months. During this time, the insect produces only one small brood and usually dies in the spring. They rarely enter the hibernation.
This is a rather rare species that was listed in the Red Book as endangered. More common in warm regions:
- The Middle East;
- Central Asia;
It is rare on the territory of Russia. Its presence was revealed in the Rostov, Tula, Moscow regions, in the Stavropol and Krasnodar regions. This species xylocopa is also rare in the Urals and the Volga region.
What wood bees eat
Despite the fact that it is not a honey plant, it makes feed reserves from nectar and pollen. He gives preference to such honey plants:
- spring color of fruit trees;
- willow color;
In summer, it can be found in fields with sunflowers, lupines, ornamental and other flowers. The nectar is collected in the early morning and evening at dusk. Xylocopa or carpenter is an exceptional pollinator, therefore it is of interest to humans.
Carpenter bee life cycle
This insect is solitary. They can rarely gather in small families. There is no swarming feature. To build a nest, he chooses the trunks of dead trees, country wooden fences, tree stumps, telephone poles, wooden parts of the roof in suburban areas. To create a nest, cavities are gnawed in the tree, the entrance to which looks like a perfectly flat hole. In this work, it creates a characteristic sound that is similar to the hum of a drill.
The nesting site is not tied to the close location of honey plants. An active insect is capable of flying tens of kilometers in search of food. No matter where the carpenter’s nest is. These insects are most active in summer. If the fall is warm, they can remain active during this period of the year. They rarely hibernate, usually die with the onset of cold weather, having previously laid a small part of the eggs.
How dangerous is a carpenter bee sting
In relation to humans, the insect is not aggressive. But this behavior is observed until a real threat appears. If this is not the case, the insect does not pay attention to the presence of a person and continues to go about its business. Drones don’t attack at all. The female’s venom is quite dangerous due to the fact that it causes a large swelling of the tissues. The throat bite is fatal.
How to deal with wood bees
The collected nectar and pollen is mixed with saliva, after which it puts a kind of ball on the bottom of each cell in the nest. Then one egg is laid on top and sealed. Having created about ten cells, it dwells in it for some time, and then leaves forever. The brood appears on its own closer to autumn, remains for the winter, and with the onset of warm spring days, the young individual is engaged in building its own nest. Therefore, nests can be passed from one generation to the next.
Beekeepers try not to destroy these bees found near the apiary. She does not try to steal honey, she simply does not allow other bees to approach the hive. Breeders are trying to lead such an insect, wanting to get a unique honey plant from it. But so far not a single experiment has been crowned with success. The blue bee is able to exist only in natural conditions, far from human habitation.
The carried does not tolerate loud noise. Therefore, if she appears near the house, you can drive her out with the help of loud music, working equipment, if this does not harm the neighbors. If it does not help, the nest is poured with poisons, gasoline or aerosol to fight insects. But do not forget that it is listed in the Red Book.