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Posts Tagged: Xylocopa varipuncta

Two Bees: A Close Encounter with a Cousin

A honey bee, Apis mellifera, buzzes over the head of a male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So here I am, a male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, just enjoying the nectar on this tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. Some folks call me "The teddy bear bee." Yes, I like that nickname. The late Robbin...

A honey bee, Apis mellifera, buzzes over the head of a male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee, Apis mellifera, buzzes over the head of a male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee, Apis mellifera, buzzes over the head of a male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The honey bee's feet touches the antennae of the male Valley carpenter bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The honey bee's feet touches the antennae of the male Valley carpenter bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The honey bee's feet touches the antennae of the male Valley carpenter bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The honey bee's abdomen touches the head of the male Valley carpenter bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The honey bee's abdomen touches the head of the male Valley carpenter bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The honey bee's abdomen touches the head of the male Valley carpenter bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Up, up and away. Off to the next blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Up, up and away. Off to the next blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Up, up and away. Off to the next blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Watch out, Mr. Carpenter Bee, I'm coming back down. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Watch out, Mr. Carpenter Bee, I'm coming back down. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Watch out, Mr. Carpenter Bee, I'm coming back down. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You're crowding me, Ms. Honey Bee! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
You're crowding me, Ms. Honey Bee! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

You're crowding me, Ms. Honey Bee! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm outta here, says the carpenter bee to the honey bee. Take it all, it's yours. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
I'm outta here, says the carpenter bee to the honey bee. Take it all, it's yours. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I'm outta here, says the carpenter bee to the honey bee. Take it all, it's yours. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 3:32 PM

David and Goliath? Underdog Vs. Bigger Opponent?

A honey bee comes faces to face with a Valley carpenter bee on a mustard blossom. The Valley carpenter bee is native to the United States, while the honey bee is native to Europe. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Remember the biblical story about David and Goliath? How young David, the underdog, defeats a Philistine giant? Sometimes you think the same kind of battle will occur in nature when a honey bee, Apis mellifera, encounters a much larger carpenter...

A honey bee comes faces to face with a Valley carpenter bee on a mustard blossom. The Valley carpenter bee is native to the United States, while the honey bee is native to Europe. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A honey bee comes faces to face with a Valley carpenter bee on a mustard blossom. The Valley carpenter bee is native to the United States, while the honey bee is native to Europe. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A honey bee comes faces to face with a Valley carpenter bee on a mustard blossom. The Valley carpenter bee is native to the United States, while the honey bee is native to Europe. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Valley carpenter bee spreads her wings, claiming the entire flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Valley carpenter bee spreads her wings, claiming the entire flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Valley carpenter bee spreads her wings, claiming the entire flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, also known as
This is the male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, also known as "the teddy bear bee." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, also known as "the teddy bear bee." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 5:27 PM

The Boys Are Back in Town!

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectaring on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The boys are back in town. After the long winter and rainy spring, the boys are back in town. That would be the male Valley carpenter bees, Xylocopa varipuncta, or what Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis,...

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectaring on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectaring on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, nectaring on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee is often mistaken for a bumble bee, or what some have called a
The male Valley carpenter bee is often mistaken for a bumble bee, or what some have called a "golden bumble bee." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee is often mistaken for a bumble bee, or what some have called a "golden bumble bee." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee didn't perceive the photographer as a threat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The male Valley carpenter bee didn't perceive the photographer as a threat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee didn't perceive the photographer as a threat. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee protrudes his proboscis (tongue) to sip nectar from a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The male Valley carpenter bee protrudes his proboscis (tongue) to sip nectar from a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The male Valley carpenter bee protrudes his proboscis (tongue) to sip nectar from a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And off he goes, a male Valley carpenter bee in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
And off he goes, a male Valley carpenter bee in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And off he goes, a male Valley carpenter bee in flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Valley Carpenter Bees: Drama in the Garden

Don't bug me, I'm trying to wake up. This female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, peers over a blue spike salvia (Salvia uliginosa) blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Some folks call them "bumble bees," but they're not. In size, the female Valley carpenter bee (Xylocopa varipuncta) resembles a bumble bee, but certainly not in color. The female Valley carpenter is solid black with metallic wings. The male of...

Don't bug me, I'm trying to wake up. This female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, peers over a blue spike salvia (Salvia uliginosa) blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Don't bug me, I'm trying to wake up. This female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, peers over a blue spike salvia (Salvia uliginosa) blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Don't bug me, I'm trying to wake up. This female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, peers over a blue spike salvia (Salvia uliginosa) blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The female Valley carpenter bee sips nectar from a blue spike salvia, Salvia uliginosa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The female Valley carpenter bee sips nectar from a blue spike salvia, Salvia uliginosa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The female Valley carpenter bee sips nectar from a blue spike salvia, Salvia uliginosa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The metallic wings of the female Valley carpenter bee gleam in the sun as she sips nectar from gold coin, Asteriscus maritimus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The metallic wings of the female Valley carpenter bee gleam in the sun as she sips nectar from gold coin, Asteriscus maritimus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The metallic wings of the female Valley carpenter bee gleam in the sun as she sips nectar from gold coin, Asteriscus maritimus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the male Valley carpenter, Xylocopa varipuncta,  bee on germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This is the male Valley carpenter, Xylocopa varipuncta, bee on germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This is the male Valley carpenter, Xylocopa varipuncta, bee on germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 6:17 PM

Under Attack: European Wool Carder Bee Vs. Male Valley Carpenter Bee

Meet Mr. Teddy Bear, a green-eyed blond trying to nourish himself on foxglove nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meet the competitors. In this corner, meet Mr. Teddy Bear. He's a blond, green-eyed carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, a native, and one of three species of carpenter bees commonly found from northern to southern California to western New...

Meet Mr. Teddy Bear, a green-eyed blond trying to nourish himself on foxglove nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Meet Mr. Teddy Bear, a green-eyed blond trying to nourish himself on foxglove nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meet Mr. Teddy Bear, a green-eyed blond trying to nourish himself on foxglove nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meet Mr. Bodyslam, a very territorial European wool carder bee. He patrols the foxgloves. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Meet Mr. Bodyslam, a very territorial European wool carder bee. He patrols the foxgloves. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Meet Mr. Bodyslam, a very territorial European wool carder bee. He patrols the foxgloves. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mr. Bodyslam targets the unsuspecting Mr. Teddy Bear.
Mr. Bodyslam targets the unsuspecting Mr. Teddy Bear. "Hey, get away from my flowers and nobody gets hurt." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mr. Bodyslam targets the unsuspecting Mr. Teddy Bear. "Hey, get away from my flowers and nobody gets hurt." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mr. Bodyslam is moving so fast, he's a blur. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Mr. Bodyslam is moving so fast, he's a blur. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mr. Bodyslam is moving so fast, he's a blur. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And the battle begins! Mr. Bodyslam attacks Mr. Teddy Bear.
And the battle begins! Mr. Bodyslam attacks Mr. Teddy Bear. "Hey, can't a fellow get a bite to eat in peace?" (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

And the battle begins! Mr. Bodyslam attacks Mr. Teddy Bear. "Hey, can't a fellow get a bite to eat in peace?" (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gotcha! The attack turns vicious. Mr. Bodyslam slams into Mr. Teddy Bear, a blow that prompted Mr. Teddy Bear to depart (only to return). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Gotcha! The attack turns vicious. Mr. Bodyslam slams into Mr. Teddy Bear, a blow that prompted Mr. Teddy Bear to depart (only to return). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gotcha! The attack turns vicious. Mr. Bodyslam slams into Mr. Teddy Bear, a blow that prompted Mr. Teddy Bear to depart (only to return). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, June 11, 2018 at 4:29 PM

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