The European Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa iris) is an insect in the Apidae family of carpenter bees.
The European Carpenter Bee is all black with a shiny abdomen. It is not a Bumblebee, because a Bumblebee has a hairy body. It has short mouthparts.Its wings are translucent. The male does not have a stinger. The female has a stinger, but she is not aggressive.
It grows to about 4-5 centimetres (2 inches) long.
It is found in south-western Europe.It prefers hot, open spaces, especially near human activity. It is also common in wine regions. It hibernates in winter.
It is diurnal, active during the day. It collects pollen from plants on its hind (back) legs. It is a pollinator, but it does not make honey or honeycombs.
The European Carpenter Bee does not eat wood. It eats nectar from flowers. Its predators include Woodpeckers, Bee-eater birds, and other birds.
It is a solitary insect. It does not live in colonies like other bees. However, it creates a nest near other solitary bee nests. Instead of many bees living in a nest, only one Carpenter Bee family lives in the nest. The nest is not a hive; it is a tunnel in dead wood, in a wooden bench, or in bamboo.
The female lays large eggs in cells in the nest. There are walls that separate the cells. These walls are composed of sawdust mixed with saliva.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM