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The fantastic Carpenter Bee

These large bees can often be seen buzzing about in Hong Kong. See them in the butterfuly gardens of Shing Mun reservoir, or Tai Po Kau, or in Kadoorie Farm.

The name “carpenter bee” is derived from the fact that these bees build their nests in wood.

Here are some interesting facts about carpenter bees…

• Male carpenter bees will sometimes buzz around people, putting on a show, but male carpenter bees are unable to sting. The females will sting, but only if sorely provoked.

• Only the female carpenter bee does the nest building, and she will drill out a small sized hole that is perfectly dug. She will dig a few centimetres in and then move at a right angle following the grain of wood. • A carpenter bee can grow up to an inch long.

• You will only see them in the summer, as they hibernate all winter long. During the springtime, male carpenter bees will be out foraging for food while the females work to ready the nest for her new brood of eggs.

• A short while after male carpenter bees mate, they die. It won’t take long for the females to die after they lay their eggs and seal up the larvae into the tunnels that they dug out.

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