Fun Facts

    As we began our research we looked at many eusocial organisms. Eventually we came across Xylocopa virginica and decided this was the organism that we wanted to study. We were both familar with the Eastern Carpenter Bee and we believed there would be ample amount of information about this species. We were drawn by their unique characteristics which are mentioned on this page and throughout the website.

Male Eastern Carpenter Bees do not have a stringer. Even though females possess a stringer, they will only use it if they feel threatened (Missouri Department of Conservation 2013). 

Their bodies are on average two centimeters long (Gerling and Hermann 1978).

Non-reproductive females serve no purpose in the nest (Peso and Richards 2010).

X. virginica are often mistaken for Bumblebees due to similar physical characteristics (Grissell et al. 2011).

You can estimate a female Eastern Carpenter Bee's age by looking at her body fat and ovaries (Gerling and Hermann 1978).

Eastern Carpenter Bees are known as nectar robbers (Sampson et al. 2004).

X. virginica are not considered truly eusocial or truly solitary because they portray characteristics that put them under both categories (Richards 2011).

Male X. virginica prefer to mate with females while in flight. If a female lands on the ground, males will sometimes latch on to the females and attempt to lift them up in hopes of mating (Barrows 1983).

Nest entrances are perfectly circular with a 10 mm diameter (Gerling and Hermann 1978).

X. virginica can distinguish between nestmates and non-nestmates in as little as 24 hours and are able to recognize these nestmates for the duration of their lives (Peso and Richards 2010).

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