Picture of a male Carpenter Bee used with permission from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/63/Xylocopa-varipuncta-male.jpg


Picture of a female carpenter bee visiting a flower. Used with permission from Wikipedia Commons.

Things can get heated!

Xylocopa varipunctua (Valley Carpenter Bees) are important pollinators in climates that tend to be warmer than most. They pollinate a wide variety of food plants making them very useful to, not only humans, but all animals that eat plants. They have a high tolerance for temperature making them especially useful in hot or even desert climates (Keasar 2010).

They don't make very good pets

The valley carpenter bee male has a very aggressive attitude towards any organism that comes close to its nest. In order to protect its nest from potential predators the males will put on the persona that they have stingers and are a threat to them. This is a major bluff on the part of the bee because the male does not have a stinger. The only one who does have a stinger is the female and in order to get one to sting you, you must agitate it or handle it.

Homeostasis at its finest

When it comes to foraging, the valley carpenter bee is mostly active when the temperature is between 12 and 40°C. This is a good indicator of an efficient body temperature regulating system in the valley carpenter bee. They also tend to take in exceedingly high amounts of water while pollinating. A possible answer is that ions, rather than water, are limited for the bee so the bee thinks it needs more water and takes in much more than it needs (Keaser 2010).

Tonight's special is...

X. varipuncta is particularly good at pollinating certain plants even more than honey bees are. For instance they are especially good at pollinating passionflower in their natural habitats. This is true for tomatoes as well due to their ability to buzz the antlers. The same goes for hybrid seed production in cotton (Keaser 2010).