Eastern Carpenter Bee Finds Its Way to the Breaking Ground Green Roof

Xylocopa virginica.

Eastern Carpenter Bee on Breaking Ground Green Roof

Many gardeners mistake the Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) for a large bumble bee. Although both bees are large and colorful, they are only distantly related, both belonging to the large family Apidae. Carpenter bees collect pollen and nectar from a wide variety of plants, thus they are known as generalist feeders. Large carpenter bees construct their nests inside dead but sound wood. Sawdust scrapings are glued together to form the first “particle board” separating individual brood cells within their long galleries. These bees are amazing to watch at flowers or at their nests, and it takes decades of residency before there is any serious structural damage to support beams. The females reuse the same nesting tunnels year after year.

Just one of the many pollinators who seem to enjoy the festival of flowers and plants on the Breaking Ground green roof in Jacksonville, FL!

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