OMG!!! It's a Valley Carpenter Bee!

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Wednesday, June 20, 2012 5:56 PM

I was just enjoying an afternoon break in the swing when I spied the most amazing bee I've ever seen.  It was HUGE and FUZZY and entirely YELLOW!!!

I immediately rushed inside to get my camera in hopes that it would still be there when I returned.  And indeed it was.  
This is a male Valley Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa varipuncta.  It's common in Southern California and north through the Central Valley.  But from a quick Internet search, I don't think they are very common in the Bay Area.  
This is a fuzzy yellow male and he has emerald eyes.  I love that they are called Teddy Bear Bees, because that's exactly what he looked like.  I am super excited that this fellow visited my Bay Friendly Garden.  I planted the entire front yard for pollinators, and seeing this huge guy (about an inch long and as thick as my little finger if not more) makes me oh so happy!  I'm literally jittery!  


8 Response to "OMG!!! It's a Valley Carpenter Bee!"

Kitty Sharkey Says:

And how cool is it that I saw this fellow during the 2012 National Pollinator Week?

Ellen Says:

I'm also in the Bay Area. I haven't seen the actual bees yet but have carpenter bees drilling holes in an old arbor. So go look for perfectly circular holes in any wood you might have around! I haven't decided what to do about them yet. (The arbor is very old and not particularly appealing...)

kara Says:

Wow! That is amazing! You're so lucky to have such a fancy visitor!

Laura Says:

what a cute bee!

Precious deeds Says:

Wow! I am in the East Bay too, and I have yet to see one!

Precious deeds Says:

Wow! I'm in the East Bay too and I have yet to see one of these!

M Jarvis Says:

I just stumbled into your website and further stumbled across your posting about this bee. The crazy thing is that yesterday I could have sworn I saw one similar, like a big yellow bumble bee, but I'm clear up north in Eugene Oregon.

Utah's Village Says:

Put one in a jar today as it is obviously in bad shape (Tigard, OR)... they are HUGE!