Black Carpenter Bee
I happened to notice this pretty thing when I was walking by a patch of annual salvia. It’s a black carpenter bee and obviously a pollinator…and that, my friends, is the total of what I know about this bee. The whole sub species of bees eludes me so if anyone can tell me more about this little guy (or girl) please do. I haven’t seen one of these around so was happy to run across it and spent some time watching him…or her.
Apparently black carpenter bees slit trumpet shaped flowers to get to the pollen. Because they can not reach down the throat of the bloom, they will drill tiny holes at the base and pull pollen through the holes. It looks to me like he (she?) already had quite a bit to carry but the bee didn’t think so.
Watching pollinators at work always fascinates me. As is their way, I was completely ignored, and the bee went about it’s business with a focus I wish I had some days. The amount of pollen it can carry is a marvel, and I thought his (her?) eyes were beautiful.
and zooooom…off to the next blossom.
The bee checked the openings of the trumpets and if it decided a flower was worth working on, but fed from the base. Pretty cool. I’ll have to learn more about black carpenter bees since we are now neighbors.
This spring I was on a mission to plant for pollinators. My landscape is new and I’ve focused on cleaning invasives and planting native trees and shrubs, so had a dearth of food sources for my pollinating buddies. I bought what I could at local nurseries ans a quick fix until I was more established. It’s paid off.