A bee amongst the jasmine

Carpenter bees are intriguing. Before I knew their name, every time I heard one flying nearby I immediately thought ‘buzzing armoured tank’. My second thought was ‘buzzing chainsaw’. But once I saw one close-up, I re-evaluated my description. They are the most beautiful iridescent blues and purples and are not in least bit aggressive. bee3 17-11-13I have just read in our insect book that my last assumption was inaccurate. If hassled, they can impart a painful sting but this is only if the bee is defending his nest. I have never hassled one, and one has never stung me. I intend to maintain this approach when near carpenter bees. bee4 17-11-13They are so-named because they build their nests in dead wood, bamboo, or structural timbers.  They prefer trees from the conifer family, but only use the wood to nest in and not as food. They can be ¾in to 1in long and are generally solitary. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two together. bee2 17-11-13This guy was buzzing around the jasmine on a sunny autumn day when the scent was heavy. Who can blame him.
bee1 17-11-135 to remember
la abeja – bee
el tanque de combate – armoured tank
la motosierra – chainsaw
iridiscente – iridescent
morado/a – purple

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