There are about 500 species of Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa species) in the world and often nest in wood, where they chew large holes for their babies. Carpenter bees are generalists and will take nectar and pollen from most flowering plants. Because they are so large, they carry large amounts of pollen and are considered great pollinators. In Brazil, they are important pollinators of Passion Fruit and Brazil Nuts. In the Middle East, they pollinate large cotton plantations. However, studies have found they can have a significant negative effect on blueberries because they steal enough nectar to make the flowers unattractive to other bees, which are the ones that pollinate blueberry flowers.
Our newest insect display features a framed blue carpenter bee, which is unique considering a majority of carpenter bees are black.