Bee v. Bee

Carpenter bees in luv?

Carpenter bees play rough

There’s a big, fat bee that likes to hover over the patio controlling the territory. He looks like a large bumblebee, but the white spot on its face and shiny butt mark him out as a male Carpenter bee. I’ve been buzzed a few times passing through. Lucky for me, I’m not another bee.

From what I understand, he’s waiting for females to show up. Once, another bee came poking around the bushes, and he swooped down and grabbed the other bee and flew off across the street. Another time, the other bee put up a bit more of a fight and the pair clutched each other in the air until they parted and one fell to the ground. Mr. White Face hovered over the bee on the ground for about three minutes. That’s when I got this picture, while the female rested.

He didn’t exactly see her to the door. Instead, he kept going around and around, sometimes swooping in as if for a kill. Finally,  he seemed to decide that he had won and flew off. The bee on the ground made her escape. You know, I’m really glad I’m not a bee.

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About Pam Phillips

I am a writer and gardener. I never cease to be amazed by the wonder and beauty of bees.
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One Response to Bee v. Bee

  1. Christopher says:

    Fascinating, I found three carpenter bees fighting in April, but I couldn’t figure it out; here’s a picture:

    http://andromedaroach.deviantart.com/art/Fighting-Carpenter-Bees-138796951

    I’m wondering if this is a species that routinely reproduces via rape. O_o

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