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21 August 2014

The Short Answer (TSA)

The “Blue Bee” is a species of carpenter bee formally called xylocopa caerulea (or X. caerulea for short).   Actually, this bee doesn’t seem to have a universally accepted common name.  When I saw it, I thought I would be the first to name it the “Blue Bee.”  But, alas, many others who’ve seen this remarkably bright blue insect have used the same name – even if it isn’t the “accepted” common name — yet.

The blue bee makes its home in Southeast Asia, Southern China, and all of India.  There’s something else, besides its blue color, that makes this bee unusual – its size.  This bee is large measuring almost an inch in length.

Most of the bee population is female.  So, female bees are most often seen and photographed.  Observation of the male bees can be a rather rare thing.  But, with the blue bee, it’s worth the search because of the male’s distinct coloring.  The male blue bee isn’t exactly blue.  Instead, the male sports a some green and teal blue.

The blue bee has been seen most often in forested areas collecting pollen and nectar from local flowers.

There are some beautiful pictures of this particular species.  But I’ll direct the reader to the following links out of respect for possible copyrights on these striking images of the “blue bee.”

What’s That Bug?

Xylocopa caerulea

Tung Kin Foong’s Blog