4 September 2014
The Short Answer (TSA)
The violet carpenter bee (formally, Xylocopa violacea) is the common carpenter bee of Europe.
Although all bees are social, like the bumblebee, the carpenter is the nearest thing to a “loner” bee. These bees don’t fly in swarms searching for flowers. Individual bees fly, alone, wandering (“foraging”) from flower to flower gathering pollen and nectar.
The violet carpenter bee makes its nest in dead wood. The queen bee may bore new tunnels into the wood or use old nesting tunnels. The carpenter queen creates her nest alone. She bores into the wood to create a series of small cells in which she lays her eggs. Each cell is stocked with a supply of pollen on which the bee larvae feed.
The adult bees leave the cells in late summer only to go, almost immediately, into hibernation until April or May of the following year.