Blue carpenter bee - Hozobo

Blue carpenter bee

Blue carpenter bee (Xylocopa caerulea). Xylocopa caerulea is a relatively large species, reaching an average size of 23 millimetres.

This species is widely distributed in Southeast Asia, India and Southern China. The blue carpenter bee, is a species of carpenter bee found in #Australia. It gets its common name by its habit of burrowing into wood.

The carpenter bee nests by hollowing out stalks of grasstrees #Xanthorrhoea or soft wood such as #Banksia #Casuarina #Melaleuca and #leptospermum. The female excavates a tunnel with her jaws and picks up and dumps the wood shavings outside.

The hollow can reach 30 centimetres (12 in) long by 11–14 millimetres (0.43–0.55 in) in diameter. Larger pieces of wood may allow for multiple tunnels. Several female bees may use a nest, one breeding and the others guarding.

A bee defends the 7–10-millimetre (0.3–0.4 in) wide entrance by blocking it with its abdomen.

Both male and female bees may overwinter within the tunnels. The tunnels are partitioned into several cells, where the mother bee lays an egg in each accompanied by provisions of nectar and pollen.