A couple of Carpenter Bees have been feeding on my butterfly bush. It's really exciting to see them. They are a massive bee. Many people mistake them for a large Bumblebee. What makes these so easy to distinguish from Bumblebees is their large shiny black abdomen.
Carpenter bees don't eat wood, but will find old wood and excavate a 1/2" hold into it and then make tunnels at right angles for its' nest. The males are unable to sting because they lack the stingers that females have. They are a docile bee that really has to be provoked (handled) to sting. Impressive bee, but not too much to worry about. Remember, with most bees, the key is to remain calm. I am constantly gardening close to bees. I don't give them much thought, and in turn, they don't seem to give me much either. I never panic or swat at them. If you are worried, calmly back away from them.
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