- Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are found throughout the world. They are very diverse in size and general characteristics, ranging from the very small,
almost hairless bees of the Ceratina genus to the larger, stiffly bristled Xylocopa bees. The Xylocopa and the Ceratina are the only native
North American genera. Xylocopinae are unique in that they store food for the adults to feed on. Like many members of the family
Apidae, they are a social bee, with more than one adult at one nest site. The bees in the Xylocopinae make their homes in pithy stems,
or they will chew into wood to create chambered or nonchambered nests. Ceratina bees prefer to build their nests in plant material
whereas the Xylocopa will nest in dead or live logs and other types of wood.
According to Michener, there are four tribes and fourteen genera of the Xylocopinae. They are found in tropical and
temperate regions worldwide. Similarities in size and coloration makes it easy for one to confuse the Xylocopinae with the bumblebees.
However, unlike bumblebees, Xylocopinae have no regulated caste system with workers, queens and drones. The adult bees are either
female or male; there is no specific worker class, although young adults stay with their mother for a period of time,
often until they are mature. Although they do not have a specialized social structure like the bumblebees, they do have divisions of
labor within their "family."