Giant Carpenter Bee in the Gardens by the Bay

One of the things we were amazed to see in Singapore's Gardens by the Bay where the Giants black beetle like carpenter bees.

Singapore Carpenter Bees

They especially liked the white trumpet like flowers. They only just fitted in the hole in the centre of the petals. The clever plants had adapted to make the most out of these daily visitations by carpenter bees. It covers the back of the bees with pollen.

They do have a sting, but very rarely sting anyone. The female is mainly black but the mail has an area of yellow hairs just behind its head on its back. It is a common bee seen all over Singapore. It is also widely found over South East Asia. The reaction from tourists can be quite comical.

Many runaway scared and screaming. They have never seen a flying bee this big. It can also produce a loud buzzing noise. If you stand still it will ignore you. It is more interested in the pollen inside the flowers than playing with humans.

I've learned recently that many schools in Singapore build special Gardens to attract the carpenter bees as part of the syllabus of their science projects. It is the female of the species that is more commonly seen males seem to stake out a territory and guard it vigorously.

Singapore Carpenter Bees

They do like to make nests in decaying wood like fallen logs and old tree stumps. Carpenter bees very rarely attack man made structures which are normally made of newly cut hard wood. They prefer wood that is slightly softer so they can make a whole in which the female can lay eggs.

They tunnel into the wood by vibrating their bodies whilst their mouth holds on to the wood in an effort to dislodge it bit by bit. These bees do not eat wood. They do use some of the dislodge pieces to make individual cells inside the hole. The tunnel is used for storage of pollen and nectar which provides food for the hatching young new bees.

Unlike bumblebees, carpenter bees bodies are mainly hairless. This is why they look like flying beetles as their abdomen appears hard and shiny. The chances of you getting stung by a carpenter bee is very slim. If you accidentally injure one or touch anywhere near the entrance to its nest, then you might get stung. The sting is a lot less painful than many smaller bumblebees.

Singapore Carpenter Bees

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