1.5 inch wingspan
The name “carpenter bee” is derived from their nesting behavior. The name xylocopa is ancient greek for wood-cutter. They will typically burrow into hard plant materials like dried wood or bamboo to make their nests. They are predominately solitary, but in some species mothers and daughters may cohabitate and share all of the nesting duties. One female may scavenge for nectar while the others guard the nest to protect the babies. There are 500 different species in the genus Xylocopa, 5 of which are found in the United States.