Carpenter Bee - a pollinator
The bee on the milkweed blossom is a Xylocopa also called Large Carpenter Bees. They are important pollinators. They are solitary. They do not live in a hive they.
This bee was large. It was about the size of my thumb from the last knuckle out to the tip. (It was about 1 inch long or 2.5cm.)
Female carpenter bees nest by chewing a hole in soft wood. She then forms a ball of a mixture of pollen and regurgitated nectar. She lays a single egg in the hole and seals it in with a plug of chewed wood pulp. She tunnels further down the wood and repeats this process. Tunnels can extend 10 feet.
Click on the photo for a larger view.
The second photo is the hole one ate in the wood frame of my window before I saw it and shoed it away. I noticed it because of the loud buzzing I heard when I closed the window during a rainstorm.
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