Xylocopa violacea Linnaeus, 1758
Common names: Violet carpenter bee [En], Xylocope violet, Abeille charpentière [Fr], Blauwzwarte houtbij [Nl], Große Holzbiene [De], Ape legnaiola [It], Μέλισσα του ξύλου [Gr], Marangoz Arı [Tu]
Güzelçamlı, AYDIN ● Turkey
Etymology: Xylocopa is derived from the Greek noun ξύλον | xylon, meaning wood, and the verb κόπτω | kopto, meaning to cut.
Description: This handsome solitary bee is about 25 mm (approx. 1 in) long, glossy black all over, with sparse black hairs. The opaque wings are dark brown with a lilac-coloured sheen. The male has the apical antennal segment orange.
Biology: It flies in summer and autumn and again in spring, after hibernation. Despite its fast flight and fearsome appearance, it is not aggressive and rarely stings.
Carpenter bees usually attack fairly solid wood (e.g. dead unrotted trees and tree-stumps, felled timber, fence posts, etc.). They sometimes tunnel into the timbers and beams of houses, barns and other buildings, and may cause considerable structural damage if left unchecked. Each bee excavates a large nest-tunnel, often over 30 cm (12 in) long, divided off into a number of separate cells by partitions of chewed wood chips. Each cell is stocked with a mass of nectar and pollen on which the female lays an egg. Like other solitary bees, when nesting is finished the female bee leaves her eggs and grubs to develop on their own, through to the next generation of adults.
Habitat: Flowering meadows, gardens.
Distribution: Central and Southern Europe up to Southern Netherlands, North Africa.