Australia’s Largest Bee – The Great Carpenter

Scientific Name: Xylocopa (genus)

She sounds like a jet engine in comparison to other buzz pollinators. He probably does too, but I’m yet to find a male! At around one inch or two and a half centimetres long, the Great Carpenter Bee is Australia’s largest bee and yes, they are capable of stinging. They don’t usually sting though. Like most Australian native bees that have stings they are not aggressive and will only sting in defense.

Great Carpenter Bee Buzz Pollinating Melastoma Video

The male is a glorious gold similar to a giant Teddy Bear Bee but he has green eyes rather than the amber typical of a Teddy Bear.

There is now evidence to suggest that Great Carpenter Bee daughters stay in nesting burrows and help their mother to provision and guard their siblings as they develop.

Want a Pocket-book Guide to help you identify Australian bees in your garden? This is my favourite:

Bees & other beneficial insects: a pocket-book guide by Megan Halcroft. Buy it here.

Other relevant resources:

YouTube Australian Bee Playlist

Aussie Bee – lots of information!

Australian Bee Diversity with Dr Tobias Smith

Interview with Dr Kit Prendergast

Building Bee Hotels- video

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