Main content area

Feasibility of Preparing Nesting Box and Luring Large Solitary Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa Valga

Schulz, Michał, Ścibior, Radosław, Badurowicz, Kamil, Łoś, Aleksandra, Bajda, Milena, Tyszczuk, Justyna, Skowronek, Patrycja, Piotrowski, Bartłomiej, Strachecka, Aneta J.
Journal of apicultural science 2017 v.61 no.2 pp. 263-267
Aquilegia vulgaris, Ballota nigra, Catalpa, Consolida ajacis, Consolida regalis, Deutzia scabra, Fagus, Robinia, Stachys, Trifolium pratense, Wisteria, Xylocopa, carpenter bees, defensive behavior, females, flight, flora, nesting, social behavior, solitary bees, spring, wood, Poland
Xylocopa valga, commonly called the carpenter bee and the largest bee with metallicviolet hair cover, is extremely rarely observed in Poland. We hypothesize that a stable and possibly long-term population of X. valga can be maintained in Poland through the creation of suitable nesting conditions. X. valga has been observed since the spring of 2014 in Wisznice (south-eastern Poland). A nesting box made out of 25 wooden blocks with drilled holes was hung about 2.5 meters above the ground. X. valga were interested in the blocks made of willow wood but did not nest in the beech, alder and pine. The carpenter bees chose holes made with drill bits of 10, 15, 20 mm in diameter and a length of 10, 15 and 20 cm. X. valga flying in the same direction most often visited the flora taxa: Aquilegia vulgaris, Ballota nigra, Consolida ajacis, Delphinium consolida, Deutzia scabra, Catalpa spp., Wisteria spp., Robinia ambigua, Stachys spp. and Trifolium pretense. X. valga is a solitary bee, but unlike most other solitary bees it demonstrates aspects of social behavior. It was observed to display cohabitative behavior involving the use of a single hole by more than one female. The females showed aggressive defensive behavior and if approached too closely started buzzing loudly. The information obtained during the long-term observation shows that X. valga can be maintained in partly artificial conditions to increase and stabilize the bee population.