Large Carpenter Bees


Tim has asked me to write something about large carpenter bees of the genus Xylocopa. Why me? Probably because I have published several papers on the sociality of a carpenter bee species and their potential for greenhouse tomato pollination. In addition, my partner, Remko Leijs, did his PhD on the evolution of carpenter bees, and together we have investigated the correlation between morphology and mating behaviour of carpenter bees. With Richard Glatz, we have been leading the conservation action for the green carpenter bee on Kangaroo Island since 2014. So writing an article about this group of bees should be easy, right?

Well, not really! The problem is: there are so many interesting stories to tell that I struggle to write a single article. To solve this problem, I have decided to produce a large carpenter bee mini series for the Cross-Pollinator. This first article introduces large carpenter bees and discusses their nesting biology. Later Issues will contain articles about mating behaviour, buzz pollination and application in tomato greenhouses and the conservation status of the green carpenter bee, Xylocopa aerata.

Katja Hogendoorn
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide