Xylocopa violacea

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Xylocopa violacea
Xylocopa violacea female 1.jpg
Female X. violacea on Phlomis viscosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Apocrita
Superfamily: Apoidea
Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Xylocopinae
Genus: Xylocopa
Species: X. violacea
Binomial name
Xylocopa violacea
(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Apis insubrica Müller, 1766
  • Xylocopa femorata Fabricius, 1804

Xylocopa violacea, the violet carpenter bee, Indian Bhanvra [1] is the common European species of carpenter bee, and one of the largest bees in Europe. Like most members of the genus Xylocopa, it makes its nests in dead wood.

It is not particularly aggressive and will attack only if forced to. It is sometimes mistaken for the European hornet. This species is well known in India as the 'Bhanvra'.

In 2006 it was reported from Cardigan and 2007 it was found breeding in England for the first time in Leicestershire, this follows a northwards expansion of its range in France and Germany and breeding in the Channel Islands and in 2010 it was also recorded in Northamptonshire and Worcestershire.[2]

Violet Carpenter Bees hibernate overwinter and they emerge in the spring, usually around April or May. Hibernation is undertaken by the adults in wood where there are abandoned nest tunnels. In the late spring or early summer, they may be seen around searching for mates and suitable nesting sites. After mating, the gravid queens bore tunnels in dead wood, which is where the name Carpenter Bee comes from,although old nest tunnels may be used. Like other solitary bees, the queen creates the nest alone. The eggs are laid within a series of small cells, each of which is supplied with a pollen ball for the larvae to feed upon. The adults emerge in late summer then hibernate until the following year.[3]


  1. ^ McCarthy, Michael (2007), "Honey monster: watch out for the violet carpenter bee", The Independent 
  2. ^ Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society (2010). "Xylocopa in Britain". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  3. ^ http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/carpenter-bees.html