|Xylocopa Varipuncta (male)|
They are shiny and completely black. They mean business too. Unlike the males, the females have stingers; but they aren't supposed to sting unless you deserve it. You've probably seen loads of these gals when the wisteria is in bloom.
|Robin Waayers' Flickr photo (cool image!)|
These are good guys; so leave them alone and encourage them to hang around to help pollinate your garden. They can't fit into tube-like flowers and steal the nectar by cutting right through to get what they want. Keeping bigger flowers around for them might reduce that nasty action. Wisteria seems to be a favorite; but I've seen them enjoying lavender too. Maybe they will help with all the berries currently blooming.
If you're in the San Joaquin Valley, let me know if you've seen many buzzing around this spring.
Thanks, Helen B, for telling me about the bees.