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Doublebanded Carpenter Bee

Xylocopa caffra

Doublebanded Carpenter Bee

by SaffronsGarden. All rights reserved

A close up of a carpenter bee
The Banded Carpenter Bee is a stout, long-tongued insect. They're called carpenter bees because they drill into plant stems, branches and timber to make their nests- so they may be pests in some cases. They'll use sawdust particles to build cell-partitions within the drilled tunnels. These bees do well in a variety of habitats, including fynbos, succulent karoo, farmland, marshland, coastal bush, woodlands, and of course, they're frequent garden visitors, too! They are typically solitary, meaning they care for broods alone. They're specialist pollinators of many vegetable and fruit crops, as well as indigenous plants. They're able to perform something known as 'buzz pollination', a behaviour which enables them to collect pollen from plants whose pollen remains firmly attached to the anthers.
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Pollinator of many indigenous plants and agricultural crops.
They may drill holes in plants and built wooden structures.


Adults: The female is black with two bands of yellow (or white) hairs, one on the thorax and on on the abdomen. The male is entirely yellow. The wings are tinted black. Sometimes they house small, red-brown mites on the abdomen. Larvae and Eggs: Gardeners rarely see these because they spend the life stage developing in the nest or burrow.


They may excavate in tree trunks, in dead wood, bamboo, or structural timbers. They may hollow out stem structures of Aloe and Agave. Some have been known to tunnel into wooden garden furniture!











West, Central and South Africa.

Biological treatment

Xylocopa caffra is a brilliant garden pollinator; it's advised to tolerate them wherever possible. Not only will they help increase flowering and yields, but they're also important pollinators of indigenous plants, too! You can attract them into your garden by leaving stacks of old timber, deadwood and branches. They enjoy the nectar and pollen of pink, purple, white and yellow open-petaled flowers.


Plants in Fabaceae, Malvaceae and Rubiaceae.
Some red Solanum lycopersicum tomatoes in a garden


Solanum lycopersicum


Actinidia deliciosa

A close up of a purple Solanum melongena flower


Solanum melongena


Vicia spp.


Sesamum indicum

A close up of a fruit hanging from a branch


Passiflora edulis


Malus spp.


Orphium frutescens

Cape Marigold

Arctotheca calendula

Sour Fig

Carpobrotus edulis


Aspalathus spp.


Agave spp.

Wild Foxglove

Ceratotheca triloba


Dissotis princeps

Sweetpea Bush

Podalyria calyptrata

Port St Johns Creeper

Podranea ricasoliana

Blue Sceptre

Aristea capitata

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