Look what I found buzzing around in the garden the other day. Well, actually Little Monkey found it first. I chased her inside in case she tried to eat it!
It was a massive insect and clearly having some trouble, as it flapped around on the ground, occasionally buzzing in my direction and causing me to spring back with my camera!
At first I thought it was a Blue Black Hairy Flower Wasp.
On further investigation I think it is more likely a Carpenter Bee.
Specifically, a Violet Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa violacea.
I thought, “Shame man. Poor bee struggling in this wind,” and I put some sugar water out for it. It went straight to it, but I didn’t see it drink.
Then I went back inside and read some more about this amazing insect. Apparently they emerge now, at the end of winter or beginning of spring. “Oh, that’s interesting,” I mused. “Maybe it’s just emerged from a dead tree somewhere.”
I then found out that they bore massive holes in dead wood. “That’s cool,” I think, “I’m sure there’s plenty of dead wood around the neighbourhood.”
Then I thought; “Hey, wait a minute. All my window frames and doors, not to mention all my furniture inside the house, are wood; dead wood! Ooopsie. What have I done?”
I checked outside again, but the Violet Carpenter Bee had buzzed off!
Hopefully to a new destination, far away from my dead wood.
post script: On the fascinating subject of insects, did you know that there was a new type of beetle discovered in Cape Town last year?