Visiting my Sunnyvale garden are a variety of bees: Honey bees, small Mason bees, and big fat Bumble bees (that turn out to be Carpenter bees). Then, this fine early March day, I spot an enormous yellow bumble bee in the air around one of our apricot trees. It hovers near the blossoms, but meanders in three dimensions, never once feeding from a blossom.
Why, in the face of such bounty of blossoms, is she not collecting pollen?
Well, she is not a she. He’s a he. He is not here for the banquet, he is here for the runners. He is a male Valley Carpenter bee.