Sun Chong Hong ‘s edited video below was recorded on 17th November 2013 in slow motion. It shows two carpenter bees taking nectar and pollen from flowers of Singapore Rhododendron or Sendudok (Melastoma malabathricum).
“If I am not mistaken, the first bee is a female Xylocopa confusa and the second is a female X. latipes,” wrote Chong Hong. “The dubbed sound track has the beautiful songs of a Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis).”
Carpenter Bees are large bees, so-called because they construct burrows in dead tree trunks and timber beams that may branch into parallel burrows that run along the grain of the wood. Xylopia confusa has a yellow patch below the head while X. latipes is all black.
These bees practice buzz pollination. Their high pitch buzzing forces the anthers of the stamens to release a cloud of pollen onto the bee’s body. This pollen will be deposited onto the styles of subsequent flowers it visits, thus resulting in cross-pollination.
Besides visiting the flowers of this flower, they also visit the large flowers of Simpoh Air (Dillenia suffruticosa) – see HERE.
A challenge is posed to photographers to capture an image of the Carpenter Bee at the exact time when the cloud of pollen is discharged.
Sun Chong Hong