One of the more commonly spotted flying insects, California carpenter bees (Xylocopa californica) buzz through the air looking for nectar in flowers. These large, shiny, black-blue insects may look menacing but they’re very docile animals that will only sting when agitated. California carpenter bees get their name by boring holes into tree stumps, fence posts, and other wood structures. These bees lay their eggs in the holes and also use holes as homes for shelter through the winter season. Look for California carpenter bees on top of thistle flowers (Cirsium spp.) at Red Rock Canyon.