This summer our backyard has been host to a type of bee that I don’t recall having seen before, carpenter bees. They are about the same size as regular bumble bees, but lacks the distinctive stripes. It is a solid black bee, and it doesn’t bumble. Another one which I correctly assumed to be the other sex of the same species (since I frequently spotted both at the same time) has a white spot on its head.
After a bit of research I discovered that these are carpenter bees (the male is the one with the white spot). As their name implies, they burrow into wood to make their nests. Yipes. So far, they do not seem to have invaded our eaves or windowsills, but have remained content to gather sweetness from our Esperanza flowers.