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The Violet Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa violacea) is a member of the family Apidae which is in the genus Xylocopa. Its range extends from the temperate regions of Western Europe eastward across Asia as far as central China. In recent times, it has greatly expanded its European range northward and by 2006 had reached Britain. This very conspicuous species is the largest European bee. After mating, the gravid female bores tunnels in dead wood, hence the name "carpenter bee".