Xylocopa caerulea - Blue Carpenter Bee
When I started this bug thing a few years ago, one of the things that amazed me, was that bees could be blue. For me, this is the most impressive of the blue bees, its vivid color and sheer size.
Rarely seen and photographic opportunities down to one a year if you are lucky, until you manage to locate the nesting hole of course, then you have daily images on tap. You have two choices; follow the bee or look for the signs.
Following could take days or weeks, as you wait where you last saw the bee, and then follow a little further. But, if the bee strays into the bush or across the stream then you are done for.
The signs are about knowledge and research. The bee drills its hole about 8 feet off the ground (observation). Look for a patch of sawdust at the base of the tree. Once you find the hole, if you see a pile of pollen at the entrance, then you know that the nest is in play.
Take a pic of the hole and examine on your display. If I see the bee, I generally move on and come back later. If the hole is active with pollen, and no visible bee, then I wait. I split my time between watching the hole and scanning the sky. If you see the bee on approach, you have a better chance of a shot.
However you do the hunt; wait for the bee to come out or wait for the return, you could be in for a long wait, so bring a chair.
Location is Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. Alongside a stream and paddy fields.