Carpenter bees are species in the genus Xylocopa of the subfamily Xylocopinae. The genus includes some 500 species in 31 subgenera. Members of the related tribe Ceratinini sometimes are called "small carpenter bees". The common name "carpenter bee" derives from their nesting behavior; nearly all species burrow into hard plant material such as dead wood or bamboo. The main exceptions are species in the subgenus Proxylocopa; they dig nesting tunnels in suitable soil.