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What is this ground hole boring flying bee looking insect?

I am trying to find out the name of this flying insect that is boring holes in the mulch of my yard.  It is about 2 inches long has yellow rings on it's tale.  It resembles a hornet, but much larger.  As it bores out the ground, it leaves a deposit of dirt behind it.  The hole resembles a snake hole and is about and inch in diameter.  This insect is tunneling.  I have seen it carry spiders and a cicada to it's hole.  What is this?

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Answers

it is a wasp! Huge, some sites say it is harmless and not very aggressive, but I am about to dust mine because a bee this size scares the crude out of me! http://doyourownpestcontrol.com/carpenter_bees.htm

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