Dealing With Carpenter Bees

CSIRO_ScienceImage_2002_Side_view_of_bees_with_sensor_on_backIn the early summer months, it is not uncommon for homeowners to notice large, noisy bees hanging around outside their home and it is time to think about carpenter bee trap beforehand. Most commonly, these are carpenter bees that are searching for a mate. They look for a favorable site so that they can construct a nest. The male carpenter bees can become quite aggressive. They will hover in front of their nests daring anyone to come near. However, they don’t have a stinger so they can’t do much damage. Keep in mind that the female bee can give quite a powerful punch of venom. They won’t seek you out to sting, but they will sting if they feel that their space is being violated.

It is difficult to tell a carpenter bee from a bumble bee. The only way to know for sure is that by looking at the abdomen. A carpenter bee will have a shiny black abdomen that is bare. The bumble bee has a hairy abdomen and there is typically some yellow coloring in that hair. While similar in looks, their nesting habits are very diverse. The bumble bee choices to build their nests near the ground. On the other hand, the carpenter bee makes tunnels in wooden structures. They do this to lay their eggs in a protective environment.

The carpenter bee prefers to burrow in wood that is unpainted and has been weathered. Some woods they prefer are the pine tree, cypress and also the cedar. If the wood is pressure-treated or has been painted, they usually will stay away. They love to get back in the eaves of a home, around window trim and fascia boards. If a home has wooden siding or a deck, they love those areas too.

During the winter months, the carpenter bee will grow into an adult Here_Be_Bees_(8005653317)and will be ready to emerge in the spring. They will mate and fertilize the females before leaving the tunnels. Eggs are laid in the small cells of the wood and they leave a ball of pollen for the larvae to feed on. The next round of bees will emerge in the summertime.

Their construction is quite unique. Their tunnels are round and about the size of a human finger. The entry holes will usually have sawdust around them. It is possible to hear them burrowing into the wood. The female carpenter bee can either build new tunnels or use the old ones to lay her eggs. They can cause quite a bit of damage to wood and will go back to the same spots year after year to nest. If you have a carpenter bee problem, its best to get professional assistance.