Carpenter Bee

Order: Hymenoptera

Scientific Name: Xylocopa

Appearance: Blackish-blue colored abdomen, with yellow, orange, and white hairs on the thorax; bigger in size than a bumble bee

Size: 0.62 – 1.0 in.

 

What is a Carpenter Bee?

Carpenter bees are often mistaken as bumble bees as they are both pollinators and have hair. The main differential factor between the two is carpenter bees have dark hairless abdomens. Females are not prone to sting despite their ability to do so. Males however, are not able to sting, although they can be intimidating due to their size and fearlessness of humans.

Carpenter bees are not known to live in colonies. Females leave their original hatching location and once fertilized the female bee will tunnel into a wooden structure to create a safe nesting place for hibernation and her developing offspring. She will collect pollen from spring flowers and use it to nourish the larvae until they are ready to begin foraging pollen as well. 

Why do I have Carpenter Bees?

Nearby flowering areas are attractive to carpenter bees as they are known pollinators. Alternatively, carpenter bees are also attracted to wooden areas that remain untreated and could be a potential nesting location.

Carpenter bees are not nearly as damaging as termites, but they are known to cause cosmetic damage to wooden structures. A female bee will create a tunnel in wood to create a safe nesting location for her offspring to develop. They are known to ‘reuse’ previous years nesting locations and will widen the previous tunnels entrance. Cosmetic damage caused by carpenter bees can due to the expanding of previously used tunnels, moisture causing rotting and decay inside tunnels, or the creation of multiple tunnels on the same wooden structure. 

How do I get rid of Carpenter Bees?

As carpenter bees are pollinators there are limited controlling methods that will not harm them. The safest way to protect them and prevent damage is to treat known infested wood when they are not present and to plug their holes as to deter future infestation. Click Here for Details on our General Pest & Outdoor Plan. 

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