The common name “carpenter bee” comes from their nesting behavior; nearly all species burrow into hard plant material such as dead wood or bamboo. These bees are found throughout the world with 7 of these species found in the United States.
Homeowners often misidentify these large, dark colored insects as bumble bees because of they are similar in size and appearance. Carpenter bees nest in excavated wooden tunnels. Bumble bees nest in the ground. Carpenter bees are larger, heavy bodied bees that range three-quarters inch to one inch in length. The carpenter bee can be identified by having bright yellow, orange or white hairs on the torso and a black shiny abdomen. The male carpenter bee can be identified by having white markings on the head. While carpenter bees are not generally aggressive, the female does have the ability to sting and will do so if provoked.
Adult female and male carpenter bees overwinter in abandoned nest tunnels in which they have stored small amounts of pollen. The adults emerge in the early spring, mate, and search for nest sites. Females may lay her eggs within a series of six to eight cells. The females supplies each cell with a mixture of pollen and nectar, lay an egg on the food mass, and seals off each cell with chewed wood pulp. The egg hatches and the larva develops to the adult which chews through the cell and surfaces in late summer.
The developmental time from egg to adult is around 36 days. The lifespan of the carpenter bee is normally one year, with females living slightly longer.
Carpenter bees feed on pollen and nectar.
Carpenter Bees are not a carrier of human disease.
Carpenter bees are normally solitary bees, though some species have simple social nests in which mothers and daughters may cohabit. In this type of nesting, multiple females either share in the foraging and nest laying, or one female does all the foraging and nest laying, while the other females keep guard.
Carpenter bees make nests by burrowing into wood, bamboo, and similar hard plant material, all usually dead. They vibrate their bodies as they scrape their jaws against the hard wood. Each nest having a single entrance which may have many neighboring tunnels. The entrance is often a perfectly circular hole measuring about 16 mm on the underside of a beam, bench, or tree limb. Carpenter bees do not eat wood. They discard the bits of wood, or reuse particles to build barriers between cells. The tunnel functions as a nursery for their young and storage for the pollen and nectar. Carpenter bees are timber pests, and cause substantial damage to wood if infestations go undetected.
Structural Pest Carpenter Bee Program
David will perform a thorough inspection on both the interior and exterior of your home, finding all the infested areas and identifying which pests you are dealing with. Once identified, David will implement a pest control program that is designed to target the specific pests in your home.