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Carpenter Bees: Not Your Average Bee

Friday, May 24, 2013

When you think of bees or stinging insects in general, you are probably picturing a large bee hive with hundreds of bees swarming around. But when it comes to one species, carpenter bees, they do not exhibit normal bee behaviors. If you have not had any encounters with carpenter bees read on to learn why they are ‘not your average bee.

Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees but a closer look shows their differences in appearance. Male carpenter bees are black and orange but the females are all black. They are not hairy like bumble bees either; they have a shiny abdomen.

What sets carpenter bees apart from most other stinging insects is that they are solitary bees rather than social insects. They do not form large colonies or hives together but rather bore holes into wood structures and create tunnels for nesting and overwintering. The females are the ones who bore the holes into untreated, weathered wood and the males typically buzz around the nesting area as a guard.

Males seem more aggressive but do not have a stinger and even though females do have a stinger, they rarely use it unless directly threatened.

While there is some damage to the wood structures from the tunnels, most of the structural damages in regards to a carpenter bee infestation come from another pest that has a vested interest in carpenter bee larvae...woodpeckers. The damage from woodpeckers trying to access the bee larvae is far more damaging to the wood structures.

So, what can you do to avoid carpenter bees? Make sure that the exterior of your home, deck, and outbuildings are treated with either stain or paint. Carpenter bees cannot bore holes into treated wood with much ease and will likely find another place to create their nest. Another way to prevent carpenter bee infestations is to make sure that you seal off any holes that already exist in wood structures as already-made holes are far easier to access and a more convenient place for a female to create her nest.

If you do happen to notice carpenter bees in your home or on your property please contact Rose Pest Solutions right away. It is not easy to get rid of carpenter bees because their tunnels must be treated to make sure that they do not re-infest the area. But Rose’s home pest control services are a great way to eradicate carpenter bees and prevent their return. Contact us today to learn more!

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