What is a carpenter bee – Carpenter bees are a unique type of bee, unlike your traditional honeybee. While they may look like a bumblebee, they have quite a few characteristics that separate them from their fuzzy cousins. Carpenter bees get their name from the unusual way they create their nests. Unlike other bees, carpenter bees are generally solitary, not relying on large complex hive systems. Instead, fertilized females will burrow into a soft wood and create brood tunnels to lay their eggs. The males and females will even separate during their overwintering period, unlike social bees who nest in colonies. Carpenter bees emerge in the springtime and will roost again in the fall when temperatures drop, occupying various tunnels erected during mating.
Carpenter bees are still pollinators, and while they may burrow into wood to create a safe place for their young to develop, they do not digest the wood they use to excavate. Instead, they use regurgitated wood remains to seal up the holes where they excavate a chamber for their brood, supplying pollen for the emerging larvae to feed on until they complete their growth into carpenter bees and emerge from the tunnel to mate. The carpenter bees’ effectiveness in reproducing relies heavily on the age of the nest they are constructing. In most cases, carpenter bees try to reuse previously occupied tunnels as they can only burrow about an inch per day. This process is taxing and time consuming, and when the bees are able to use previously constructed burrows to host their young, they can increase the size of their brood that year.
What’s so bad about a Carpenter Bee?
Carpenter bees are considered a Pest because of the damage they can cause a home. Unlike Termites, who can greatly disrupt the integrity of a foundation, Carpenter Bees tend to leave a minimal impact. Outside of some aesthetically unpleasing holes, the wood they devour to create their nest structure tends to be minimal. When they repeatedly burrow into a structure year after year, they can damage the area if left untreated or unrepaired. Sealing the burrows and treating the outside with a pest control application can help deter bees from finding their way to the wood. Additionally, treated and painted wood tends to be less desirable a nesting site than untreated exposed wood. This helps to keep them from coming back year after year.
What’s so good about Carpenter Bees if they destroy my home?
Carpenter bees, like most other bees, are pollinators. They may be daunting, as males are known to hover near nesting sites and can be a nuisance near humans, but generally both genders of the species bear little danger to people. Male carpenter bees are unable to sting, and females only sting when provoked, which is not often. Beyond not causing harm to homeowners, because of their size, and their unique disposition, carpenter bees use a method of pollination called “buzz pollination” to rapidly shake loose pollen from the anthers of flowers. This method of pollination helps the carpenter bees prepare their nests to feed their offspring and successfully pollinate flowers.
Tired of Carpenter Bees around your home? Call U.S. Pest Protection to come treat, and repair the areas hit hardest by Carpenter Bees! Call 615-822-8500 or visit our website at uspest.com. Follow us on Facebook at uspest