Carpenter bees have small nests and hives, as opposed to most other bees and wasps. They are found all over the globe and are larger than your average bee, although not as big as the Asian hornet.
The Carpenter Bee Traits
However, while these bees look similar to the traditional bumble bee, they are very different creatures.
There are actually 500 different species of carpenter bees but the majority of them don’t have the traditional yellow stripes of the bumblebee. Instead, they are a glossy black color, perhaps with a tiny splash of yellow.
These bees don’t build nests like other bees, instead, they look for wood and tunnel into it, like a carpenter. They can bore into wood surprisingly efficiently simply by vibrating their bodies while pushing their mandibles into the wood.
This creates the entrance to the nest. They will make a number of tunnels that criss-cross through the wood, allowing several bees to live together but share one communal entrance.
These tunnels have small side areas which are where the eggs are laid. Male carpenter bees will hover around the nest to watch for danger and help expand the nest if necessary. They are actually harmless as they don’t have stingers.
In contrast, the female carpenter bee is known to sting, but she’ll only do this if threatened or provoked. As with most bee species, they hibernate over winter, ready to start again in the spring.
Dealing With Carpenter Bees
The best thing you can do when dealing with carpenter bees is to get professionals to help. You can find out more here about a local professional. They will know how to deal with the bees and have the right equipment, preventing you from getting stung.
It’s particularly important to use pest control experts if you suffer from allergies.
Should you wish to tackle the issue yourself you’ll need to locate the nest. This will be a hole in a piece of wood and you’ll see the bees disappearing n and out of it.
To deal with them you’ll need to get a bee insecticide. You can spray this around the nest and any other area in your yard where you’ve seen them moving around or resting.
It’s a good idea, if possible, to inject the insecticide dust into the carpenter bee nest as well. But, to avoid being attacked do this first thing in the morning or last thing at night, when it’s cooler.
Once you’re happy the bees seem to have stopped moving in and out of the nest you can plug the home. The best time to do this is in the fall.
This is because even if the treatment hasn’t been effective, the bees will be hibernating and unlikely to attack. You’ll seal them inside and cut off the air, allowing them to suffocate.
Plug the hole too early and the bees will make a new home, allowing them out of their nest. You’ll need to keep your eyes open for this. It’s worth spraying the area with insecticides again at the beginning of the spring to ensure none have survived.