Carpenter bees are large and resemble bumblebees, but their abdomen is smooth and shiny black, unlike the hairy abdomen of the bumblebee.
Carpenter Bee Identification
Carpenter bees are large and resemble bumblebees, but their abdomen is smooth and shiny black, unlike the hairy abdomen of the bumblebee. The little carpenter bee can be mistaken for many of the smaller sweat bees.
Carpenter Bee Habitat
The bees make their nests by tunneling perfectly circular holes into wood, leaving a tell-tale pile of sawdust behind. Their preferred wood is usually bare, weathered, unpainted surfaces, or softwoods like redwood, cedar, cypress and pine. The bees are liable to burrow into any structure, such as decks, outdoor furniture, siding, wooden window trim etc. Depending on the amount of damage done by carpenter bees, some structures may become unstable and in danger of collapsing.
Carpenter Bee Life Cycle
Carpenter bees can live for up to three years, and can have up to two generations of offspring per year.
The female bees dig tunnels in wood, and after mating, lay their eggs in a series of small cells. Sometimes the females will reuse old holes, or excavate to enlarge them. Pollen collected from flowers is placed in the cells for the larvae to feed on in their development. As adults, the bees forage flowers in search of nectar to survive.