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Bees (Carpenter Bees)
Bees (Carpenter  Bees)

Bees (Carpenter Bees)


  • Color: yellow and black.
  • Size: 1/2 to 1 inch.
  • They look like bumble bees except that they have a bare (i.e., no hairs), shiny black abdomen compared to bumble bees which have a hairy abdomen with some yellow markings.

Habits of Carpenter Bees:

  • Adults overwinter in galleries, emerging in the spring in order to mate.
  • Females prepare nests by excavating new sites or, more frequently, by cleaning out and expanding existing tunnels.
  • Six to eight brood cells are constructed in each tunnel.
  • Bee larvae develop during the summer emerging, usually in late summer, as adults 30 to 40 days later.
  • There is one generation per year.

Damage From Bees:

  • Carpenter bees bore holes into wood from 3/8 to 1/2 inch in diameter; the hole initially is about six inches long but in subsequent years might be extended to more than ten feet.
  • Male carpenter bees are aggressive but quite harmless since they lack stingers.
  • Females sting if molested.

Look for:

  • Entry holes in well-lit and sheltered areas, e.g., headers, roof eaves, porch ceilings, fascia boards, decks, doors, and window sills.
  • Soft wood, e.g., California redwood, cedar, white pine, and poplar, is preferred for building nests.

How to Control Bees:

  • Infested lumber should be removed and replaced with preservative-treated wood.
  • Wood should be painted or varnished in order to discourage bees from boring into it.

Innovative Pest Management serves the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland area. Call us at (240) 755-0077 to schedule a free quote or appointment.