The Carpenter Bee & Habits

Carpenter bee’s love building in wood. This is a habit we share with our insect friends. Any wood with hours of sunlight a day can become a spot to start a egg chamber. They prefer the ridge line of homes and sheds. But any spot made of wood with enough light will do. The females are the busy bee’s with the carpentry skill. Using her powerful mandibles she chews a perfect half inch hole makes a 90 degree turn and channels back 6-12 inches. Then she lays a egg at the back and builds a wall of food. When the egg hatches the little larvae will begin eating its fill of food. Once satisfied it will pupate and begin the metamorphoses into an adult carpenter bee. The process of laying a egg and building a wall of food is repeated until the entire chamber is filled. A interesting fact is that the first egg at the back of the chamber is the last to turn into an adult. This will happen either during the fall if it stays warm enough or even until the next year.

Carpenter Bee Outside Egg Chamber. Notice the pile of dropping directly outside the door.

The males of the carpenter bee species will spend their entire day trying to entice the female into coitus. You will recognize the male from the yellow spot on their forehead. When there isn’t a female to chase they will fight any male that gets near. Engaging each other in aerial battles that often end with one of them decapitated. The males do not enter the egg chamber. Come night they hang out in trees, bushes or any other spots that make them feel safe from the plethora of predators lurking in the night like bats, rats and other hungry creatures.

Carpenter Bee Scrapping up pollen that was caught on the entrance door.

The life cycle of these big bees are short in the northeast. They start in may and will end once we have a few weeks of rain which is typical by the beginning of July. If the weather stays dry we will see our large hairy buzzy friends through fall.

To handle a invasive issue of carpenter bees we need to treat the chamber with a material that has a residual effect. We find dust works best as it sticks to the sides of the chamber walls and gets caught easily to all the hairs on the carpenter bees body. Coupled with a treatment to the wood to stop anymore chambers from being made a carpenter bee issue can bee handled quickly.

If you need any help carpenter bees in Connecticut give us a shout! We are always ready to stop the buzz! 860.446.7500

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *