The Carpenter Bee

Carpenter bees got their name from their love of building within wood. Any wood with a few hours of direct sunlight can become a spot for an egg chamber. A female will use her powerful mandibles to chew a perfect half inch hole then makes a ninety degree turn and tunnel a 6-12 inche egg chamber. She then lays an egg at the back, leaves some food and builds a wall. The process of laying an egg and building a wall is repeated until the entire chamber is filled. The carpenter bee will make as many chambers as she can as quickly as she can.

When the eggs hatch the larvae will begin eating their fill. Once satisfied it will pupate and begin the metamorphoses into an adult carpenter bee. An interesting fact is the first egg to be laid at the back of the chamber is laid to hatch the next year and more likely to be a female.

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

The males carpenter bee will spend it’s 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 on trees, bushes, attics, old unused hole and anywhere else they can safely tuck themselves away.

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/April and will end once we have a few weeks of rain which is typical by July. If the weather stays dry and warm we will see our large hairy, buzzing friends through fall.

Note: Although we prefer to save as many pollinators as possible, carpenter bees cause millions of dollars in damage a year to homes around the world. We always work to remove then prevent carpenter bees.

How we handle Carpenter Bees | To handle carpenter bee issues we 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 in all the hairs of the carpenter bees body. Coupled with a treatment to the wood to stop anymore chambers from being made and a warranty that last the whole season, you wont have a worry about carpenter bees.

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