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Springtime is the Right Time for Carpenter Bees

Bug Lady posted this on Oct 8, 2016

Although Carpenter Bees are common, and usually do no severe damage by their tunneling, they can sometimes be extremely dangerous and cause structural damage if the same timber is used by colonies year after year. In this article, we discuss how to identify carpenter bees and control methods for carpenter bees.

There are a dozen different species of carpenter bee in the United States alone. The different species may each prefer a different nest type, those that nest in sound structural wood can become an expensive pest.

The carpenter bee is a metallic blue black color and measures a substantial ¾-1 inch long. They have orange or yellow hair and can look like bumblebees except for their tail section. The carpenter bee has a black tail section which has no hair.

The carpenter bee likes to over winter in their nest tunnels that were built the summer prior. April or May is the right time for the bees to reemerge and begin mating.

Now, the female will reuse an older egging area, or extend it, or build a completely new one. This is where she bores into the wood, deposits an egg and seals it off with its ‘bee bread’ nutrient for growing. Usually the newly formed adults will emerge in late August or September.

So, now that you know a little about carpenter bees, what can you do to prevent them from nesting near your home? Well, carpenter bees may often be found around fences, patios, wood shingles, eaves, outdoor ceilings and windowsills. Any wood that is unfinished or painted and well weathered is a good choice for a carpenter bee.

You can locate the next by looking for bee activity and a perfectly round hole about the size of a dime. Once you have located the entrance, apply dusts or insecticide sprays into the nest entrance and on a large area of wood surface surrounding the area. Then, after approximately a half or whole day, plug up the hole. Be very, very careful to wear protective equipment and use the insecticides according to the labeled directions.

If nests are located, it is important that you remove the damaged wood and replace it with pressure treated wood, which will deter further nesting attempts. Also, painting your wood or white washing it will keep carpenter bees from nesting again. Use all of the above strategies to control carpenter bees in your outdoor living area.

Categories: Bees, Wasps, Hornets
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