Like the honey bee and bumble bee, the carpenter bee are important pollinators. However, besides pollination, there is another important reason why they pollinate our crops and flowers.
Carpenter bees, honey bees, and bumble bees create a special bread made from regurgitated nectar and pollen to feed their larvae. It is stored inside wooden burrows constructed by carpenter bees for later use.
As the carpenter bees collect nectar and pollen to feed their larvae, they cross-pollinate other plants.
These insects are considered solitary bees and are rather harmless. Although some can be aggressive, stinging or biting their victim without any provocation.
Do Carpenter Bees Sting?
Are Carpenter bees dangerous, and do carpenter bees sting? These are two imperative questions all homeowners have.
The answer is yes and no. Female carpenter bees are not likely to sting, but if you are threatening them or their burrow, they will retaliate. For this reason, it is imperative to avoid carpenter bees and their nest to avoid carpenter bee stings. However, the males are not equipped with stingers.
Although the males don't sting, they are territorial and often the ones you will likely encounter. Sudden movements are what attracts males, making them hover near people. The female will occasionally sting, but only if provoked.
Female carpenter bees are a species of homemakers. From the time they awaken following a period of hibernating, they start constructing a nest and seeking a mate. The female carpenter bee prefers to build their nest using semi-guarded softwood. Because of this, they move toward structures made of wood, like barns and homes.
What Do Carpenter Bees Look Like?
When you first see carpenter bees, they appear similar to bumble bees, mostly due to their size. Measuring in at about one-fourth to one inch, they have antennae and six legs. The yellow markings on the abdomen set them apart from bumble bees, which carpenter ants and bees lack. Rather, the carpenter bees have an abdomen that is shiny and smooth. Carpenter bees are identified by a yellow thorax and black abdomen. Bumble bees are recognizable by their tufts of yellow hairs.
Carpenter bees construct their nest in areas where there is wood exposed. If you notice a group of bees surrounding your porch's eave, they are probably carpenter bees. In addition, when inspecting bare wood more closely, you will recognize the tiny indentations wood bees create when building burrows.
Are Carpenter Bees Pollinators?
Depending on the precise bee species, carpenter bees eat the nectar from flowers. There is a broad variety of nectar and pollen sources that carpenter bees visit. These sites include hibiscus, fruit trees, blueberries, and even daffodils.
While carpenter bees travel around, landing on untreated wooden structures, bumblebees are considered valuable pollinators. Carpenter bees feed on the nectar of flowers and pollen, similar to other species of bees. Yet, you will recognize them frequenting the wood around your home, including the wood stumps, decks, eaves, and other wood areas.
Do Female Carpenter Bees Sting?
Although the female has a stinger, they aren't aggressive insects. Only if you attempt handling or touching them will they retaliate by stinging you. Even if bees fly near where you stand, unlike some other bees, there is no reason to feel threatened.
Interaction with a female carpenter bee will result in sharp pain and painful burning at the sting site.
Do Male Carpenter Bees Sting?
Males lack any stinger at all, making it impossible for them to sting you. However, the male Eastern Carpenter bees will hover over your porch with female bees in an attempt to guard each other from other insects.
Male carpenter bees are assigned the task of guarding the carpenter bee nest. Thus, they react more aggressively when humans attempt to interact or threaten them.
What To Do If You Get Stung By A Carpenter Bee
Carpenter bee stings can be rather painful to experience. The site will become red, and an inflamed welt will appear. Rarely, bee stings will cause a serious allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock. If left untreated, these life-threatening, severe allergic reactions can result in death.
If you experience a carpenter bee sting, relieve symptoms by applying an ice pack to the sting site. The coolness will numb the nerves and relieve the burning sensation. Prevent the release of more venom by removing the stinger by scraping the site with your fingernail.
Seek Medical Attention
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a severe allergic reaction following a bee sting. Some allergic reactions to look for are difficulty breathing or a spreading rash.
Bee stings by carpenter bees are not as severe or painful as a wasp or other bee stings. Yet, they are capable of creating discomfort as well as other symptoms.
To avoid experiencing a carpenter bee sting, don't attempt handling a carpenter bee's nest alone. Always call a professional, like A.N.T. Pest Control.
How Carpenter Bees Damage Property
Carpenter bees build their nests by boring into the siding and timbers of wooden structures. They prefer undecayed and untreated wood or bark to build a nest.
It might not appear like a big deal to see some minor tunneling; however, it can damage your home over time.
Are Carpenter Bees Aggressive?
These common household pests are not generally aggressive insects. Only when it is guarding the nests will the male carpenter bee become aggressive? They will dive-bomb or swoop down on you if you get too close; however, this is a harmless attack. What is intimidating is a carpenter bee infestation becomes fairly large and you hear loud buzzing.
Do Carpenter Bees Eat Wood?
Carpenter bees or wood bees, dissimilar to termites, don't consume wood. Their constant tunneling through wood-forming nest chambers is the only structural damage they cause.
Because they prefer untreated wood, stain or paint any exposed wood surfaces to prevent carpenter bees.
What are Common Wood Bee Habits?
Carpenter bees lay eggs in untreated wood they bore holes into to hide larvae from any predators. If you discover any round holes in untreated or softwood, you most likely have an infestation of carpenter bees.
These are solitary insects and do not construct traditional hives. Most carpenter bees live in smaller familial groups consisting of many female generations.
Signs of Carpenter Bees
Signs of a carpenter bee infestation include the round, smooth holes carved by carpenter bees boring into wood. The reason these bees have been dubbed the nickname "wood bees".
Homeowners should routinely inspect their property to locate early signs of structural damage.
How to Control a Carpenter Bee Problem
If at all possible, you should not kill carpenter bees. These insects are vital pollinators to your garden and the ecosystem.
Leaving carpenter bees alone is recommended action. However, there are steps to take to control carpenter bees and other insects from getting on your land. You might also consider putting some carpenter bee traps close to their nests.
Get rid of anything of attraction, such as covering trash cans and keeping sugary drinks covered. Always wear protective clothing when attempting any DIY pest control methods.
Call A Professional Pest Control Company
Having an infestation of carpenter bees can be tricky. Although bees are important pollinators to the ecosystem, they can wreak havoc on your house and yard. If you have a bee infestation, call A.N.T. Pest Control today for a free inspection. Don't wait until you get stung to find out the answer to 'Do carpenter bees sting'. Call us today at 815-215-7211. We will take the sting out of a bee infestation.