As the warm summer months are here to stay, the carpenter bees are too. These 1 to 1 ½ inch bees look similar to bumblebees but they appear less hairy and their abdomen, or the last segment of their body, is shiny and black.
While they are very important pollinators, they are more noted for hovering around wood where they lay their eggs, hence their name. As the female works hard to drill into the wood and lay eggs, the male hovers and guards outside, guarding the nest. The hovering and the constant presence might be intimidating to most humans, but the male carpenter bee is not the one to worry about as he lacks a stinger, unlike the female. Even though the female carpenter bee possesses a stinger she has to be extremely provoked before making an attempt to sting.
These normally docile bees are solitary or live alone, unlike many other bees/wasps of New Jersey such as bumblebees, honey bees, yellow jackets, and boldfaced hornets. Because of this, they tend to have a lower amount of bees per generation, averaging 6-10 offspring per female. While Southern states, like Florida, carpenter bees might have 2-3 generations per year, state such as New Jersey in the North only has 1. Instead of a hive or communal nest to go back to at the end of fall, these bees will go back to the galleries they laid they eggs in earlier in the spring to overwinter.
While these bees are harmless to our kids and our animals, they can be destructive to our properties. If you are worried about Carpenter Bee’s doing damage to the wood on a building, playset, or deck, contact Hoffman’s Exterminating today for a free inspection and estimate to see how we can customize a treatment for you!