Carpenter Bees (photos)

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If you grow any purple flowers in eastern US, you have probably seen these and maybe confused them with large bumble bees.  They look similar to a bumble but have a shiny hairless black abdomen.

Here in Michigan, I usually see these things in mid summer.  They love Vitex Agnus and I often see a half dozen at a time on the vitex.  The drones are very territorial.  I wore a bright florescent orange shirt to a plant nursery one time and was chased around all day by a male carpenter bee.

I have a lot of bumble bees here, but by mid summer the bumble bees I see are usually on the smaller side (worker bumbles).  Queen bumble bees are indeed large, but you really only see them in the early spring.  Once the queen bumble raises brood, those workers do all the foraging the rest of the summer.  The queen stays in the nest.

The carpenter bees in these photos must be raising brood.  I see they’re hauling around a lot of pollen.

I had a yard w/ a lot of flowering plants and mistook them for Bumble Bees before. 
I too remember being chased around by them (a lot).  :-D :bee: :bee:

 I hate those things.   They started eating my tool shed headers and rafter about 6 years ago.  There back every spring.  I keep spray handy and when I see one enter a chewed out hole I give it a spray.   Sometimes as I shoot spray in a hole it exits a couple of ft down the board.   Building is just going to cave in one of these days.   I know I should just through a coat of cheap paint on the wood would most likely slow or stop them but I dont think about it until they are there.   They are cool bee's though I have to admit.  They fly like hummingbird stopping in md air darting left or right even flying backwartds

Males don't have a stinger but try to intimidate. They have a little yellow on their face, if I remember correctly its a small triangle. The female has a stinger but rarely if ever stings even when provoked.

They are attracted to raw wood which would need at least two coats of an oil based paint to deter them.


Two coats won't stop them for long.   I have seen them eat through a house after it was painted with diesel and I know they are eating my porch that is green treated lumber.   Dang them to Hades. 


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