Carpenter Bees

Xylocopa species
Pest Stats
Color: Yellow or black
Legs: 6
Shape: Oval and robust
Size: 1/4 - 1 inch long
Antennae: Yes
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Download the Carpenter Bee Pest I.D. Card

Carpenter bees look like typical bumblebees but often lack yellow stripes. This type of stinging bee gets its common name from its habit of boring into wood like a carpenter.

Habits

Unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees are solitary insects. The adult carpenter bees hibernate over winter, typically in abandoned nest tunnels and emerge in the spring to feed on nectar.

Habitat

Carpenter bees do not live in nests or colonies. Instead, female carpenter bees bore circular holes through soft wood to lay eggs and protect their larvae as they develop.

Threats

Carpenter bees are a serious property threat, as they can cause structural damage over time if left untreated. Male carpenter bees can be territorial and may hover in front of one’s face aggressively, but they have no stinger and these actions are merely for show. Female carpenter bees do have a potent stinger, but it’s rarely used.