What does carpenter bees look like?The most common of the carpenter bee is the black and yellowish color that will invade structural wood and are some of the largest bees in North America, with some of the largest over an inch long. They may be separated from bumblebees by the relative lack of hairs on the abdomen,move faster and erratic flight habits. Damage from these bees is hidden within the wood, often with only the round entrance hole visible but there can a lot at one time. Within the wood the galleries extend with the grain of the wood, and are almost perfectly round, ending with the cells in which the larvae develope.
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Carpenter bees live in solitude that get their common name from their habit of boring chambers in solid wood in order to create living quarters for their larvae. Soff woods such as pine or redwood may be preferred but the wood is not eaten, it is instead is reduced to frass which is ejected from the tunnels. The female bee does the chewing, and several females may be working in the same section of wood and using the same entrance hole, but creating separate galleries. Males and females over-winter in old galleries and emerge in the spring to mate. They will both die before the end of the summer and it is their offspring which begin the next year’s activity. The holes may be used repeatedly, with each new female lengthening the tunnel, which often can be over 10 feet in length. this insect creates an average of 6 or 7 cells, each separated by a plug, and places an egg and a food supply of pollen and nectar in each cell. Once completed the carpenter bee never comes back to care for the larvae. Our services can help eliminate the presence of this nuisance insect. with an injection of a residual dust insecticide into the gallery opening, followed by placement of a plug in the opening, will confine the bees to this treated area if done at the end of the day or early mornings.