Wood Destroying Insects

Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees
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Carpenter bee comes from the fact that nearly all species build their nests in burrows in dead wood, bamboo, or structural timbers (except for those, which nest in the ground).

Some are often mistaken for a bumblebee species, as they can be similar in size and coloration, though most carpenter bees have a shiny abdomen, while in bumblebees the abdomen is completely clothed with dense hair. Males of some species have a white or yellow face, where the females do not; males also often have much larger eyes than the females, which relates to their mating behavior. Male bees are often seen hovering near nests, and will approach nearby animals. However, males are harmless since they do not have a stinger. Female carpenter bees are capable of stinging, but they are docile and rarely sting unless caught in the hand or otherwise directly provoked.

Carpenter bees make nests by tunneling into wood, vibrating their bodies as they rasp their mandibles against the wood, each nest having a single entrance which may have many adjacent tunnels. The entrance is often a perfectly circular 16 millimeters (0.63 in) hole on the underside of a beam or tree limb. Carpenter bees do not eat wood. They discard the bits of wood, or re-use particles to build partitions between cells. The tunnel functions as a nursery for brood and storage for the pollen/nectar upon which the brood subsists.

Cultural practices such as trimming back tree limbs that overhang roofs, patching leaks in roofs, windows and plumbing, plus general cleanliness will help prevent infestations.

Perimeter treatments of grounds, foundations, and the treatment of wood piles also keep insects at bay.
Hint: Suspect these insects if you find holes in wood surfaces, sawdust or fine wood powder, structural weakness or tunneling in wood itself.