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G & G Pest Control Fully Licensed and Insured

G & G Pest Control

(781) 724 8877

Wakefield, MA

Serving Metro-Boston and parts of the North Shore Area

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carpenter bee female small Male
carpenter bee male small
Xylocopa spp.
(larger picture)
Description: Carpenter bees are large (1/2-to 1-inch long), robust insects that look like bumble bees. They differ by having a bare, shiny black abdomen compared to bumble bees which have a hairy abdomen with some yellow, markings. Male carpenter bees, identified by the bright yellow spot in the middle of the head, are aggressive but quite harmless since they lack stingers. Females can sting if molested.

Habits: Carpenter bees actually bore holes into wood to create a tunnel in which to raise their young. Carpenter bees are not social insects, i.e., they do not live in nests or colonies like yellow jackets and honey bees. The entry hole is 3/8 to 1/2-inch in diameter and initially about 6-inches long; in subsequent years, however, this maybe extended to more than ten feet. The initial opening' is straight into the wood, then the gallery typically makes an abrupt right angle and follows the grain of the wood and parallel to the outer surface. Entry holes are usually located in well-lit and sheltered areas, such as headers, roof eaves, porch ceilings, fascia boards, decks, doors, and window sills. Soft wood, such as California redwood, cedar, white pine, and poplar is preferred for nest building.