Of the many types of bees, carpenter bees (Xylocopa virginica) are the main concern of homeowners. Carpenter bees, also known as “wood-cutter bees” get their name from the fact that they burrow in dead wood – including trees and the wood framing and ornament used in houses. Carpenter bees do not eat wood. The female carpenter bees do most of the “digging” (usually along the grain of the wood) to deposit their eggs and discard their wood shavings or use them to produce divisions in their nests. Carpenter bees make these nests by vibrating their bodies and rasping their mandibles to tunnel into wood. Though each tunnel, like a beehive, as only one entrance, the interior of the nest may include several branches and passages through the wood. Like honey bees use a beehive, carpenter bees use their wood tunnels as a nursery and storage for pollen or nectar. Whereas most types of bees fill their brood cells with a soupy mass, carpenter bees deposit their eggs into the long tunnels and seal them with chewed wood pulp.
In American, carpenter bees are found from Kansas to Texas and eastward to the Atlantic. If you see bees buzzing around the eaves of your house, chances are you have carpetneer bees.They look similar in size and color to bumble bees, though carpenter bees have a shiny abdomen and bumble bees have a hairy abdomen. Carpenter beers are also different from other types of bees in that that they are not a social insect. Also, carpenter bees aren’t very likely to sting you.
Carpenter bees can cause significant damage to your home. They attack unpainted or unvarnished wood like doors, windowsills, roof eaves, singles, and sometimes even furniture. They are sometimes confused with termintes, as the indicators are very similar. Small holes in the wall (about 25mm, or the size of a bees body) and little piles of sawdust are signs that you might have carpenter bees.