Carpenter bees do more good than harm

Taken from the book, A Guide the Wonderful World Around Us: Notes on Nature by Brannen Basham.

Annoying but important 

You know carpenter bees- the large yellow and black insects that bore holes in wood and can sometimes be seen patrolling their territories. These traits have given the carpenter bee a bad rap which it does not deserve. Carpenter bees are amazing native pollinators and are an important part of the ecosystem for several main reasons. These bees pollinate flowers, feed birds, and increase the yield of certain plant species. The damage they do to buildings is annoying, but only just that. They excavate nests, commonly called galleries, along the direction of the wood grain and they actually do surprisingly little structural damage this way; the value of these creatures far outweighs the damage that they could cause. (See the comments section for more details on carpenter bee damage.)

Carpenter bees are built tough

Carpenter bees are the largest bees in North America, and because of that, they are capable of some things that other bees just aren’t built to do. Inclement weather that normally gets in the way of pollination can be overcome by sheer size. Rain showers and wind that would knock smaller insects out of the skies are shrugged off by these buzzing beasts. They are also able to perform admirably in cold weather. These traits let them pick up the slack in pollination during times when other insects simply can’t risk it. Usually, their size is enough to scare away most pests and predators. This has led to carpenter bees being very docile- the females will only sting under extreme circumstances, such as being stepped on. The males, which can be seen hovering in their territories around nest sites or flowers, will usually fly straight towards intruders at high speeds. While this can be intimidating, these males are in fact all talk and do not have stingers. Their large size also makes them easy pickings for hungry birds. Large bees such as carpenter and bumble bees are important food sources for birds, especially in spring where they may be active before other insects.

The buzz on buzz pollination 

Carpenter Bee, Native Bees of North America
Carpenter Bee, Native Bees of North America

Carpenter bees have the ability to vibrate their flight muscles at specific frequencies while visiting flowers. Known as buzz pollination, this vibrates the flower and dislodges pollen. Tomatoes, blueberries, eggplants, and cranberries all benefit greatly from this type of pollination and produce larger fruit in greater quantities when buzz pollinated. Honey bees do not possess this ability. Carpenter bees are able to recognize one another and have been found to be able to make it back home after being moved up to 7 miles away. They generally live in semi-social settings involving varying degrees of cooperation between each other.

NC carpenter bees

Two species of carpenter bee are seen in North Carolina, the eastern carpenter bee, and the southern carpenter bee. Both look similar to bumble bees with a shiny black butt- the southern carpenter bee also has a vest of red fuzz. These bees usually nest in the trunks and branches of dead standing trees in a forest. As forests are cut down and manicured, many of these dead trees are the first to be removed. This leaves carpenter bees with very few options for nesting sites. It’s not difficult to see why our houses, decks, and barns look inviting to such a creature. Luckily there are some ways to make your property less appealing. Properly staining and/or painting the exposed wood on your property is first and foremost. While this will not guarantee that carpenter bees won’t move in, it is much less likely if there is no unfinished wood visible. Paired with another possible nesting site nearby such as a pile of wood or dead tree, this may be enough to keep carpenter bees away. These bees seem to prefer pine and cedar wood over other types for their nests. If possible, use another wood for your buildings.

If you have a problem area that you are unsure about, please comment on this post or send me an email at and I would be happy to offer my opinion.

If you like this story, read the full version and over 50 other non-fiction nature stories in our new book, A Guide to the Wonderful World Around Us: Notes on Nature. Please click here to visit to learn more about purchasing this book.

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  1. The15thMember on May 4, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    This is an old post, but maybe you’ll see me. I have carpenter bees nesting in my garage. I actually love them, the males are so curious and will fly over and investigate anything I’m doing near their territory, and they chase wasps away from my honeybee hives, which are nearby. I am concerned about what damage they could cause the garage long-term though. But the only information I can seem to find on whether they are truly damaging or not is from exterminators, who of course say to get rid of them! Last year at their peek I counted about 18 holes that appeared to be in use that go up under the wooden siding. What exactly are their boring habits, how damaging are they really to a structure? If they are not actually doing any harm to the garage, I’d certainly rather just let them live there. But if they are going to cause me a problem, I’d like to see if I can convince them to relocate.

    • sprigglys on May 6, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks for the question! Carpenter bees are truly fascinating and unique in their nesting habits compared to other bees. They excavate nests, commonly called galleries, along the direction of the wood grain and they actually do surprisingly little structural damage this way. This was probably evolved so that they could have many nests in a dead tree without compromising the structural integrity. They are VERY long-lived bees and are thought to spend the first few years of their lives entirely within the nest. From what I have seen and read, most of the structural damage associated with carpenter bee nests are from woodpeckers and other predators that try to chisel their way into the wood. Keep an eye out for this type of damage, as this can lead to a weakening of your garage. I have heard of old barns and the like absolutely riddled with carpenter bee nests that are still strong enough to stay standing. Thank you for preferring to co-exist with these important bees rather than exterminate them!

      • The15thMember on May 7, 2018 at 9:47 pm

        Oh, good! Thank you so much for the information! I did not know they were long-lived, that is very fascinating! Keep up the good work, guys, educating people on pollinators. My mother reads your column in the paper every week and loves it! So many people are just uninformed, thinking all bees are dangerous and scary. (I used to be one of them!) I just got some honeybees about a month ago, and I can’t believe how docile they are. As long as you treat them with respect, they are completely reasonable. It’s amazing to me how people think hives are a danger to a neighborhood and things like that. It makes me think that if people just knew . . . if they knew that the bees just go about their business unless threatened, if they knew that carpenter bees are just curious and not attacking, if they knew that the Sevin dust that Lowe’s puts as an impulse buy at the checkouts has the potential to decimate a nearby hive . . . . I just think it’s great that you guys are out there pushing against the tide of scare-tactics and misinformation that continues to be fed to people by exterminators and similar people just trying to make money. All the power to you! 🙂

        • Lara on May 21, 2018 at 6:09 pm

          Thanks for this thread – I have had carpenter bees living in the old sills of my foundation (I live in a home which is 150+ years old). I think the bees are leveraging the old beetle holes which were already there. I think they are a delight to watch, they are not aggressive and do enjoy our garden. I am glad to find out that the impact they are having on the house is likely minimal (also my deck is rotting so they probably are in there!)

          • sprigglys on May 21, 2018 at 9:50 pm

            We love hearing you enjoy watching these bees, we do too! Thanks for your comment!

          • Butch wood on July 6, 2020 at 3:50 pm

            I have a small cedar bench that was handmade by my deceased cousin.
            I just sprayed a poison spray into the holes and approximately 30 bees
            Have come out of the holes. Portions of the support boards appear to be hollow already. I am sorry if they are beneficial; but the bench was a treasured item on my porch. At the time I did not know they were beneficial; but I would continue to exterminate them. I tried plugging the many existing holes; and they destroyed the wood putty in one day..
            Sorry, but I hope they do not return.

          • sprigglys on July 6, 2020 at 8:42 pm


            While you are certainly free to do whatever you’d like on your property, this is not the place to apologize as it was not me you harmed but instead some unfortunate wildlife. I would like to leave you with some points for future consideration so that this can hopefully be a learning experience for others in similar situations.

            Carpenter bees are indeed beneficial, however I encourage you to keep in mind that every creature you find in and around your property is serving a critical purpose in its environment. It is generally a good idea to let local wildlife be whenever possible. In the case of carpenter bees, making sure the wood is well painted or stained usually goes a long way in making a piece undesirable.

            It sounds like you might have killed or seriously injured most of the bees already, however some might have simply fled to the surrounding area for the time being. To make sure they don’t come back to your bench, I would put it in a garage or similar covered structure for a few days. This will hopefully encourage them to move elsewhere.

            Be careful while moving your bench, since you do not want to come into close contact with the insecticide. What did you use? Unfortunately, some insecticides are known to be harmful to pets and humans, and the long term effects of all pesticides on humans are still largely unknown. Thanks to a great deal of research that shows the unintended effects pesticides can have on both people and wildlife, the ‘spray and forget’ mentality that has dominated gardening culture for years is becoming outdated. I encourage you to follow suit and only use pesticides ( including herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides) as a last resort rather than a first choice.

            If you would like to learn more about pesticides or some links to the studies I have mentioned, I would be happy to speak to you more. Send me an email at

      • Houston Allman on June 12, 2018 at 7:01 pm

        I have to replace all of the trim around my house because of the bees but it’s only going to cost about $3000 to do it. That thrills me. I did notice that they bore so many holes that only a paper thin thickness of wood is left between their holes and
        exposure to the outside air.

        • sprigglys on June 18, 2018 at 2:09 am

          Wow, any idea how long it took for them to dig such extensive galleries? If you are replacing with real wood, definitely stain and/or paint any exposed wood ASAP to hopefully keep them from setting into your new trim. Another option would be to use another material such as composite that would be less desirable for them.

        • Suzie Pettus on March 26, 2021 at 1:39 pm

          We have newer architectural roof shingles and I have one Carpenter bee who hovers at me when I come out the front door. Today is the 26th of March and he showed up the 23rd. I can raise my hand and he will nearly land! He’s really cute but her flys back up somewhere into the shingles so it’s impossible to see any holes. Our house is all vinyl siding including facias, soffits and window trim. I love him but hubby wants him gone! How can I make him leave and take any family with him? Thanks!

          • sprigglys on March 28, 2021 at 2:30 pm

            Hey Suzie,

            Your situation is common, and your outside spaces must be nice as your carpenter bee has chosen it as his domain. Unfortunately, that means it can sometimes be difficult to get them to move, as the bee has already picked that spot as his favorite. As you hinted at, these males are very docile, charismatic, and intelligent- they will eventually learn who you are and that you are not a threat, and they will more or less leave you alone. Even if they do keep getting in your face, they of course cannot sting and should not be feared. It sounds like your house probably doesn’t have much in the way of suitable nesting sites for carpenter bees, so hopefully there aren’t too many hanging around your house proper. I would recommend making the area a little less desirable for him, so he picks another territory to patrol. Carpenter bees enjoy a light misting of water on hot days, however a medium mist (not dense or strong enough to harm the bee) might encourage them to move on. Burning some incense outside might encourage them to move on as well. Please keep in touch about what you do and how it works!

      • Nina Haskett on July 11, 2020 at 11:57 pm

        I love my carpenter bees! My son has been replacing my old wooden deck and today a few have landed In the new railing – maybe in search of an old home? Or just looking for new digs? We didn’t see any come out anywhere when we were tearing down the old deck.

        This is the first time I was able to examine one up really close – actually thought one was dead as it just sat there for over 5 minutes! When I came inside I didn’t realize I had a stowaway on my blouse, until I felt something on my arm. First reaction was to bat at it and then scream! Her first reaction was to give me a little sting and then fall to the floor on her back. I used a piece of paper to transport her to the porch, where she flew away, probably to report back to her friends about her great adventure!

        Thank you for your article – very informative, as were the comments and replies. 😀

        • sprigglys on July 12, 2020 at 6:43 pm

          Glad you found us! Thank you for your comment, and make sure to stain or paint your new deck as soon as possible to make it as unattractive to carpenter bees as possible. Enjoy the rest of the summer with your flying friends!

      • christa mccarthy on March 14, 2021 at 6:00 pm

        until yesterday, i did not even know what these “things” are called. now i know. they dont bother me, but my husband. so, i let him stay inside the screened in patio and the critters stay outside. all beings are important, even though, i still try to figure out why God insisted on keeping mosquitos around. thank you. stay safe

        • sprigglys on March 15, 2021 at 1:19 pm

          Thank you for reading, and for your comment! Like you said, it isn’t our place to figure out the ‘place’ of the animals around us, rather it’s our duty to protect all of the fascinating creations around us no matter their function. Have a great spring!

      • Kerry Bzdyk on April 15, 2024 at 1:01 pm

        Just came across this old article but I have one of those very old garage/shed/barn structures full of carpenter bees every season. It’s structurally fine.

      • Carol L. on May 10, 2024 at 3:26 am

        Thank you. I’d read somewhere else that they don’t cause structural damage. Thanks foe reaffirmation.

        • sprigglys on May 31, 2024 at 4:26 pm

          Thanks so much for commenting this! We always try to tell people, you don’t need to listen to us about this, this is scientific fact about the way they create their nests. Keep spreading the carpenter bee love!

    • Sara Haddow on July 2, 2020 at 2:13 pm

      I have carpenter bees in the front of my house. Some how they have gotten under the aluminum soffit and facia. This the second year. I don’t want to kill them . the wood underneath was painted at one time. My house is over 100 years old. I don’t want to have to remove the aluminum. It is 15 feet up. I have 3 cedar trees one just feet from where they are nesting. How can i make them go there instead of my house?

      • sprigglys on July 6, 2020 at 8:23 pm

        Thanks for reaching out! The most immediate thing you can do is to leave any and all dead limbs on your nearby trees, since carpenter bees like to live in dead branches still attached to trees. Unfortunately, due to their long lives and tendency to share their nests with multiple generations, evicting carpenter bees from your house is a slow process that takes several years. Keeping dead limbs on trees and leaving dead trees where they are will entice new generations of carpenter bees to leave your house and venture back into the woods. Piles of heat treated (not pressure treated) pine 2x4s in areas sheltered from extreme weather can also help attract them away from your siding. At the same time, make sure to paint any exposed wood elsewhere on your property to try and keep it as unattractive to carpenter bees as possible. After a few years, the hope is that all of the new bees from the nest in your house will leave it empty in favor of greener pastures as the ‘old guard’ passes away. I would then recommend re-painting the area, and sealing up any holes. Please keep us updated on the steps you decide on taking, and how it works for you.

    • Do the wood bees kill wasp? I sure hope so. on July 20, 2021 at 3:22 pm

      Do the wood bees kill the wasp? I sure hope so

      • sprigglys on July 30, 2021 at 5:37 pm

        They will keep them away from their galleries and territories, however they normally won’t fight or kill them unless absolutely necessary.

        • Cindy on May 10, 2022 at 4:03 pm

          I am finding dead carpenter bees around the areas of their holes… what is causing them to die? I feel so bad when I find a dead one cause they are such interesting and docile creatures!

          • sprigglys on May 10, 2022 at 9:03 pm

            Hey Cindy,

            There could be several things going on. What is the condition of the bees? Do they look ragged and faded, or bright and fresh? Are they complete, or have they been reduced to pieces? This will help to possibly diagnose the problem.

      • Kevin VannLipe on July 25, 2023 at 2:12 pm

        I love the Carpenter Family we have living here with us. Mr. Carpenter spends alot of time protecting his family and their little home. They all seem to love our garden. I like to spend a little time each day hanging out with Mr. Carpenter, as he spends his time buzzing back and forth keeping guard in front of his home. The first few days he and his family showed up under the over hang of our garage, it seemed like he would charge at me, to try and keep me from getting to close to his family. I guess it was about the second day or so when I just simply stood there and didn’t move, and just watched him do his thing. He finally got the hint and realized, I wasn’t a threat to him or his family. Now, he often just like hanging out with me as I work around the garage. We have a great friendship now. He’ll sometimes hover right in front of my face as I ask him how his day is going. I’ve even met Mrs Carpenter and a few of their little ones. However, they’re not quite as sociable as Mr Carpenter seems to be. Anyways, they’ve been a blessing to us. I think I’ll try making some type of other home for them out of some small cut up logs with holes drilled in them. May God bless you with His Peace in Christ.

        • sprigglys on May 31, 2024 at 4:29 pm

          So sorry this took so long to approve! This is a FANTASTIC story and we so appreciate your time and energy in leaving it. We love our carpenter bee friends and are so happy you have found the joys in these incredible pollinators! Please keep spreading the carpenter bee love!

  2. Caroline Cox on May 6, 2018 at 3:27 am

    Well, thank u for the positive comments on the carpenter bee. I kinda like them, myself. Every other site I went to n order to read about them, ended n how to kill them.

    • sprigglys on May 6, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Definitely, we are so happy you found us! Most information right now will tell you to kill them, but as they are important pollinators, the goal should be to rehouse carpenter bees not kill them. Spriggly’s is currently researching housing solutions to carpenter bees that attract them away from your house and into a new type of nesting unit. Stay tuned!

    • Sara on June 18, 2021 at 7:04 pm

      Just moved into a new apartment. The patio is home to at least one though likely more carpenter bee families. I like them. The male I’ve named Sentinel and he just hovers around my container garden while the females enjoy the flowers. I’m pretty sure I have them to thank for how well my tomato plant is doing. Sentinel says hi whenever I go out to water.

      Anyway! This morning I noticed a large amount of wood dust falling out of one of the tunnels. I didn’t think anything of it until carpenter be larvae started falling out as well. I’ve counted five so far. They look dead. At least they are not moving. I’m worried. Why would these poor babies fall out of their cells so early? We are having an unseasonable heatwave. Could that be a factor?

      • sprigglys on June 25, 2021 at 12:28 pm

        Hey Sara,

        Thanks for your comment and question. I have to admit I’m not sure what is happening, but you might be correct. Perhaps they died from the heat, and have been removed from the nest by their parent. Unfortunately, studies are finding that heat waves can have drastic affects on our bees, especially larger ones like carpenter and bumble bees that thrive in cooler weather, such as reduced reproductive success and differing foraging behavior. Is your heat wave still in full force? Have you noticed any other strange behavior from the bees in your area?

  3. Alison Sue Rosenbaum on May 15, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I’ve always been fascinated by carpenter bees. I love how they come check me out while I’m drinking coffee on the deck. I say “hello guys and gals!” Then when they know that I’m not a predator they go back to patrolling.

    • sprigglys on May 17, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      We so agree! They are extremely fascinating and enjoyable to watch!

  4. Barb on June 6, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Today its 56 degrees outside in Western Pennsylvania. I see carpenter bees all over today. On ground sitting on my roof on the tires of my truck. It seems like something is wrong with them. I’ve never seen this before. Could this be from the weather being cooler?

    • sprigglys on June 6, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      They are just a little cold! The flight muscles of bees stop working around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, however, carpenter bees being larger and quite fuzzy, have the ability to be out even during colder weather. They are just taking a moment to warm-up in the sun.

  5. Barb R on June 9, 2018 at 12:04 am

    I’ve read that need do not like mint. I don’t want to kill them, but I would like to encourage a move as they are burrowing on my pool deck. Any other ideas? I have a mini-forest behind my house so why they choose my deck is unknown.

    • sprigglys on June 10, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks for the question! Unfortunately encouraging carpenter bees to move out once they make a nest can be difficult. We have not experimented with mint, but let us know how it works for you. We have heard that loud music drives out carpenter bees, however we have not tested this either. I would guess that the loud music mimics the vibrations caused by a woodpecker trying to get into their nest. Perhaps banging on the wood could cause them to consider relocating? Let us know what you try, and how it works. Make sure to have other wood nearby to try and lure them to a new home (even heat treated pine 2x4s work well), make a stack or pile 10-20 feet from the house in a sheltered location if possible. Once they become established somewhere else, make sure to replace and/or cover any damaged or exposed wood with paint or stain.

    • Anthony on October 26, 2018 at 1:51 am

      They actually love mint mostly when the mint starts to bloom flowers lol you’ll have a lot of other insect’s that enjoy the flowers from mint as well

  6. furtdsolinopv on August 15, 2018 at 8:36 am

    You made some clear points there. I did a search on the issue and found most individuals will consent with your blog.

    • sprigglys on August 15, 2018 at 11:52 pm

      We hope so! Carpenter bees are extremely important pollinators and do less damage to homes than some might think.

  7. Tricia on September 9, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    I currently have a medium size piece of drift wood that some carpenter bees have made into a fantastic apartment home. I will be redoing the backyard and would like to rehome this piece in the future into the garden area instead of where it currently sits on the patio. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to do this?

    • sprigglys on September 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you for the question! Wait until the winter to move the drift wood, so that all of the carpenter bees are inside of their galleries in the wood. Mid-December should be fine if you can wait that long. Very glad you chose to give them a nice place to live.

      • Tricia on September 14, 2018 at 11:41 pm

        Perfect! Thank you so much for the reply! Super helpful

  8. Jan on November 26, 2018 at 3:09 am

    I found one upside down tonight on my patio, legs bicycling slowly, almost as if it were dying. At first I thought it was a spider, but at a closer look I saw the little bit of fuzzy yellow and decided it must be a bee. I scraped it into a glass jar (with a lid because it was still moving, albeit a tiny bit). Initially my first Google attempt identified it as a carpenter bee and and harked on the terrible wood damage they cause – but thankfully I found your site for another opinion. It’s been unseasonably warm here (70s) the last couple of days, but today the temps dropped into the 60s (and 30s at night.) I’ve had honeybees before (during the summer) but this was the largest bee I’ve seen around here (North Texas) and weird for November. By the time I read all the info on your site, this thing seemed to get a new life (thank goodness I did opt for a lid) Wings spread out (they were tightly together when I first picked it up) and crawling all over the place obviously looking for a way out. So… I let it out on the front flower bed of our house (then ran away – their size still freaks me out a bit). Didn’t stick around to see if it eventually was able to fly off, but after reading your comment about their flight muscles I wondered if my bringing it inside my warm home (it’s 40 degrees outside and dropping to 32) is what woke it up. Now I feel bad for putting it back out in the cold! Should I expect to see more of these if this one showed up?

    • sprigglys on November 28, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks for the comment! We have noticed several similar chilled bees here in Western North Carolina as well. If your weather keeps warming up like it sounds like it has been, you might see a few more out as it seems like the males especially get cabin fever in cold weather and try to get out as soon as it warms. This can lead to them spending the night outside of their original nest and getting dangerously chilled. Keep an eye out for more carpenter bees, but do not feel bad- more than likely you gave it more of a chance to find shelter than it otherwise had. I completely understand that their size can be intimidating, but they are absolutely one of the most docile semi-social bees we have here in the States and they are usually very laid back. Keeping piles of leaves, fallen logs, and the like on your property wherever possible will give these and any other bees on your property some warm shelter during the cold months.

      • Luis Morales on February 26, 2021 at 2:41 am

        I have about 4 or 5 Black Bees and I tried killing them with Advance Multi Bug Spray but I just pist them off. Now after reading this article I am glad I didn’t kill them. Now my question is I’m in Lapu Lapu Cebu Philippines but the article read North America so now they are here in the Philippines which makes them a world traveler like me. I won’t bother them again but they do look scary. I which they would kill mosquitoes then I would love them more. Thanks again.

        • sprigglys on March 1, 2021 at 8:48 pm

          Hey Luis,

          Thanks for the comment. There are many bees similar to the carpenter bees described in this article all over the world- they are indeed very illustrious travelers. Interestingly enough, we have read about the males of these and similar bees keeping most other creatures out of their territories, sometimes including smaller insects like mosquitos on slow days. If you leave your new friends to their work, you might eventually find that your outside spaces are a little easier to relax in due to your bee security guards.

  9. Jennifer on January 9, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    I found a carpenter bee on our chain-linked fence today. It wasn’t moving until I touched it. It then moved its legs a little. I got a twig and warmed it in my hands and put it next to the carpenter bee. I then gently stroked its fuzzy back until it moved onto the twig and then I put it is a little screened “bug keeper”. We put it in the sun and it moved around a little but not so much. After a half an hour we brought it inside. Now it is hanging from the side of the screen. Carpenter bees have lived on the soffit of our screened porch for years. There is one motionless on the wood just below one of the hives, too. It was unseasonably warm yesterday (almost 70), but today the high was 50. It will drop to the 30’s and 40s in the coming days. Should I try to put it on a ladder near a hive, or on some plants below on the side I found it on, or keep it inside and feed it? If I feed it, what ratio of white cane sugar to water should I use?

    • sprigglys on January 12, 2019 at 1:57 am

      Thank you for saving your carpenter bee! If you leave it outside on a warmer afternoon (around 50) it should be able to find its way back home. Until then, feeding it might not hurt too much if you think the weather will be bad enough to prevent flying. Definitely stay on the light sugar syrup side, maybe a ratio of 1:4 sugar to water. Keep in touch and I hope you’ve taken some pictures of the process!

  10. Jessica on April 2, 2019 at 3:55 am

    Hello! I enjoyed reading this post and all the comments that followed. I have a family of carpenter bee’s in the beams of my front porch. They have been there ever since I bought my home a few years ago. And as the children play and we sit out on the porch, the bees tend to fly at our heads and get very close. It is scary not going to lie. I have had people tell me to put caulking in the holes but I couldn’t dare do that to them.
    I do garden, vegetable and flower gardens. And I was wonder about rehoming them. You have mentioned that in one of your comments and I was wondering if you have made any headway on this or have any ideas. I was thinking of trying to take some wooden boards I have and putting them into the ground like a post in my wild flower plot. And drilling a couple holes in the board. Or making some sort of sheltered board system to house them? Maybe if I take a bird bath and put colored stones in it and water for a bee and butterfly drinking area it might make it more attractive for the carpenter bees? I just know I can’t have them right there over my front porch steps chasing children. But I also don’t want to harm the bee’s. Any advice?

    • sprigglys on April 2, 2019 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you for the comment! Chances are the carpenter bees getting into your face are males who don’t have stingers and couldn’t sting even if they wanted to. It can be unnerving at times, however. We are still experimenting with ways to lure carpenter bees away from houses, however what you are doing sounds like it would have the best chance of working. Drilling starter holes doesn’t seem to encourage carpenter bees to make houses in wood, so leave them as is. Make sure the wood you use is untreated, and like you said they seem to appreciate a bit of shelter from rain and other weather so an eave at the top would give them a nice dry spot. Your bird bath idea is great as well. Make sure the boards you use are at least three inches thick to give your bees enough room to make their galleries. You were right not to close the holes, as the young carpenter bees inside will simply burrow around them!

      Good luck, and let us know how your housing works!

  11. Jessica on April 4, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Thank you for the advice and I most certainly will update you!

  12. Deanna on April 7, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I’m so excited to find this article, I absolutely love native bees especially the Carpenter Bees! They are so gentle and very interesting to watch. Thank you for sharing an article that doesn’t tell people to kill them!

    • sprigglys on April 8, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words and for your love of native bees – and especially – carpenter bees! We quite agree that they are gentle and very interesting to watch. Thank you for reading! Please feel free to share this article far and wide. We would love for as many people as possible to think the way you do!

  13. Denise Poirier on April 17, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you so much for the info. I too have a love for all of nature. I found a carpenter bee walking around near my garden,upon inspection I determined his wing was hanging wierd,and he couldnt fly,I moved him to some day he was still there. Well I live in north Florida,so its been warm but that day it was going to get cold and rain heavily,so I put some things around him,and placed a small table over him to protect from rain,well he survived all that,but next day it was even colder so I brought him in,made him a nice house in an aquarium,put some bottle caps in there one sugar water one with honey water, I used a small dropper to offer some of the solution,he started licking it,I picked him a bouquet and let him be,he stated coming to life,by the third day he was able to close his wings and on day 4 he started buzzing his wings,today is day 5 he hasnt woke (chiily today)Im hopeing he will recover,if not I will just take care of him,my friends think I’m nuts for having a pet bee, but I love him !

    • sprigglys on April 17, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you so much for doing everything you can to help that bee! We’ve moved many wet bees into the sun and swear we saw them acknowledge what we had done! You have done so much more and we know he (or she) appreciates it. Give him a bit more time and hopefully, they’ll warm up. They tend to just stay in one place when it gets too chilly. Also, we do not think you are nuts for helping the bee – we so appreciate people that view these incredibly beneficial insects as something as important as a pet. Thank you for everything you are doing and please keep us posted!

  14. Denise Poirier on April 23, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Well just a quick update on my little pet bee he never became able to fly so I figured the right thing to do was just to put him out in his environment and kind of keep an eye on him I put him in a mass of flowers that he liked I saw him for a couple days but then I didn’t see him anymore today so I’ll never know but he was never able to fly.

    • sprigglys on April 24, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      Thanks for the update- hopefully he was able to recover and continue his bee business as normal!

  15. beteljooz on May 1, 2019 at 2:14 am

    My mom has an apple tree in her yard that had a diseased limb. My brother cut off the limb at the base, leaving an 8″ wide area of exposed soft wood. Any suggestions on how to prevent carpenter bees from boring into the wood? My mom is elderly and loves to garden. I don’t want her to have any accidental run-ins with large bees, so if we can find a way to avoid carpenter bees from boring into or nesting in the tree, that would be fantastic.

    P.S. – I have found half-drowned honeybees in my yard and helped revived them. Instead of blowing on them to dry them off, I breathed warm air onto them until they came to and their wings no longer stuck to their bodies from being wet. I’ve done it a few times now. It’s like giving a bee CPR. I’ve also come up with a “bee bar” so bees have a safe place to drink with a highly reduced risk of drowning. I’ve dubbed it “Cantina Abeja.” They’ll stop, drink up, sit on the rocks and clean themselves before taking off again. I took a self-filling water dish for cats and dogs and filled the base with rocks. The one gallon Sparkletts-type bottle that comes with it gets super-heated in the sun, so removed that and top it off manually every day. I’ve also come up with a new one that’s a drip system. Still needs some work, though.

    Thank you for you website and your insights!

    • sprigglys on May 1, 2019 at 10:46 pm

      Thank you for your comment! First off, I don’t think you have to worry too much about carpenter bees boring into your mom’s apple tree. They seem to prefer nesting in the branches of trees rather than the trunk.

      It sounds like you have made some really cool inventions to help the bees in your area! We appreciate you sharing them with us- the name of your bee bar is great. Thank you for taking the time to appreciate these important creatures.

  16. Vickie Weaver on May 7, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    About a half an hour ago, I sprayed vinegar-water (equal parts) directly and separately at a pair of carpenter bees that kept flying around my patio, going into bored holes, and trying to select new spots to bore. They finally got together for a second just beyond the roof and appeared to tell each other, “The smell is awful. I can’t get away from it. Let’s get out of here!” Then, a minute ago one returned and snooped around briefly before leaving again. They can’t stand the smell! In short, vinegar seems to work as a deterrent; so, I’m keeping a bottle on the patio. If you experts believe that I should not spray vinegar-water at them, etc., please send an e-mail to tell me.

    • sprigglys on May 8, 2019 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks for your comment- I think you’re right, carpenter bees and most insects dislike the smell of vinegar- some small insects can even be killed outright from being sprayed! While I wouldn’t spray the bees directly with vinegar, it might work well as a deterrent if you spray wood that they seem attracted to. Keep us updated and let us know how it works this season!

  17. Ann on May 8, 2019 at 12:24 am

    I love the carpenter bees and consider them a valued part of my garden. However, i am thinking of moving and am worried the next home owner won’t be as fond of these regular occupants as I am. What are the options to either save them outright, move them, or discourage them from nesting so they leave and do not risk being exterminated by a less appreciative homeowner?
    Thank you in advance!

    • sprigglys on May 8, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you for your concern about your bee roommates! Unfortunately, the best thing to do in your situation might be to remove the wood that they are nesting in, relocate it to a wild space nearby, and replace it with well stained or painted wood. The stain and paint will discourage any more from moving in, while moving their original nests will hopefully encourage them to stay in that new area. Leaving some fallen limbs, untreated lumber such as 2×4, and other refuse in sheltered locations nearby can also work well at keeping them away from houses. Send us an email at for more help with this issue.

  18. Kimberly Hanson on May 8, 2019 at 5:15 am

    I really enjoyed this article! Thank you! I found myself talking to the carpenter bees in my porch and was Google searching to see if they did a lot of damage to wood. They are beautiful bees, I am glad to know they are helpful to the plants 😍

    • sprigglys on May 8, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you for reading! They are indeed very important and beneficial insects. I am sure they are also good listeners.

  19. Ann on May 9, 2019 at 3:09 am

    Thank you for your quick reply!

    I am fond of my bee friends. If i were to move the nest, when is the most dormant time to do so?

    They are in an overhead patio structure and part of a butterfly bush. Removing the nests and possibly relocating is a good plan, but would like to do so during a time that would be least stressful for them.

    Thank you again!


  20. Amber on May 17, 2019 at 9:52 am

    I’m in NV. While clearing a downed branch from my hybrid willow tree I came across a group of bored holes in the trunk about 10 ft up. Earlier in the week I’d seen a couple black bumbles wandering around my back yard and didn’t think much of it.
    There are high dead branches I need to bring down safely before the wind does but I don’t want to disturb the bumbles. I don’t want them boring my fascia boards or the neighbors so I’ll keep watch for that but they are fine in the tree.
    My question is… our homes are stucco over wood frame. Do you think the house is safe? Since they are pine underneath…

    • sprigglys on May 20, 2019 at 1:07 am

      Thanks for the question. I think you will be ok, I have never heard of carpenter bees getting underneath stucco. They are extremely durable bees, however, so it could be possible! I would not be worried though. If they do ever seem to be getting in, reach back out and we can try and troubleshoot.

  21. Marsha on May 19, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    I love this article and all these comments! I have had carpenter bees on my deck for several years but didn’t realize what they were till now. I actually mistook the one I saw for a bumblebee. But then I realized that they made a hole in a piece of the wood on my deck fence. It’s not a structural piece of wood so I’m fine with them living there. I love them also. I have noticed that hovering behavior in past years. And I also like it when they fly up to get a closer look at me. I do have a couple of questions. I keep hearing clicking noises from the direction of where the nest is. Do they make clicking noises when they’re excavating the wood? Also, the fact that I have seen them hovering in the same spot every year, does that mean that the same bees are coming back? Or do the babies grow up and nest in the same spot?

    • sprigglys on May 20, 2019 at 1:14 am

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, they do make scraping or clicking noises when they excavate the wood. They also use the sawdust from their digging to build partitions. So it might be a combination of carpenter bee construction noises. Carpenter bee females can live for a few years, however from what I understand the males aren’t very long lived and they are the ones who hover and guard their territory. If I had to guess, the spot that you see must be a top notch territory and is reclaimed every year by new males. Carpenter bees do re-use the same nests year after year.

      • Kristy on April 5, 2023 at 9:11 pm

        please help. We have new neighbors who don’t really understand carpenter bees. Heck, they didn’t even know what pollen was. Anyway, they left us some pretty unpleasant letters about the bees around our house(cedar). They pretty much told us we need to call an exterminator ASAP to get rid of our infestation before these bees nest/hatch and cause more bees to come to their house(which is also wood). We have painted our house , we have done all kinds of things, traps, etc. and I’ve been there since 2004 and they come back every year. Are the bees at our house really going over to their house to try to cause problem/ bore their wood? I want to be is informed as possible before I go back over there with my rebuttal . Thank you.

        • sprigglys on May 31, 2024 at 4:34 pm

          I am SO deeply sorry for the extreme delay in our response. There is always a chance carpenter bees after awhile might decide to move from one house to another, but there are many things that I hope you were able to discuss with them. Traps bring in more carpenter bees as they use pheromones – not worth the money and you kill more bees than were ever there. There are so many carpenter bees in the ecosystem, the ones in your house specifically wouldn’t make a difference. Also, they usually live in their nests generationally for years at a time, meaning they don’t divide in the same way let’s say a European honey bee does. Their lifecycle is completely different. So it’s less likely they’d be having a time every year where they are actively look for a new nest as they usually live together as a family and can live as long as four years. Most bees live for a few weeks in comparison. So sorry again this is such a delayed comment. Wishing you the best!

  22. John on May 21, 2019 at 5:14 am

    I’ve grown to love them too.

    My house was built in ’78. That would be 1878, and the old schoolhouse (just an old log cabin without windows or a fireplace, kids were built tough in those days) has a large colony of them inside the logs. For the first few years I tried to get rid of them. Pffft, that wasn’t going to happen, these things are built like tanks.

    By and by, I noticed that the honey bees had all but disappeared, and the pollinating duties had been taken over by the Carpenter bees. They bumble-stumble their way through the blueberries, strawberries, grapes, cherries, peaches, and blackberries, as well as the boring vegetables, pollinating as they go. They aren’t aggressive in the least, curious yes, they will fly right up to you and hover in place. Swat them aside if they bother you, they won’t sting you (the only victim of a stinging was my dog, Mollie, who would catch them out of the air until she decided that it wasn’t such a good idea anymore. The look on her face was hilarious when she came to that conclusion.

    So the bees no longer have anything to worry about from me, not that I had any luck getting rid of them in the first place. I wouldn’t get rid of them for anything.

    • sprigglys on May 22, 2019 at 12:04 am

      Thank you for this great comment- they are some of our favorite garden companions as well!

    • Maureen on August 6, 2020 at 7:26 pm

      I was petrified of these bees, but now, I feel differently. My flowers are beautiful because of them.

  23. Erick La von on May 25, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    This thread has been so enlightening and I thank all of you. We have been restoring a 70 + year old cottage with a huge lot. We bull dozed most of the lot to clear out the disastrous overgrowth but saved this neat old 8 foot cherry tree stump. Now I know that the funny, charming and lovely creatures living inside this old trunk are awesome co-gardeners! Also… why we have soooo many wood peckers hanging around. Cheers!

    • sprigglys on May 29, 2019 at 11:53 am

      Thanks for reading, and for your great comment! Leaving any and all possible areas wild is a great way to give these and other important insects a place to live.

  24. Tara on May 29, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    I recently discovered I have a male carpenter bee, now named Brandon, patrolling the deck in my back yard. This house is new to us, and we have not discovered any “galleries” or calls as of yet. I have some new, pollin filled plants in my yard, which may be why Brandon has selected our home.

    What are some things I can do to help Brandon stay healthy and possibly invite more bees?

    • sprigglys on May 30, 2019 at 1:03 am

      First of all – we love this story and that you named him! Also, thank you for wanting to attract more bees! To both support and attract bees it is best to keep something blooming at all times during the growing season and also make sure there is a nearby source of water if there isn’t one naturally. This can be created simply by putting a dish of water out with some rocks in the bottom that come slightly above the water. This will give Brandon and any other bees a place to drink. Another important factor is to not use any type of pesticide or chemical in your lawn. Let us know how everything goes!

      • Tara on May 31, 2019 at 6:13 pm

        Well, we just had some pretty bad thunderstorms roll through, right after my last post. I haven’t seen Brandon in about 4 days now. I looked for holes in my deck, still haven’t found any.

        Now my question is, “Does anyone have any idea why a bee would come hang out for about a week and then not return?”

        I’m a little sad that I haven’t seen him or the sweat bee, or the 3 wasps (mud dobbers maybe?) That showed up a couple days after Brandond did.

        • sprigglys on May 31, 2019 at 9:20 pm

          Hopefully your bees have just found another spot to settle down for the season, and were simply passing through your property in their search for the perfect home. Keep on the lookout, as I’m sure there are other bees, wasps, and other beneficial insects enjoying your garden even as we speak!

    • Irene on May 25, 2020 at 3:54 pm

      I Named mine Mitch, they are all Mitch or Mitchie LOLOLOL

  25. Patty on June 20, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    I have had carpenter bees for years, they love the over-hang on my deck. I am afraid that there are so many holes it is starting compromise the structure. Can I fill the holes without harm to the bees when it get cold ? or are they hibernating in the holes during the cold season?

    • sprigglys on June 24, 2019 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks for the comment! They spend the winter in the holes, and will simply burrow around any plugs that you put in place. Due to their generational nesting habits, carpenter bees are difficult to remove once they have become established. One option is to remove the wood with galleries and put it into a nearby forest or similar natural space. This will hopefully encourage the carpenters to remain where you move them. Replace the wood that you remove with painted or stained wood. In our experience, it is usually predators like wood peckers that end up causing the most damage to a structure as they try to get into the carpenter bee galleries. I would recommend not taking action until you see evidence of this kind of damage, as sharing a small part of your house with these important insects is an easy way to help them survive into the future!

  26. fred on July 10, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    just sharing the fact that all info ive read about these carpenter bees suggest their not aggressive. this is not true. i was just sitting quietly in a chair in my yard and was attacked and stung by one without provocation at all…….

    • sprigglys on July 10, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Sorry to hear about your encounter- like you have read, they are not an aggressive species and being attacked by one is very rare. What were the circumstances surrounding the sting? Was it very windy, or did the bee get stuck in your hair or clothes?

      • fred on July 10, 2019 at 7:48 pm

        hi sprigglys and thank you for your reply. i think that god may have just giving me my immune booster is all 🙂 i dont know if there were any contributing factors but the weather is just a nice sunny summer day here and i was just relaxing in a chair with my coffee. i garden and have never noticed this aggression before that i can remember. i welcome and worry alot for our pollenators and wont be taking any harmful action. im just trying to coexsist and help them help our world propogate. ive been very worried about losing them. the only thing i can say is just before it flew at me i noticed it buzzing around another carpenter bee but i dont know why. i have been seeing them look like there nesting in my shed wall right where they were buzzing about 5 feet from me. i just wanted to share and hope the bees find me the next time and sit and share my coffee or tea. god bless all gods creatures and pray for enlightenment in our journey together…….

  27. fred on July 10, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    btw when it landed it was on the rim of my ear canal. maybe it thought my ear canal was a home before i gently tried to shake my head to shoo it away idk. 🙂 all is well and the pain and swelling is finally subsiding. thank you and god bless us all in our journey together…….

  28. Maureen on July 20, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    I live on Cape Cod where our weathered shingled cottages should be prime gallery sites. I’ve always assumed the round holes are made by woodpeckers who really create a jackhammer racket in spring. But now I’m rethinking the holes. I bring this up because I have three catmint plants in my garden. Each year after blooming, most people cut them back to the ground to get a full second bloom, but once the flowers are gone the bees come en mass and they stick around until fall, so I leave them up. I can’t imagine what they find to pollinate through two months. I thought they were bumblebees but was horrified to google bumbles and learned instead my black-butted friends are carpenter bees. Yikes. Thanks to your article I will keep the spent catmint up for the carpenters. In several years I haven’t seen an unreasonable number of holes in my shingles. Thanks for talking me off the ledge.

    • sprigglys on July 29, 2019 at 1:12 am

      Thank you so much for reading and for anything you can do for pollinators, especially the lesser-tolerated pollinators like carpenter bees! They get a bad rap they do not deserve and are an indispensable part of our ecosystem.

  29. Ann Hermitege on August 3, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    We have just started clearing a huge pile of old compost and bits of wood and have uncovered what looks to be carpenter bees nest. Masses of them flying round on our allotment. Not sure what to do. We don’t want to kill the bees but do need to move this compost heap. Will they just relocate somewhere else. Please suggest what to do. Many thanks. There is a honey bee hive on another allotment.

    • sprigglys on August 7, 2019 at 12:34 am

      Thank you for the question. They are probably carpenter bees or bumble bees. If you have the ability to wait until the first frost, the bees will have either died off or entered a dormant state. That would make it very easy for you to then move your compost heap. If you can’t wait, try and locate their nest and move it to a sheltered area nearby. Wear long sleeves, gloves, a hat, and sunglasses just in case they decide to get grumpy. If you send us an email at with pictures of the nest, we can help you identify the bees and come up with a good solution!

  30. James on September 22, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks for wonderful article!
    I was just taught yesterday how to build a carpenter bee trap and was considering doing so but worried about lack of pollination around my home and garden,
    My mind is made up thanks to you.
    Enjoy the bees AND their benefits.

    • sprigglys on October 28, 2019 at 11:25 pm

      Thank you so much! We are so happy to hear this. If you ever have any questions, let us know! Sorry for the delay in our response.

  31. Cristin on January 25, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    This article is nearing 2 years old at this point, but I felt compelled to reply anyway just in case anyone reading this has had any success in encouraging carpenter bees to move from a well-established home into a new one.

    We have a second-story deck with a roof overhang and built-in benches along it’s perimeter. Of course, when we purchased the house, this quickly became my favorite place to hang out.

    I began to notice large bees hovering above and below the porch. Though I wasn’t sure what they were, they quickly became some if my favorite insects just because they were so stinkin’ adorable AND helped protect our porch.

    On countless occasions I would be out there repotting plants. These bees would just hover nearby,coming to investigate me occasionally. When I would find a large stick or rock in my potting soil, I would throw it over the edge of the porch. I began to notice that if a bee saw this, they would fly after the stick, following it almost to the ground.

    I showed my husband, and we both agreed that these bees made more of an effort at playing fetch than our own dog did!

    Obviously, this was done instinct to chase away other flying creatures to protect their best, but it was still entertaining.

    In fact, sooo many times while I was out there we’d see wasps flying around the back porch (which is problematic only because of allergy concerns), and the bees would chase them away!

    So in addition to pollinating the plants in our garden, entertaining us with games of fetch and their curious little hovery-buzzy behavior, they helped protect our property from stinging wasps!

    Unfortunately, our porch is showing signs of concerning structural damage.

    We have neither the funds to have the wood replaced nor the ability to do it ourselves. So, before the damage progressed, I was hoping to figure out a way to encourage the bees to move.

    We have built a strategically-placed woodpile of branches and logs near to the problem areas, but it has been there for nearly two years now with no sign of bee inhabitation. I saw cedar and pine being mentioned, so that’s our next move.

    But I was simply curious if anyone else had figured out a good method without harming the bees.

    Sorry for my long-winded post.

    I just love our bees so much. <3

    • sprigglys on January 27, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      Thanks for your great comment, and for your clear appreciation and care for your carpenter bees!

      First off, it sounds like you are doing everything right so far. An addition of cedar or pine to your woodpile would hopefully help- make sure to keep the pieces horizontal and above any nearby grass or plants to try and mimic the position of dead branches in a forest. They do prefer sheltered spots over those exposed to the elements- if your woodpile is alone out in the open, make sure it’s not being bullied by the weather.

      As you’ve learned carpenter bees are homebodies who don’t readily vacate a space once they have established some galleries. They will eventually start looking for other locations, however, especially if your deck is showing signs of wear. Over time this will lead to less carpenter bees living in your porch. Keeping a well stocked pile nearby will hopefully be an attractive lure for newer generations as they emerge. If you are seeing large chunks of wood missing or being torn out, that is probably woodpecker damage. Reflective stickers and/or flash tape can help to keep them away.

      Hopefully you see some bees start to move from your house into your pile this season. Please be in touch and let us know how it goes!

  32. Heather on March 29, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    A little late to the post, I have gone back and forth with these new and have coffee to the same conclusion. They seem to make a home on my deck and with that the male bees chase away any wasps that are interested in coming around as we sit outside.

    • sprigglys on March 31, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks for the comment! We will keep that in mind for the future. Interesting fact about the wasps, that could certainly be an additional benefit to letting your neighborhood carpenters settle down in and around your house.

  33. Ashley on April 4, 2020 at 2:29 am

    I have a very special relationship with my carpenter bees going on 3 years. I anxiously await their emergence in the spring. Their gallery is on the railing of my deck. I work from home so I spend around 5 hours a day out there gardening, tanning and working. I name them every year, and this years male is Billy Bee. I usually only have 2 each year, but this year there are 5 in the yard! They have always stayed very close to me when I’m outside and love when I talk to them. They know they are safe from me and we always have a good relationship. This year however, Billy Bee is being far more friendly than any carpenter bee before. I cant help but to feel like it’s a super special friendship. He hovers 1-10 feet from me for the entire hours long time I’m outside on the deck. He also chases off any wasp or other insect that comes near. In reality i know he’s just monitoring me to make sure his dwelling is safe, but it still feels special. The thing is, while he’s with me, he’s not out with the flowers doing his bee thing. Is his hanging out with me keeping him from eating? Is the constant staying with me because he’s stressed and in super protect mode? Or could it be possible that he just enjoys hanging out with me the whole time? Amazing article and thank you for educating people on how to love these creatures.

    • sprigglys on April 6, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you for this wonderful comment! I wouldn’t worry too much about your bees going hungry- the normal day for males seems to involve stocking up on food and then sticking to their territory for a chunk of time, and then returning to flowers for quick bites. Studies have actually found that male carpenter bees learn to recognize their bee ‘neighbors’, and they give bees they recognize more leeway if they wander into their territory. If I had to guess, Billy Bee recognizes you as a neighbor, and is simply observing you as you go about your business. If he were more stressed, you would probably be on the receiving end of multiple head butts. Thank you again for your story, and for caring about these important insects!

  34. Liz on April 7, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Last year I bought ahouse with a carport built in the ‘70’s. I’ve seen a lot of carpenter bees around the entrance since I moved in. I’d like to let them live there because I appreciate pollinators, but I’m concerned about the damage to me carport . How can I tell the extent of the damage?

    • sprigglys on April 8, 2020 at 1:02 pm

      Unfortunately (and luckily aesthetically), it can be difficult to assess the extent of their galleries just by looking at them. If you are seeing a lot of carpenter bees, chances are there are some impressive tunnels in your carport. Have you noticed woodpeckers and/or their damage? Most real and overwhelming damage comes from woodpeckers trying to excavate your pollinating friends. I would recommend you keep an eye out for curious woodpecks, and if they start showing an interest in your carport, hang some reflecting markers or stickers to help keep them away. This will hopefully be the best of both worlds, where you’re able to give your local carpenters a place to live while also avoiding crippling damage to your structure.

  35. Laura on May 4, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Recently, I’ve noticed quite a few “bee houses” or “bee boxes” being sold in stores & online. Here is an example:
    Do you know if carpenter bees will use these types of houses or does their nature require them to carve out the holes from themselves? Thank you for your advice & a great article.

    • sprigglys on May 4, 2020 at 4:06 pm

      hank you for your comment! This is a good question, and one that requires several answers.

      First off, you are correct that carpenter bees prefer to use holes that they excavate themselves. They do also re-use carpenter bee galleries, however they are normally of larger diameters than those found in man-made bee houses, which are made for solitary mason bees, leafcutter bees, and other beneficial insects like solitary wasps. Carpenter bee galleries are also normally much longer than the short space allowed in man-made solutions like the one you linked. Houses like that will not attract carpenter bees, rather the beneficial solitary wood nesting insects that are already in and around your property.

      I would not recommend you purchase the house you linked, however. This is for several reasons. First off, it is difficult to gauge the diameter and depth of the holes provided. Each species tends to prefer specific diameters, and many commercially available houses neglect to make their holes actually livable for North American native bees and wasps. The tunnels need to be at least 6 inches deep- anything shallower, and the ratio of males to female eggs laid becomes skewed, which is very bad. They can be longer than 6 inches, however this is another aspect that many commercial houses miss. This house looks too shallow from the picture, however it’s hard to tell. Also, it is hard to tell if the back of the ‘house’ is closed off or not. It is best to have a housing solution with a closed off back, to help ward off pests and predators.

      I recommend you either purchase a man-made native bee house somewhere where you can see it in person, so that you can take a look at the diameters and measurements for yourself before buying, or from a seller who is clearly invested in making houses that take the lives of the creatures they are attempting to attract into consideration. For an example, please visit our website at, and check out the native bee cabins we make.

      Thank you for making sure you are doing the right things for the important pollinators and other insects in your area!

  36. Bee Well | Endeavours and Creative Things on May 11, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    […] read about carpenter bees, and help them do what they do best. If you don’t want to share your home with them, there are simple ways to give them a home […]

  37. Cassandra on May 15, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Hi. I have a screened in porch that is above a carport, so the gaps in the floorboards are big enough for carpenter bees to get in from below. I think they are nesting in the wood from the underside, which is fine. I have been working from home for a few weeks out on the porch, and I notice that the carpenter bees have a strange habit of coming up into the screened in porch through the floor and getting trapped. Once they are inside, all they do is crawl around on the screen seemingly looking for a way out. I am starting to form a theory that this mainly happens when the sun is shining on the screen. On cloudy days and in the evening (screen faces east) they do not seem to get trapped. However, one days when they do, I can trap and release and then (presumably) the same bee will be back within 5-10 minutes. I was wondering if you had any insight into why this is happening. I don’t want them to starve to death being trapped on the porch.

    • sprigglys on May 22, 2020 at 7:57 pm

      Interesting- that’s a new one to me. I will do some digging, and reply back if I find any known reasons why they are wandering up during the day. Maybe it is also cooler, and they are looking for some respite from the sun before realizing they are trapped? Would putting a carpet down be too much of a hassle? That might keep them out. Thank you for trying to keep them from getting stuck, and keep us updated on anything you try that works!

  38. Katie on May 22, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Hello! I found this blog and it made me rethink getting rid of the carpenter bee that has begun making it’s home in our wooden firewood cradle. However, it has chosen to burrow into the part of the cradle that is right next to our back door. I am not allergic to bee’s, but I am almost irrationally afraid of bee’s. I also respect what they do for garden’s and the overall environment as a whole so I don’t want to kill it or ruin the nest it has begun to create. But I would like it to not be so close to our back door so I can go outside without freaking out. We are going to try using citrus water (boiled citrus in water, cooled, then poured over the post) as well as the speaker method. Are there any other methods that you suggest to either move the nest (wood cradle) or to encourage it to leave?

    • sprigglys on May 22, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks for your message!I wouldn’t feel too bad about persuading them to move elsewhere now, since you are saving them a lot of work by moving them when they’re just getting started versus waiting until later in the season. Hopefully, since they haven’t invested much energy into the gallery yet, they will be easily drawn away by your citrus applications and music blasting. Make sure you pick music that bees like, maybe some Queen or Sting. As mentioned in the blog, try to have attractive nesting sites nearby if possible like standing or fallen dead trees, limbs, or wood piles. You could also move the wood cradle, like you said. Move it on a cool night, to make sure the bee is inside and slowed down due to the cold. Wear a hat and gloves, however I doubt the bee will give you any trouble. Keep us updated, and good luck!

  39. Katie Ruwe on May 23, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you! We took a long stick and knocked around the wood a bit because it didn’t seem to mind the music. But the music did keep it at bay after it flew off and it allowed us to work. We covered the cradle with some lime water, and poured some over the wood for good measure. We put a piece of lime rind in the hole as well. He did come back to investigate, but did not like the lime and left. We did take a few pieces of ‘clean’ wood from a neighbor and set it up in a garden well away from the back door just in case it wants to come back!

    • sprigglys on May 25, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      Glad to hear about your success- keep us updated if anything changes!

  40. Diana and Simon Harrison on May 23, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much for all the info. We have many flowers and a garden. This year our carpenter bees decided to make a home on our deck, in the newly put up roof rafters. She started yesterday. I didn’t bother her, but thought about it. My Mom has always disliked them. So glad I found your info. She has continued her work today, as the wood shavings are everywhere. Glad she is there. We have many wasps, too, but they never seem to bother us. Maybe that’s why our bee friend moved in! We can all get along and have many blooms this year. God bless you!

    • sprigglys on May 25, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you for your comment, and for giving your carpenter bee friend a home. I think you will learn to like and appreciate them even more as they live close to you!

  41. Nancy Bennett on May 24, 2020 at 11:28 am

    I just moved into this home in November. It has a wonderful screened in porch that I couldn’t wait to hang out on . I am loving all of the flowers that are inherent to the property – lilacs, iris, lilies, etc. However, I have jokingly been calling my screened in porch a Bee Hospice. So I started googling around to see what I could find. I have one or two carpenter bees show up daily, crawl around on my screens (I leave the door to the outside propped open at all times so my Bernese Mountain dog can wander in and out) and in a day or two at the most, they are dead on the floor. I rarely see them fly. I was surprised to see how long they live, but am sad to see them dying on my porch. I have plants on my porch as well, chenilles, gardenia, ferns and a couple shamrocks. I haven’t found any bore holes on the framework of the porch that is painted. So I think they are just wandering in. It was wonderful to read about what great pollinators they are. So my question is: is there something that is causing them to die on my screened in porch? If so, I would love to fix it. If they are just coming to die in my porch because it is peaceful and surrounding them with all the yummy smells of my gardenia, I am happy to welcome them to my Bee Hospice.

    • sprigglys on May 25, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      Interesting- we have heard about carpenter bees getting stuck in screened in porches from other readers, and are not quite sure why. Maybe they are seeking some cool shade, or are looking for a new nest, and get stuck. Have you been able to notice if the dead bees have yellow spots on their foreheads? I would be curious to know if the stuck bees are males, females, or a mix of both. That might help determine why they’re finding screened in porches so attractive. Males typically have those large, yellow dots on their faces. If you could take a tally of any bees you find, and if they have facial dots, please report back! Until then, leaving the door open as you are already doing is excellent. I would also recommend placing a shallow dish filled with water somewhere on the porch, so that any stuck bees can get a drink if they need. Putting some stones, sand, or other material in the dish is a good way to give bees a ‘landing pad’ in the dish. Thanks for your comment, and hopefully we’ll hear from you soon.

  42. Laura on May 24, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve been looking for my “buddy” carpenter bee this morning, but I don’t think he comes out until it warms up in the day. Then, he hovers in the same area, as we’ve all seen, but I can’t, for the life of me find any holes or covered holes. I have no idea where the nest is!! He’s in front of my porch, but there’s nothing visible anywhere! I’ve really come to enjoy watching him, and when I’m out drinking coffee, it’s almost like he’s dancing for me. He’s got to be guarding something but I have no idea what. How can I figure that out? I also love watching him carry away any wasps that get too close. I guess they can grab on. I wonder why he moves away when I come to take a closer look at him. I thought he’d be curious. I do say he, as I’ve never seen him boring any wood. It’s just so weird that I can’t find the nest! It’s driving me nuts. Any help appreciated!

    • sprigglys on May 25, 2020 at 12:47 pm

      That definitely sounds like a male- they tend to stake out their territories and stick to them during the day. If you can get a closer look, males tend to also have a large yellow dot on their forehead, which makes their identification easier. As you’ve seen, they’re very quick to boot other creatures, especially predators, out of their domain as they wait for females to pass by. They have been found to be able to recognize their neighbors, though, and they are less aggressive towards those they recognize. If you are in close contact every day, chances are your friend remembers you and doesn’t feel as much of a need to evict you as other creatures. (Don’t forget males don’t have stingers and pose little threat besides the occasional irritated headbutt).

      Males typically pick one of two locations for their territories, which are usually around 10 feet in diameter or so. Sometimes they will stake out a location near a nest, so that they can easily find females as they travel to and fro during the day. Another is prime flowering sites, which sometimes are pretty far away from the nest. If you have a healthy supply of flowers in and around your property, your buddy could have claimed them as his territory. In that case, it will be very hard to find the nest- studies have found that carpenter bees have been able to find their nest from up to 7 miles away, so they can travel extremely far to get forage if they find a good spot. In some cases the males might not even live in the nest at all, and might shelter in the landscape near their territory.

      In any case, your space has been deemed attractive enough for his territory, so I would definitely take it as a compliment. Thank you for your comment, and please keep us updated on how your bee friend does this year!

  43. Laura on May 25, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Hi and thank you for the reply! I do have a flower garden directly underneath the porch where he hovers. I’ve seen him in the flowers. Great for pollination. I sit about 5 to 6 feet from him on the porch. He darts up very often removing those who fly by. I really like that he keeps the wasps from coming near me. I know males can’t bite/sting, but I also like the big bumble bees who can, yet really never do. I do live in a highly wooded area, so a nest coukd be in the trees somewhere. He does spend a lot of time just “looking at me” until an unwanted creature flies by. We also have backyard “buzzy” who hovers over a glass table every day. Again, no sightings of any nest, but he’s usually in the same spot. We walk by and he doesn’t seem to mind. Occasionally, I see 2 carpenters atop the roof and wonder if it’s front yard buzzy and backyard, defending their territories. They seem to fight a bit. Other than those two, I see no others. I’m sitting on the porch now but my buddy hasn’t shown up today. It’s a little overcast and not that hot, but warm enough…. Wonder where he is. Do they move on after some time for any reason? He’s been here every day for at least a week. Hmmm

    Thanks again for your expertise in answering my questions! I’ll just keep studying them.


    • sprigglys on May 25, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      No problem, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have about garden insects. Depending on how their season has been going so far, and how significant the impending weather is, your bee might be taking a day off from most of his duties. The male carpenter bee’s life of brazen patrolling is very dangerous, and males generally have short life spans especially compared to females. They almost always live for longer than a week or two, though, so keep your eye out for his return!

      • Laura on May 28, 2020 at 2:16 am

        Hi, thank you! The males only live for a week or 2? I didn’t know that. 😔 “Buzzy” did come back that day, but from then forward, he’s attracted some “frien-amies”. I’ve seen at least 4 at one time now. One particular bee I believe was not “Buzzy” was one who acted in a completely different manner. This bee landed on the underside of the porch wood constantly, and seemed very interested in the wood. The others have been fighting, and I’m not sure how easily a bee would give up their territory. I’m kind of sad… (this coming from someone who had pet snails as a kid)

        Thank you!

  44. Katelyn on May 26, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Hi! I seem to have carpenter bee friends who have started holes in a part of my porch roof. They unfortunately are right in front of my front door so I am always terrified to leave, even to grab the mail LOL Do you think they will get aggravated at my family since we are so close to where they decided to stay?? I don’t want to have to ask them to leave ): Also, should I even be scared of them??

    Thanks in advanced!!

    • sprigglys on May 26, 2020 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you for your comment! Because of their large size and curious nature, it is common to be a bit afraid of carpenter bees. But you do not need to be scared, because they are some of the most docile insects around.

      They will not attack you for being close to their nest (called a gallery), unless you physically try and tear into the wood, in which case you are probably asking for it. The females, which do have stingers, are not agitated by people hanging around their galleries. They should not bother you at all. The males, which can usually be told apart from females due to a large yellow dot on their forehead, do claim territories that they keep clear of other animals whenever possible, including humans. Males are very charismatic and will get in your face to challenge you, and they will also follow you around and observe your movements through their territory. You do not need to be afraid of them either, however, since the males do not have a stinger and are all buzz and no sting. The most offensive encounter with a male will end with them headbutting you out of curiosity, however they will not sting or bite you. Studies have actually found that males are able to remember their neighbors, both insects and other animals, so eventually the males in your area will learn to remember you and give you less of a hassle when you wander through their territory.

      Please keep in touch and let us know if you have any other questions or concerns about your new roommates. Thanks again for reaching out instead of simply killing these important insects!

      • Vince on May 27, 2020 at 1:33 am

        Hello my wife and I have lived in our home for about 10yrs. Probably the 2nd yr we were there, I noticed carpenter bees nesting in an old “dog” door on side of garage. They have been there every spring since, and I would agree, they are truly fascinating creatures. We live near buffalo, ny so we enjoy our warm months on our patio adjacent to garage (where bees live). They definitely recognize us, I think a little more every year. They will patrol our patio constantly (no yellowjackets), and will get within 2-3″of my finger. My question is do they like a very light/fine mist on hot days? I also have cockatiels that I bring out with us and they will actually defend them from other bees/flies as well. As I was misting birds, they appeared to be attracted to it, so I continued to mist the bees. Thanks sorry so long

        • sprigglys on May 27, 2020 at 8:34 pm

          Thank you for the comment, we love to hear stories of carpenter bees and people/pets getting along together. I’ve never tried misting carpenter bees, but because of their large size they can fly in pretty heavy rainfall without hassle. They also dislike extreme heat, and probably enjoyed the cooling mist you provided. Maybe they were even able to get a drink as well. I will have to try it for myself! Thank you for sharing your story, and for caring about your local carpenter bees!

  45. JERRY SPOONER on May 27, 2020 at 5:44 pm


    • sprigglys on May 27, 2020 at 8:38 pm

      They do produce a honey-like sugary product, however they only make it in small supplies that they use to feed their young. Even though they don’t make honey in significant quantities, the other benefits that they provide through pollination and as food for other wildlife more than make up for it!

  46. Gary on June 24, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    I just found your website, and have been reading post after post. It is wonderful what you are doing. I thought I might send a note regarding ‘my’ carpenter bees. Hope this does’nt get too long.

    3 awsome big fellows, 1 just above my head in the potting shed fasia board next to our gazebo, he is always around, and any company we have at the time are told he is just curious about them, and 1 more around the corner (facia again), and most amusing is the one in the front of my working/plant potting table. As I’m lucky enough to work outside in the buff this would be intolerable if it was a wasp or hornet, but true to the carpenter/bumble bee tolerence, he is just nosy and a good observer of garden prepping.

    Will look to Amazon for your book.


    • sprigglys on June 29, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you for your comment, glad you found us! It is always good to hear stories of people living alongside their local carpenter bees. Have a great summer, and please post again with any questions or concerns you might have about these important insects.

  47. Janet Geren on July 30, 2020 at 4:06 am

    I love these bees, I thought they were bumble bees at first. They are so sweet and gentle. I can touch them and they are fine with that. Sometimes though, they seem like they are drunk? Anyone know why,

    • sprigglys on August 3, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks for your comment! From what I gather, bees and other pollinators can sometimes become ‘drunk’ off of nectar if they drink a whole lot and/or it has fermented slightly in the flower. This can also be seen in honey bee swarms, since the swarm feasts on honey before they leave the nest in search of a new hive, making them all extremely passive. It is probably similar to the effects of a few drinks.

  48. John Mercer on February 27, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    I found this totally by accident. But I’m glad I did. We are building an “enclosed” garden. Some cedar framing and, chicken wire, 2″ openings. Will either of these deter pollinators from my plants? Just trying to keep the squirrels and raccoons, from taking all of our food. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day.

    • sprigglys on March 1, 2021 at 8:52 pm

      Hey John,

      Thanks for the comment. Insect pollinators of all shapes and sizes will be undeterred by your cedar framing and chicken wire. Some studies have found that carpenter bees seem to enjoy aromatic woods like cedar for nesting sites, so if you see any bees making galleries in spots where they can’t be left alone make sure to paint the area ASAP. Have a good day!

  49. Kristen on March 12, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Hey there! So glad I found this post (years later). We recently removed an old wooden pergola that had at least a dozen carpenter bees working on it. It wasn’t easy and they weren’t happy with me but it needed to be replaced. I was being careful not to cut near any holes and I saved the wood boards with active bees in it. Right now, I have these boards at the back of my property but I’m not sure what to do with them? The rest of the wood will be discarded. I’d like to be able to discard these last boards once the bees are out. Any idea when would be the safest time of year to do so? Its currently March in Florida so spring is well underway.

    • sprigglys on March 15, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you for the comment! In our experience, the best way to get carpenter bees to leave existing nests is to move the boards into a sheltered space in a wooded area (forest) if possible. That should hopefully encourage them to leave their boards for some more natural digs. At the end of the season, around August, they should be empty and ready to be discarded if you so desire. Thanks again, and please be in touch about what you do and how it works!

  50. Kathy on March 12, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    80 degrees in Raleigh, NC today, and I greeted my first carpenter bee on the deck. They’ve been nesting under the eaves since this house was built in ’02. It always makes me happy when the first ones come back out because then I know for sure it’s spring. It’s also reassuring to find that I’m not the only person who talks out loud to my bees! Thank you for all the information and encouragement.

    • sprigglys on March 15, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      That’s great to hear, it seems like it will be an early spring for carpenter bees in the area. We also greatly enjoy the ambiance carpenter bees can bring to an outside area. Thank you for reading, and for leaving a comment!

  51. C.J. on March 15, 2021 at 10:46 am

    hi!!! i am so glad i came across your site in my google search for info on carpenter bees. i didnt know anything of them til earlier this evening when one came out of my fireplace that i had a fire burning. my bf thought that there were multiple bees (due to loud buzzing) and that they must have had a hive in our chiminey, but i only saw the one and as i didnt want to kill it, i put it in a glass jar and took a photo and submitted the pic on the bug identifier app i installed on my phone, so i could find out what type of bee it is. unfortunately, once the fire died i inspected the fireplace and found a burned bee carcass, made me feel terrible. i also found a chunk of one of the branches i was burning, and noticed a perfect hole with tunnel behind it and thought to myself… i bet thats where the bees came from, thus began my google search and discovery of this site. my lil friend has tried to fly and did well but in the jar not much room so it stopped flying around and now is being quite still. i am hoping it isnt injured to badly and is just resting to recover. i truely hope it doesnt die, i feel horrible that i burned up its home and possible mate, i want to give it something to eat but no clue what that could be, or how to feed it… also wanted to know, do they sleep or maybe deep relaxing for periods of time? i am fascinated by my new (hopefully) friend and would love to keep as a pet, but my furries (cats) would probably end up killing it, so i will take care of it as needed then let go outside when weather gets warmer. i dont see a stinger but also dont see a yellow dot on forehead either, any other way to determine if male or female? any advice would be greatly appreciated. i am in sacramento, california, btw… lol thanx in advance if you are able to email me any help info on my lil friend. 🙃

    • sprigglys on March 15, 2021 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks for your comment, and for trying to help your new friend! They will eat sugar water, around a 2:1 sugar to water ratio, in a spoon or shallow dish. As soon as your local temperatures stop dropping below freezing I would let your bee outside, they are very tough and can survive in some pretty cold weather. As far as the sex, besides the forehead dot it can be hard to tell. The females are very docile, and should not even try to sting unless you pick her up and/or squeeze her. I wouldn’t be afraid. They do sleep and relax, and some scientists think that they dream as well. I’m sure your friend is dreaming of wide open fields of flowers! As long as it is able to be released soon your bee should probably do just fine. Thanks again. You have now discovered the reason that we cannot burn wood in our house without very carefully looking it over first- too many stowaways!

  52. Monica on March 27, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Hey! I just stumbled across your website because I have carpenter bees all along my house. I wanted to get rid of them but now I’m not so sure. They truly are non aggressive and chase off other insects.

    The only problem I have is that we live in a very wooded area with loads of trees and they still choose our house to nest in – which leads me to believe that there might be too many? Also one male is guarding near my bird feeder and I don’t want him to chase the birds away…

    What would be the best way to relocate that particular one? Thank you!

    • sprigglys on March 28, 2021 at 2:41 pm

      Hey Monica,

      Thank you for the comment. Some carpenter bees naturally venture out beyond their original nest site, and so a consequence of having great natural habitat for them is that some will eventually come into contact with your house. I am hopeful that your natural areas are in such a great condition in regards to carpenter bee habitat that you’re just seeing some of the outflow from the environment- which is a good thing! We see the same thing, and tend to leave carpenter bee colonies where they are because they are such a boon to the landscapes around them and they do very little structural damage to houses compared to other animals (I’m looking at you woodpeckers).

      It sounds like your bird feeder male might have picked an unlucky spot for his territory. In my experience, carpenter bees don’t bother birds very much, and are actually important food sources in the spring for insect eating birds like chickadees. I would guess that the problem will take care of itself before too long, when the bee gets too bold and approaches the wrong bird!

      Please reach back out if the bee gets more ornery towards your feeder friends, or if you have any other questions.

  53. Mary on April 4, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    I found your page during research about the bees.
    My old still fruiting peach tree has some dead branches which have been used by what I thought were a couple of bees for the past two years.
    I tried to saw off a dead branch today to get rid of the wood and many bees flew out. Black females and golden males.
    For the first time, I saw the labyrinth of channels for the galleries made and it is impressive!
    I decided to leave part of the dead branch there for now (lots of buzzing inside so they must still have channels to live in).
    Half the branch which I did remove is on top of the compost bin to allow for exit if any bees are still in that part.

    I guess my peach tree will be home to the group until it stops fruiting and needs to be cut down.

    • sprigglys on April 5, 2021 at 12:47 pm

      Hey Mary,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, it sounds like your peach tree will be a local carpenter bee haven for years to come, at the very least. Thank you for deciding to leave these important and powerful pollinators where they are!

  54. Stephney Kumm on April 22, 2021 at 7:44 am

    Good day,
    I found a carpenter bee on the ground yesterday at dawn. He seemed quite lifeless. I placed him in a box overnight and put him out in the sun again this morning. He tried to fly, but immediately fell to the ground. Any idea to what the problem might be? Is there anything I can do to help him?

    • sprigglys on May 6, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      Hey Stephney,

      Thanks for the comment, sorry for the delay in responding. How did your bee friend fare the next day? It sounds like the bee you found might have been injured, exposed to pesticides, or simply very old and expiring. Feeding them a mixture of 1:1 sugar water can sometimes rejuvenate them enough to get flying again. Thank you for trying, and keep in touch with any other questions about carpenter bees!

  55. Jessica k on May 1, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    I absolutely love these little creature we have the everywhere. But i would like to know if there are any creative and fun habitats or homes that we can build just for then to use year after year. Kinda like you would a bat box but just for these little guys?

    • sprigglys on May 6, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      Hey Jessica,

      Thanks for the question, we love them too! We have experimented with a variety of enticing ‘houses’ for carpenter bees to use, but have never had the success we were looking for. In our experience, the best houses for them are dead trees or limbs in a forest, with human constructions taking their place if/when needed. If you make some of your own, please be in touch and let us know how it goes!

  56. Melanie on May 2, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    I would love to find a way to continue to coexist with our carpenter bees. We have an old farmhouse and barn that we rent out to other tenants. We plugged the wood siding of the farmhouse a couple of years ago and then added vinyl siding to that to insulate it as well as encourage the bees to live somewhere else. The farmhouse was already a bit run down when we bought it. The bees definitely love living there as it’s 50-100 years old or more. Each spring for the past 3-5 years they re-emerge, more numerous than before. I am concerned they are compromising the stability of the barn. If I am reading correctly, one option that might encourage them to relocate is to paint / stain the wood? Any other thoughts on how to minimize the damage to the barn? Today I observed what seemed like hundreds of bees all over the barn – every entrance, the rafters, the roofline, etc.

    • sprigglys on May 6, 2021 at 8:54 pm

      Hey Melanie,

      Thanks for the comment. Staining and painting any exposed wood makes it less attractive to carpenter bees, however once they’ve made their galleries they can be very hard to vacate. How is the vinyl siding on the farmhouse working at keeping carpenter bees from moving in? For large, heavily populated buildings like your barn, an option is to remove and relocate the most heavily affected pieces to a sheltered space in a nearby forest. This can encourage them to stay in that more natural space, while you then replace the area with a piece of stained and/or painted wood. For best results, move them over 7 miles, as they have been found to be able to find their way back home from that far of a distance! Although carpenter bees are very docile, I recommend moving them at night, with gloves and a bee veil, or a hat and safety glasses. Move them in the bed of a truck if possible. Please let us know what you decide to do, and how it goes.

  57. Irene L Woods on May 6, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    I don’t want the bees drilling into my house but don’t want to kill them either. I have 2 bee traps. If I catch any in the traps, can I relocate them? I’m of letting them go miles away from my house. My question: how far away (miles?) do I need to do that?

    • sprigglys on May 6, 2021 at 8:57 pm

      Hey Irene,

      Thank you for trying to relocate the carpenter bees you are catching. Yes, they can be moved, but studies have found them able to return to their nest from as far away as 7 miles, possibly from landmarks but their true wayfinding abilities are still unknown. If possible, I would move them to a forest or other natural setting over 7 miles away.

      • Irene L Woods on May 7, 2021 at 5:20 pm

        Thank you for the quick response. There is a 400 nature park 10 miles from me. That’s the plan. I have 2 mason jar traps. I’ve never done this so I’m new On Youtube I saw that you’re supposed put some honey in the jar. Is that correct?

  58. Irene L Woods on May 7, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    My plan is to hang them from a tree using a strong cord. (youtube again). Sound right?? Any other suggestions is greatly appreciated.

    • sprigglys on May 29, 2021 at 1:21 pm

      That sounds good, however make sure the cord isn’t loose enough to turn the wood into a swing. Try and secure it as much as possible.

  59. Nurah on May 18, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    May all bee-ings be well!

  60. Teala on May 27, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    I’ve enjoyed my Carpenter bees for years. But they are doing so much damage to my back garage door frame and shed nearby that I decided to move them. Plus they are driving my dog crazy! It’s late May in Fort Wayne Indiana and they have been working in their nests for quite a while. I caught about 30+ and moved them about 20 miles away. Now I’m worried that I have done this at the wrong time of year! Will the young survive if they have hatched at this date? There are no bees to bring pollen to the nests? I’m worried I’ve killed off the next generation!

    • sprigglys on May 29, 2021 at 1:21 pm

      Hey Teala,

      Thanks for the comment. Some of the young might perish, however the life cycle of young carpenter bees is still largely unknown. Adults absolutely provision their eggs with enough food to feed very young bees in their larval forms, however once they are fully grown, it isn’t really known if the parents continue to feed them until they leave the nest, or if the adolescents take short trips out to feed themselves. I think the bees that remain will be ok. Keep in mind that moving bees will not stop the ‘problem’ of your bee residents- the most permanent solution would be to move the affected piece of wood and replace it with a painted and/or stained piece to discourage future settlers from moving in. Thank you for not outright killing your carpenters!

      • Teala on June 1, 2021 at 1:43 pm

        Thank you for your reply! There are still about three female bees returning to the nests. I see no males. If I need to move the bees again in the future what is the best time of year to do so? I want to do the least harm to them!

        • sprigglys on June 2, 2021 at 1:47 pm

          Late in summer/early fall is probably the best time, if I had to guess. Thanks again for keeping their survival in mind as you try to remove them from your garage door!

  61. Mark on June 2, 2021 at 4:37 am

    This is a myopic statement and post. I’m sure Spriggly will go ahead and delete this, but I’ll continue in case s/he doesn’t.

    I have a converted barn home from 1724. It’s 297 years old and built before George Washington was born. Original barn wood.

    I have had to commit genocide against these horrible creatures with a backpack gas-operated sprayer, custom-size drill press plugs on each hole after dusting. All to preserve a historic structure of an original founder. I have tried all green solutions. They aren’t effective. One year of “green” caused ridiculous damage to an original shed. Thankfully a shed, but still on the historic register.

    The solution is Bayer Tempo SC Ultra. Douse it all and kill them all. They belong nowhere other than forests. Your home is worth more than this rhetoric. You worked hard for it. If you have a brick home with a wooden deck, fine.

    Spriggly, I love bees and grew up with admiration of the social insects. Carpenter bees are not social. Unique among the bee community in this way. All animals can become pests depending upon circumstances. Please consider the impact of one-sided arguments. There are structures that cannot suffer these bees.

    Marko, MD MPH

    • sprigglys on June 2, 2021 at 2:13 pm

      You’re right, this post is quite myopic, as it lacks foresight and is remarkably one-sided, as you caution against in your last sentences. I do not delete posts with opposing viewpoints, but I do respond with a retort so that others with the same bone to pick can hopefully learn as well.

      I appreciate you caring about the history of early American structures. As you have undoubtedly learned already, maintaining historic structures, especially those made primarily of wood, involves a slow and costly battle against a multitude of environmental stressors that always moves towards the inevitable. Carpenter bees are but one of these stressors- and in fact, normally it is predators like woodpeckers who do the most damage as they attempt to access carpenter bee galleries. Please also remember the rains and winds working away at your buildings. Since you are clearly a lover of American history, I would like to remind you that carpenter bees have helped American ecosystems develop over likely hundreds of millions of years, which is also before George Washington was born.

      I am curious for some further details of your campaigns against your carpenter bees. What ‘green solutions’ did you try? Is the exposed wood on your structures well painted and/or otherwise sealed? What kinds of natural areas are around your property?

      This article and comment section does not ever state that carpenter bees belong anywhere other than their natural habitat, forests. Unfortunately, a consequence of expanding human developments in this country means that their natural habitats are shrinking at an ever-growing rate. Add to this the fact that many man-made structures are made out of wood, and it is only natural that displaced carpenter bees try and settle in them. This vicious cycle is not driven by carpenter bees’ desire to usurp our constructions, but rather it is by and large a man-made problem.

      I strongly recommend against dousing any buildings with pyrethroids like Cyfluthrin, the active ingredient in Tempo SC Ultra, as they are known to cause irritation in the skin and lungs. In fact, Cyfluthrin accounts for around a third of worker-related pesticide illnesses in the studies I have found.

      Your last paragraph has some conflicting sentences. Carpenter bees are considered semi-social, which means that they do seem to occasionally live and work together with members of the same species. This does not make them unique- there are a wide variety of other bees native to North America that share this trait. Carpenter bees are our largest native bees here, however, and they do possess some unique adaptations as such that make them excellent and indispensable pollinators. This article attempts to show some of these remarkable evolutionary traits, and also aims to engender a respect for these animals so that they are not merely killed at first sight without a second thought. I understand your position on this matter, however I feel that your beef with the bees has turned into a white whale of sorts. Like you said, it is always best to try and see both sides of the equation, and weigh the costs in personal health, property, and the ecosystems around you before resorting to drastic chemical applications.

      • Emma on July 26, 2021 at 10:09 pm

        Hi Sprigglys,

        I hope you can help me. We bought a house last year with a shed in the backyard. The shed is painted, but the flooring is unfinished wood with a sort of lattice work around the foundation. Carpenter bees have been nesting underneath it – any time I go into the shed to retrieve something, a territorial male comes out to bluster at me. I’ve been able to mostly ignore this, but this weekend, a female somehow got down into my rain boot and stung my foot! I don’t blame her, but it’s an experience that has made me somewhat terrified of the shed and I would love to encourage them to nest somewhere else. What should I do? There’s no obvious hole to plug up – I think they can get in anywhere through the lattice work.


        • sprigglys on July 30, 2021 at 6:12 pm

          Hey Emma,

          Thank you for your comment, and sorry to hear about your experience! I know how scary it can be, but keep in mind they are incredibly docile and will leave you alone. I would like you help you- can you send some pictures of the shed? It sounds like they might be in the floor boards, which could hopefully be relatively easy to remove, which is the best way for you to ‘encourage’ them to move. I would then replace the boards with stained and/or painted wood, and move the affected boards to a wooded area nearby. I can walk you through the process further, and give more advice based on pictures, if you write an email to

  62. Lara R on July 25, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    I have a vibrant and friendly community of bees that love to hang out in my gardens. At the beginning of summer there was a nice mix of honey bees and carpenter bees, and an occasional pesky wasp. Lately I’ve noticed that the carpenter bees seem to have taken over. There are much fewer honeybees milling around. I have two questions:

    1. Should I be considered about where this community of carpenter bees is nesting? So far I haven’t found any nests. My porch is concrete. My house is vinyl siding. I do often see the bees coming from underneath my porch though which is odd because they have a tunnel in the soil going underneath the porch (most like the tunnel is complements of the thriving mole/vole family that lives there as well).
    2. Are the carpenter bees bullying the honeybees and scaring them away? I wonder about this since there aren’t nearly as many honeybees right now as there were just a few weeks ago and there seems to be a lot more carpenter bees.

    • sprigglys on July 30, 2021 at 6:06 pm

      Hey Lara,

      Thanks for your comment. Your garden, and it’s bee residents, sound wonderful! Especially with native bees, it’s always important to keep in mind that many of their adult forms are very short lived- usually only a few weeks to a month. This means that the bees you see in your landscapes will be different as the growing seasons progress. As for your questions-
      1. Keep an eye out like you have been for their gallery, however with the description you gave me I am thinking you might have a bumble bee species nearby that mimics a carpenter bee. A picture, if possible, would help me with identifying the bee in question. If you can get a shot, send it to

      2. Male carpenter bees will stake out territories, however they become less abundant as summer comes into full swing in most areas. They will usually not bully large amounts of insects, though, and will not scare bees at flowers as most will just ignore them. The honeybees are another point altogether. They are not native to North America, and were brought here by European explorers in the 1600s. With the relatively recent introduction of several pests that also plague honeybees, they are usually unable to survive in the wild for very long. So, this usually means that if you see honeybees nearby, they are coming from the hives of a beekeeper up to 2 miles away. Since they can travel so far, sometimes a bloom source will pop up in between their hive and flowers that they previously visited, and they will go to the closer source until it’s exhausted. Also, their keeper might have moved their hives or something to that effect.

      I hope these answered your questions! Please reply again if you have any others.

  63. Carole DeMott on February 23, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    The carpenter bees are running my doves, Redbirds and others away. Please, how can I stop them? I don’t want to kill them

    • sprigglys on March 2, 2022 at 4:18 pm

      Hey Carole,

      Sorry for the delay in replying to this. It sounds like you have some very tenacious carpenter bees! If possible, can you give me some more information about your space? Are the birds being driven away from bird feeders, or from your yard in general? If possible, I would suggest moving any feeders and/or adding some more in areas that are less likely to have carpenters patrolling. If your feeders are in the middle of a garden or otherwise well-flowered area, maybe moving them to the fringes or empty spaces might make them quieter for your birds.

  64. Annie on March 15, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    Hello. I hope you see this as it’s so hard to find info on carpenter bees. I found a frozen bee on my doorstep a week ago. Brought it inside in a jar where it was revived about a day later. For five days I gave it honey and sugar water and cardboard pieces to climb. It climbed onto my hand a few times and knew when I was bringing sugar water over and would hover at the top of the jar. In some research I figured out it was a male carpenter bee due to its size, bald face, shiny abdomen and only a slightly fuzzy yellowish thorax.

    Yesterday was the first day without freezing temperatures and so I set the jar down outside and within a few minutes he flew away. I actually miss him a little. Do you think if I plant pollinators there is a chance he will return?

    • sprigglys on March 17, 2022 at 1:54 pm

      Hey Annie,

      Thanks for the comment, and for saving your frozen friend. Hopefully the carpenter bee you found has been able to settle down in a sheltered spot as the weather continues to warm. Yes, the more diverse collections of native, flowering plants that you have on your property, the greater chance both females and males will visit your space, and also live there long term if they have adequate dead wood nearby. Please keep us updated on if and when it returns!

  65. N.Sue on April 22, 2022 at 2:44 pm

    I have a busy carpenter bee drilling away on the underside of a wooden shelf in my garage right now. The shelf is only about 3/4 inch deep. Will she still use this hole or abandon it once she realizes she can’t drill very deep before breaking through the top of the shelf?

    • sprigglys on May 10, 2022 at 9:01 pm

      Sorry for the delay in replying! Depending on the location, it might be possible for your carpenter bee to make a nest, since they will eventually make a 90 degree turn and build galleries along the direction of the wood grain. There is a chance that the wood is too thin for that, though, so hopefully they have moved on. Could you give an update on what happened?

  66. Marc on May 13, 2022 at 2:22 am

    Thank you. I’ve learned a lot from reading your comments on here. We have a nest in our deck. I noticed it for the first time last year and I also noticed not to many other bees would come around. Could they be helping keep Yellowjackets and other mean bees away?

    Also my son named the huge male Benny.

    • sprigglys on June 2, 2022 at 2:09 pm

      Hey Marc,

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, chances are Benny and his fellow males are helping to keep a wide variety of animals away from your area. As you have probably noticed already, they will eventually get to know you and will tolerate your presence in their area the more they see you.

  67. Wendy on May 22, 2022 at 4:38 am

    Hi! This is great info. I have an under the deck patio, and while walking across it, I noticed a carpenter bee on it’s back dead. It stood out to me bc it was unusual, but I brushed it off. Then a couple hours later, while sitting there, I heard a “plop.” It was a carpenter bee that seemed to have fallen from above, and now was on it’s back. But instead of being dead like the other, it was verrrrryyy slowly waving it’s legs. Almost imperceptibly. Curious, I rose and looked up towards the deck above to see where it could have fallen from, but I didn’t see anything. I gently turned the bee over, so it could fly away when and if it felt better and sat back down. A few minutes later, it was on its back again. I turned it back over. Trying to figure things out, I glanced towards the other one that was dead. Well, it wasn’t dead bc it was now gone. Thoroughly confused, I went on with my evening. The next day the second bee was gone too. That was a couple weeks ago. Since then I have heard the “plop” twice more, but again they seemed dead. And now, tonight, there was one flipping and flopping around on my patio. I’ve lived here and coexisted with them for many years and this has never happened before. The only change is that we replaced our deck with a combination of composite and painted wood this past fall. I’m glad now that they are still here, but do you have any idea why it is raining carpenter bees on my patio?

    • sprigglys on June 2, 2022 at 2:13 pm

      Hey Wendy,

      Thanks for your question, which is an interesting one. First off, is this still happening? Have you noticed which pieces your resident carpenters have decided to nest in? It could be a problem with where they are living, but it could also be due to their age. Are you able to divine the physical condition of the bees? Are they fresh and bushy looking, or ragged and faded? Also, do you have any orchards or croplands nearby?

  68. BB on June 6, 2022 at 6:25 pm

    My porch and balcony are being renovated this summer. Engineer wanted to see balcony joists and deck boards so we removed painted porch ceiling in my 100+ year old home in Toronto. The joists and deck boards are old wood and unpainted. We’re waiting for a building permit so won’t be renovating for a couple of months still. I’m now noticing a few carpenter bees flyng around and crawling up through gaps in the balcony deck boards. What do you recommend doing to make the wood less attractive to the bees and make them move on? Should I spray all the wood sutrfaces with some of the items mentioned in some posts, like water with vinegar, soap, citrus (approx 64 sq ft)? What is the concentration/dilution ratio needed? I haven’t seen bore holes or sawdust on my porch floor but have noticed bees crawling into gaps between boards above. Any advice is appreciated. I’d like to try deterring the bees and nudging them away before I resort to using pesticides.

    • sprigglys on March 3, 2023 at 4:05 pm

      Hey sorry for the long delay!

      Hopefully you have figured out something to keep your bees away, please let me know how it worked out. If you’re still having a problem, aromatic oils like the ones you’re using are a good idea. I would use them in as high a concentration as you can handle. You might need to rotate oils to find one that works well. In the long term, painting or staining the exposed wood is the best way to deter future nests.

  69. Julie Lockhart on July 2, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you for this information. I have a question about the carpenter bees in wood I am removing from an old shed which is no longer a safe structure on the property.

    The bees come our every May and buzz around and do their thing until about the end of June and then go silent. They go back into their holes. My husband made the incorrect assumption that they would leave when we started tearing down the structure but they didn’t. They are buzzing away inside the wood. He already took some wood away to the dump and now I fear that grouping will get buried.
    1. Will they get out when they realize they are now in a different area?
    2. For the ones remaining behind, how do I get them out before the next dump run? I don’t want to hurt them.
    I tried banging on the wood with a hammer and they respond by buzzing but won’t fly out.
    I once counted over 50 so it’s a very large group. Thank you !!!

    • sprigglys on March 3, 2023 at 4:09 pm

      Hello, sorry for the delay in answering this, I never got a notification! I hope you were able to figure out your problem- please let me know how it went.

      As you found, they are closely tied to their nests, since their multiple generations are all working together for long term survival. You could also see that they are very docile, even when being removed! The dump is certainly the last place I would have taken them, but hopefully many flew out either on the way or once they arrived. They will find a new place to settle down. Again, please let me know how everything went, and what worked or didn’t work for you.

  70. Scott S on August 13, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    I live in Hawaii and I have a colony of carpenter bees in a small dead fruit tree that is still standing about 3’ outside the window of a wooden building on my property. There is an immense amount of sawdust being excavated from the tree daily and I feel that within a few months the tree will be fully hollowed out and may fall. I don’t want the bees to expand their gallery into my building.

    Should I cut the tree down and place it in a debris pile away from my buildings? Will the bees still use the tree as their gallery? I Like the bees and happy to have them in my yard pollinating my other trees; I just dont want them burrowing into my building.

    • sprigglys on March 3, 2023 at 4:13 pm

      Hey Scott,

      Thanks for the comment, and sorry for the delay. The best thing to do to keep your local carpenters away from your house is to leave the tree- once you remove it, they will likely be hard-pressed to find another nest site nearby (your house). Let me know what happens and how it goes please.

  71. Linda Aschenbrenner on August 25, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Hi, I found your interesting site while trying to do some research. Maybe you can help me?

    I have captured a bee that has been behaving aggressively. This is not directed at me, but at other bees on my sunflowers. I have had the sunflower patch for years (to feed the birds) and near the bottom of the sunflowers is a leaf cutter bee colony (now dormant). In the past, all the bees have gotten along just fine—as many as 4 will share the same flower. This aggressive bee would hover over another bee and then rush it, landing on it. The interaction would only last a moment, but the other bee would then be clearly injured and unable to navigate. Bumblebees were often the unfortunate victims. The attacker then did not land on the sunflower, but instead would go after the next bee in the patch (which makes me wonder if it could be vibration pollinating?).

    After watching this for a week or two, I caught the bee in a butterfly net. Judging from how it is using its mandibles to try and free itself, it was probably biting the other bees. I do not know what kind of bee it is. It is all black (even antennae), fuzzy, just over half an inch long, and appears to have 2 whiteish pollen sacs on legs near its front. Since it is aggressively biting the net, it certainly has the mandibles of a ground bee. It also has a relatively loud buzz. More than that I cannot tell as it is difficult to see details through the mesh of the net. I should also tell you that we are far from North Carolina—Edmonton in central Alberta, Canada, in fact, although we do have carpenter bees but that is all I know of them.

    It may not be related, but the population of my leaf cutters crashed this year. I had assumed that it was since we had a really early warm spell in April (months early for our location so the degree days and calendar days were completely out of sync) and when most emerged there was no food source for them. Now I wonder if I just hadn’t noticed a new species moving in?

    Does this sound like a carpenter bee? Are they usually aggressive to other bees? Is is likely to try to chase away my leaf cutter bees (some of whom have bored into the wooden retainer (made of 6”x6”) that borders their colony)? Am I likely to have a problem with other aggressive individuals of the same species (so far, I have not see such but you do mention they are long-lived). Any information you could give me would be appreciated.

    P.S. I would also really appreciate it if you would also send your reply to me email. Thank you so much!! (Also, please do not keep my email address or pass it on, thanks again.) Very interesting site you have.

    • sprigglys on March 3, 2023 at 4:19 pm

      Hey Linda,

      Thanks for your comment, and sorry for the delay. Were you able to get any pictures of this bee? No problem if not, it is usually easier said than done! This is very interesting- normally in my experience carpenter bees won’t attack other bees at flowers like that. There are some introduced species, especially some carder bees, that we have found to be very aggressive. They will even pull smaller solitary bees (like leafcutters) out of their nests. Perhaps this was something similar. It must have been large to be a threat to bumble bees, though, which narrows down the possible offenders quite a bit. You may be correct in that you are seeing a hostile takeover. It’s important to try and ID the bee before making any kind of assumptions, though, so if you weren’t able to catch it on film last year try and get a picture or video if you see one again this spring. If it is a problem species, catching them early is always best for keeping their numbers in check.

  72. Lynn B. on July 12, 2023 at 3:16 am

    Hi, I came across your site while researching my experience with what someone later identified from pictures as a Southern Carpenter Bee, and am enjoying reading all the comments. I hope you can help me figure out what is happening with a carpenter bee in my backyard. I live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and have never personally had any experience with carpenter bees, however I know they exist in our area as I know people who owned log homes in the area, who deal with carpenter bee issues.
    This summer, for the first time, there was a rather large bee who I noticed was intent on hovering around and checking out the railing on our pressure treated wood deck. I suspected it might be a carpenter bee because I’ve never seen any other bee ever that was so interested in this railing, and I know they prefer horizontal rather than vertical pieces of wood. Day after day, we sat on our deck and watched this singular bee continue to examine this same section of railing, for hours, endlessly, sometimes it would just sit for hours on the underside of our railing. I would check it out afterwards and could see no holes. Then after some days, we didn’t see it around the railing anymore….it moved over to hovering around our patio umbrella, which was about 15 feet away. It hovered around this umbrella incessantly, like it was interested in something, but what? We couldn’t figure it out. At the end of the day when we would put the umbrella down, there it was….hovering persistently around this umbrella. Always just the one bee. Day after day, it was there…we tried to shoo it away but it stubbornly stayed put, barely responding to our efforts to send it away. From inside the house, we could see it for hours, continuing to hover around the umbrella. The next day I opened the umbrella, only to see “old reliable”, still hovering around the umbrella, not seeming to like that I was there. So I sat on a chair underneath the umbrella and watched it closely to see what it wanted, what it was doing. What I saw was that it climbed into the small fabric pocket, in which the ends of the umbrella spindles are inserted. I don’t know what it was doing inside this little pocket. Could it be building a nest inside there? Wouldn’t it just look for wood? This carpenter bee has taken ownership of this umbrella as it’s territory and is becoming a nuisance. It seems to have no fear whatsoever of us, and in fact we feel it’s trying to encourage us to leave. I’ve seen one other mention of a carpenter bee around a patio umbrella, so I know this is not a singular experience, but, can you enlighten me as to why it is using and so attached to this pocket of the patio umbrella? I also don’t know if it’s a male or female, but I suspect it may be female as the wings are amber colored towards the tips

    • sprigglys on May 31, 2024 at 4:38 pm

      Hi there! So sorry this is such a delayed comment, but hopefully you will still receive notification that it’s been answered. If it is a carpenter bee, we have no understanding for why it would be exhibiting that strange behavior. So sorry we couldn’t help. The thing that seems more like is that you were seeing was a Carpenter Bee mimic, a species of leafcutter bee that heavily mimics a carpenter bee. They are one of the types that will nest in manmade bee hotels. They also like to find nooks and crannies and do not care if they are horizontal or vertical and was probably making its nest in there with it’s young. If you stopped seeing it after about a month, it was a mimic species. If it is still living today, then it’s a carpenter bee doing something weird! Leafcutter bees only live for about 2-4 weeks, while carpenter bees can live up to four years. Hope this is helpful in someway although extremely delayed! Here is a link to the mimic bee we think it could be –

  73. Frank on November 19, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Appreciate the positive perspective on carpenter bees! It’s refreshing to learn about their valuable role as native pollinators and their resilience in adverse weather conditions. Understanding their significance in the ecosystem helps shift the focus from annoyance to admiration. Nature’s wonders never cease!

    • sprigglys on May 31, 2024 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you so much for this comment and accept our deepest apologies on the extreme delay in responding. They are extremely important to our ecosystem and reading this comment makes us so happy another person can see how valuable they are. We appreciate your time leaving this comment and again so sorry for the delay.

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