Carpenter bees are stocky, strong-flying bees that are closely related to bumble bees. In fact, they look very much alike except that the carpenter bee's abdomen looks shiny, but a bumble bee's has visible hairs.
Although they often fly around in a threatening manner, male carpenter bees have no stingers and are unable to sting. The females have stingers, but almost never sting. They're too busy boring holes, which said habit is the reason for two other common names for carpenter bees: "wood bees" and "borer bees." They bore holes and tunnels into wooden homes and other wooden items (law chairs, playground equipment, etc.) to lay their eggs and raise their young.
Over time, all this drilling can cause considerable damage, and the wax and fecal matter dripping from the holes is unsightly. Worse yet, because the bees may re-use the tunnels for several seasons, usually extending them each time, the damage to the wood can become quite extensive. It also tends to be expensive to repair because carpenter bees often choose wood that's way up high, making long ladders, scaffolding, or mechanical lifts necessary to repair the damage.
The reason why carpenter bees drill holes is to lay eggs and rear their young. They drill into the surface of the wood, against the grain, and take an immediate turn in the direction of the grain once they penetrate deeply enough. They then excavate a tube or tunnel that can range from a few inches to several feet in length and lay their eggs inside of it.
After laying a few eggs, the mother bee will insert a ball of pollen and nectar into the tube and seal it off with some wood pulp. This is called a "cell," and a single tunnel can contain one or more cells.
The young bees will remain in those tunnels until they emerge as adults. After hatching, they will spend their larval stage feeding from the ball of pollen and nectar, and then go into pupation. All the bees in a cell will reach adulthood at about the same time, regardless of when their eggs were laid, and emerge as adults.
If you have carpenter bees drilling into your home or something else that's valuable, however, then you'll need to get them treated. Once carpenter bees have taken a shine to your home, they don't go away. In fact, female carpenter bees and their daughters often re-use the same nests, expanding them every time, year after year. So if you ignore a carpenter bee problem, it will only get worse.
That's when you call us. Rid-A-Critter has the personnel, experience, and equipment to handle any carpenter bee job, no matter how big or how small. We not only take care of the existing bee problem and repair the carpenter bee damage, but we install screening to help prevent the bees from getting into hidden parts of your home where they can do damage unseen.
If you're located anywhere in the Macon area and have a carpenter bee problem, just give us a call for a professional consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.
Here are some pictures of carpenter bee work we've done in and around the Macon, Georgia area.