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Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees

Quick Reference Facts

Common Name: Carpenter Bees
Common Traits: Color: Yellow or Black, Shape: Oval or robust, Size: 1/4-1" long, Region: Throughout the U.S.
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Prevention Methods

  • Paint or stain wood
  • Inspect for signs of infestation, looking for round smooth holes in wood
  • Contact IPC for professional treatement


Unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees are solitary insects. The adult carpenter bees hibernate over winter, typically in abandoned nest tunnels and emerge in the spring to feed on nectar.


Carpenter bees do not live in nests or colonies. Instead, female carpenter bees bore circular holes through soft wood to lay eggs and protect their larvae as they develop.


Carpenter bees are a serious property threat, as they can cause structural damage over time if left untreated. Male carpenter bees can be territorial and may hover in front of one’s face aggressively, but they have no stinger and these actions are merely for show. Female carpenter bees do have a potent stinger, but it’s rarely used.

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Information provided by the National Pest Management Association