Wood-Boring Bees

You may be seeing some big fat black and yellow wood-boring bees around your house and ask yourself what are those and why are they doing that? Well, in fact, those wood-boring bees are called carpenter bees (from the genus Xylocopa, subfamily Xylocponiae). They are called such a name because they make their nests in dead wood or even structural wood, such as a house. The name is actually derived from the ancient Greek words “wood-cutter”.

These wood-boring bees can be extremely annoying household insects due to the damage they cause to houses and wood structures near houses. They typically live in as couples with males and females rather than in massive colonies. Wood-boring bees will live in wood because they use the broken down wood pieces as dividers for the cells where they lay their eggs.

You may also mistaken wood-boring bees for orchard mason bees. Orchard mason bees do not actually dig in wood. So they are not as destructive as carpenter bees. On the other hand, this type of wood-boring bee is actually beneficial for the environment. They will burrow in already excavated holes and clean them from all the loose dirt. There is no need to exterminate this kind of wood-boring bees. You may want to prevent them from settling and this can be done by blocking any entrance holes in the wood by using caulking or another form of putty.
Wood-Boring Bees
It is fairly easy to tell the difference between these two types of wood-boring bees. On one hand, carpenter bees are one of the largest specie of bee. They are black and yellow, mostly black, and they slightly resemble a bumble bee. On the other hand, orchard mason bees are small, even smaller than a honey bee and it has a very dark color, slightly shiny blue.

Nevertheless, both these types of wood-boring bees are not aggressive and will most likely never sting humans. The only reason why would you want to get rid of wood-boring bees is to prevent the possible damage they cause to your home.


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