May is usually when we start seeing black and yellow carpenter bees drilling holes into wood siding and eaves, trees, and fences. Carpenter bees are solitary meaning they don’t live in nests or hives. In May the female carpenter bee is looking for places to lay eggs. She may return to previous holes or make new ones. When she finds suitable wood, she drills a perfectly round, dime-sized hole into the wood, turns 90 degrees and tunnels a bit further to lay one single egg. She doesn’t eat the wood; she simply kicks it out to make a clean gallery for the egg.
About 36 days later, we start to see the fledglings hatch from the eggs and fly away in search of food. The drilling season is over and now the new carpenter bees will start pollinating plants and flowers. Males do not sting and females only sting if provoked.
You can identify carpenter bees by their shiny abdomen. They are similar to bumble bees in that they have yellow and black furry patches on the thorax but are different from bumblebees in appearance because of their smooth, black abdomen.
We can treat the holes carpenter bees are making and are able to do a preventative treatment on some houses. We give a 30 day guarantee on all bee and wasp treatments!