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Author Topic: Carpenter Bees (photos)  (Read 10513 times)
BlueBee
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« on: July 27, 2011, 02:22:21 AM »

If you grow any purple flowers in eastern US, you have probably seen these and maybe confused them with large bumble bees.  They look similar to a bumble but have a shiny hairless black abdomen.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_carpenter_bee

Here in Michigan, I usually see these things in mid summer.  They love Vitex Agnus and I often see a half dozen at a time on the vitex.  The drones are very territorial.  I wore a bright florescent orange shirt to a plant nursery one time and was chased around all day by a male carpenter bee.

I have a lot of bumble bees here, but by mid summer the bumble bees I see are usually on the smaller side (worker bumbles).  Queen bumble bees are indeed large, but you really only see them in the early spring.  Once the queen bumble raises brood, those workers do all the foraging the rest of the summer.  The queen stays in the nest.

The carpenter bees in these photos must be raising brood.  I see they’re hauling around a lot of pollen.



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Mshel
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 12:20:14 PM »

I had a yard w/ a lot of flowering plants and mistook them for Bumble Bees before. 
I too remember being chased around by them (a lot).  grin bee bee
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danno
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 12:32:48 PM »

 I hate those things.   They started eating my tool shed headers and rafter about 6 years ago.  There back every spring.  I keep spray handy and when I see one enter a chewed out hole I give it a spray.   Sometimes as I shoot spray in a hole it exits a couple of ft down the board.   Building is just going to cave in one of these days.   I know I should just through a coat of cheap paint on the wood would most likely slow or stop them but I dont think about it until they are there.   They are cool bee's though I have to admit.  They fly like hummingbird stopping in md air darting left or right even flying backwartds
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 03:35:24 PM »

Males don't have a stinger but try to intimidate. They have a little yellow on their face, if I remember correctly its a small triangle. The female has a stinger but rarely if ever stings even when provoked.

They are attracted to raw wood which would need at least two coats of an oil based paint to deter them.


...JP
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 08:38:36 PM »

Two coats won't stop them for long.   I have seen them eat through a house after it was painted with diesel and I know they are eating my porch that is green treated lumber.   Dang them to Hades. 
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 09:24:45 PM »

Most searches will tell you three to four coats. They are relentless, no doubt.


...JP
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 10:02:30 PM »

Saw something unexpected today.  I was out observing the bees and bugs on the late summer flowers.  Lots of things in bloom around here since we had good rains most of the summer.  Tons of carpenter bees now.  I was observing the honey bees all over the Sedum (autumn joy) and noticed a couple of carpenter bees on the Sedum as well.  What took me by surprise was one of the carpenter bees had a white spot on its nose/face.  I read that drones have the white spot, while females do not.  So do male carpenter bees forage for their nest like the female worker bees? 

Top half of image is a female carpenter bee, bottom half is a drone (I believe)


I thought honey bee drones were just slackers that did nothing but sit around drinking beer and watching TV all night and cruising for chicks all day?  Are all bee drones like that, or do some drones share the work load?
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 10:22:08 PM »

Cool pics!
Carpenter bees aren't social, so the drones have to make their own way and find their own food.  I assume that means nectar. 

Honeybees have their social structure more structured, the women bring the guys the beer and chips so they can watch football.  Then kick them out to starve when they get sick of the mooching.
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Rick
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 09:31:31 AM »

Rick is correct. Carpenter bees are actually solitary insects. It just seems like they are all working together when a bunch of them are going in and out of a fence or overhang.

They're there because they are attracted to raw wood or wood that needs to be painted.


...JP
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nietssemaj
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2011, 08:34:03 PM »

Is it possible to bait them to keep them away from say your cedar planked shed?
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2011, 09:36:16 PM »

I have a friend that sells carpenter bee traps for 20.00 dollars. all it is is a box 3x3x6 wood box with a rough hole about 1/2 in with a 20ox coke bottle screwed in a hole at the bottom. when they go in they get into the coke bottle and can not get out sue to the light and get confussed and die. they work great. normal bubble bees won't go in them. I works. my neighbor saved his shop by using them. he caught over a 100 this year. ( he counted them) and had no more boring holes in his shop.

john
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rwurster
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2012, 06:37:29 AM »

I've had a few chords of wood in a pile for about 15 years and its infested with carpenter bees.  They have never been a problem in my hogshed or barn that sit right next to the wood pile.  If I start using that wood pile up they will probably obliterate all my standing wooden structures within a few years.
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bud1
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2012, 07:58:48 AM »

borrow a tennis racket; i know a coupla fellas that get in trouble with their batting practice
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2012, 12:20:50 PM »

Used to use the tennis racket to kill them at the farm. They are destroying the roof on my dock. I stopped last year when I realized they are the main pollinator of my blueberries. Even with the hives within sight of the blueberries, I never see any bees on the flowers.
By the way, this weather really has the blueberries confused. I have blooms already.
Jim
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2012, 04:46:53 PM »

Around here the next two or three nights are going to knock anything that thinks it wants to start blooming back a ways.  Low/mid twenties a couple of nights....cold for us. Wink

As for carpenter bees...  I went to a bee club meeting as a rank, rank beginner back in the summer down around the Florida line.  A guy happen to bring in a piece of 1-by material that he had re-sawn in half.  The carpenter bees had a literal maze running through that board, very interesting.  I wish I had taken a picture of it!

Ed
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rwurster
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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2012, 12:44:23 AM »

I took a fly swatter out to try to spank one out of the air to get a better look at it and they sure can move... forward, backward, left, right... had to get the kid's bug net to finally catch one to find out what it was. 
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