Are Carpenter Bees Similar to Honey Bees?
Last Updated on July 9, 2021 by Bees N Things
There are many thousands of known species of bees, and they have a wide range of different attributes. Honeybees are known as a useful species due to their ability to pollinate crops and create a hive full of honey – a valuable commodity for humans. Carpenter bees may not be as well known as honey bees, but they are a common bee that is found worldwide. As with other types of bees, they can provide pollination but are not as effective as a colony of honey bees. If you’re not sure which type of bee is destroying your home contact BeesNThings.com.
Carpenter Bees: Nests
Carpenter bees – or wood bees – bore into wood to make nests. They can cause damage to structures, although they are not social bees and do not form a large colony or hive. They use the nests to overwinter, and they emerge in the spring to feed on nectar and mate. They will return to the nests to raise their young, and they will create a new or larger nest. The female bee will bore a hole into the wooden structure, then tunnel into the structure parallel to the grain of the wood. They may bore a tunnel that is only six inches long or develop a tunnel that is many feet in length. The holes and tunnels the carpenter bees create are very cleanly crafted, and they may appear to be made by humans with power tools.
Honey Bees: Nests
Honey bees establish their home in large nests called hives, and each hive may house as many as 60,000 bees. They may make their hive in commercial boxes or choose a cavity in a tree or the wall or attic of a house. They may be a nuisance inside a home, but they do not damage the wood. Each hive has a single queen bee around which all activities revolve. When the hive becomes overcrowded, the queen will leave the hive to the new queens and relocate with thousands of worker bees; this is called a swarm. The bees will swarm until they find a location to make a new hive.
Carpenter Bees: Raising Young
The female carpenter bee lays her fertilized eggs in the tunnel along with a mixture of nectar and pollen. She then seals off the tunnel with a plug of wood pulp. She will create a series of similar cells, and the larval bees will develop in these cells. The new adult bees will leave the nests in the summer and fall, and they will themselves be ready to mate in the spring.
Honey Bees: Raising Young
Eggs are laid in the cells of wax honeycomb built by the bees inside the hive. The larvae are fed with royal jelly secretions, honey and pollen until spinning a cocoon and becoming pupae. Young worker bees take care of the hive and care for the developing young. As a bee grows older, their tasks will progress to other more complex duties such as storage of nectar and pollen. The mature bee will become a forager and fly to pollen sources.
Carpenter Bees: Interactions with Humans
Only female carpenter bees are capable of stinging. Male carpenter bees may act aggressively toward humans, but are incapable of causing any harm. It is rare for carpenter bees to sting, and as a nonsocial bee, they do not congregate in large groups, so they pose little threat to humans.
Honey Bees: Interactions with Humans
Because honey bees live in large social groups, they do tend to sting humans. Honey bees are not naturally aggressive, but they may assertively defend their hive. Each honey bee can only sting once; the stinger will be removed during the sting and will cause the bee to die.
Carpenter Bee Traps
Because of the unique way carpenter bees build their nests, they are easily captured with simple traps that prevent carpenter bees from creating their damaging nest tunnels in your home. BeesNThings.com offers carpenter bee traps that will simply and effectively resolve your carpenter bee problems. Our wooden traps look like bird houses, are simple to use and will last for years.