We’ve all seen (and heard) them. Those large black bees buzzing around, boring in wood, dive bombing unsuspecting humans. What exactly are they, though? Are they bumble bees? Or carpenter bees?
If you’ve ever been confused, you’re in good company. These two bee species stump many people. Here’s a quick glance at how to correctly identify each one.
What’s the difference?
- Carpenter bees are yellow or black and may or may not have stripes on their body. They have six legs and are oval shaped. While most of their body is covered in hair, the carpenter bee’s abdomen is bare.
- A bumble bee’s entire body is covered in hair. Additionally, they have some yellow markings.
- Carpenter bees are loners while bumble bees nest and work together in large colonies.
Do they sting?
Male carpenter bees don’t have stingers, but they are aggressive and will buzz humans to protect their nests. Females do have stingers, but are typically docile and rarely sting.
In contrast, bumble bees will sting, if provoked. Their stingers lack barbs – meaning they aren’t left in wounds, which allows them to sting repeatedly.
What’s their habitat?
Bumble bees usually nest in the ground. In contrast, female carpenter bees lay their eggs in tunnels they’ve created in wood. They prefer bare, unpainted or weathered softwoods. During the winter, adult carpenter bees live in abandoned nest tunnels
Need Damage Control?
Bumble bees won’t damage anything, other than occasionally stinging a human. Carpenter bees, however, can cause significant damage to homes, barns and other structures containing wood. As if that wasn’t enough, carpenter bees also attract woodpeckers, who like to eat carpenter bee eggs. A woodpecker pecking at a carpenter bee nest entrance will cause even further damage!
So, what can you do if you have a carpenter bee problem (or any bee problem, for that matter)? Call us or fill out our online contact us form today! Our experienced professionals can provide solutions to any pesky bee problems you might have.
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