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Green news from the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Hills
Comments:
by jack
on August 2, 2012 at 3:54 AM
nice, awesome pic
by Kathy Keatley Garvey
on August 21, 2012 at 6:46 AM
Thanks!
by Ashley Ketchum
on January 23, 2013 at 11:39 AM
What would folks them recommend for controlling carpenter bees then? If pesticides and destroying bees' nest are not the way, how can a homeowner deal with a carpenter bee problem?
by Rachael Freeman Long
on January 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM
We are not into controlling or recommending controls for our western nesting carpenter bees, as their contribution to pollination far outweighs any damage to structures. Using untreated, unpainted redwood for arbors, fences and patio or lawn furniture in this area means learning to share with carpenter bees.  
 
However, the Eastern Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa virginica is perceived as a problem burrowing in wood structures. There is lots of information on the web about them and their control and eastern pest control companies have a lot of experience dealing with them..
by Jim Strickland
on April 14, 2015 at 12:23 PM
These bees do not like citrus oils and you can buy non toxic sprays made from fruits that will drive them away.
by Donald Hover
on May 3, 2015 at 4:05 PM
I am a Master Gardener in Tennessee and the carpenter bee is considered a destructive pest here. It is NOT a pollinator. the Bumble bee and Honey bees are the pollinators. and with the use of GMO's and pesticides along with the mite problem the Honey bee is loosing population very fast. Look out on the price of fruits if the honey bee population dies out People should look for organic solutions to pest and disease control.
by Rick Stelring
on May 11, 2015 at 3:24 AM
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/carpenter_bees.shtml  
 
Seems pretty straightforward to me - I'm keeping them. I might even name them. People pay for bees to be brought to their property for pollination.
by Brian Wood
on May 11, 2015 at 2:25 PM
Xylocopa virginica is a pollinator. What are you talking about Donald H. ? All you have to do is watch them to find that out, not to mention a quick google search. Good job there Master Gardener! I have thousands of them on my property. I wonder what all that work is they're doing on my flowers.....
by Teresa
on May 19, 2015 at 8:34 AM
Thank you for the informative article. I'm in the Santa Cruz mountains and my carpenter bees bore into my fascia which is PAINTED AND TREATED. I have TONS of holes as a result of these pollinators so I am torn. I've tried having the holes plugged to no avail. These bees are persistent. Until I just read this article I wanted them gone. Now I'm thinking I'll just ignore the damage. But to say they are not destructive is not true. I'm all for the need to keep the pollinators around......
by Jeni Bryan
on May 27, 2015 at 5:39 PM
I agree with the previous comment. I just spent a lot of money and hard work restoring my patio roof and wood bees are drilling into it like crazy. I hate to kill any creature unnecessarily, but there is a GREAT deal of bee feces all over my brand new patio table and chairs constantly, and the bees literally throw wood shavings on me and my guests as we try to sit outside. One night a half a wood bee fell down my blouse! Im all for relocating them, but I don't think its a feasible option for us to live together.
by Kristen
on April 17, 2016 at 8:18 PM
Yeah, I don't see myself allowing my deck to cave in for some pollination. I love insects, including bees, but I find it laughable that anyone would say your house is less important that flowers.
by jess
on March 29, 2017 at 4:35 AM
How can anyone insist they're not pollinators? Aside from multiple sources from experts saying they are, they have legs that are harrier than mine and are obviously pollen carriers.  
 
The damage will also depend on where you live. The ones in the article are less of a problem than the eastern version which is currently poking holes in my deck.
by Lynds tut
on April 15, 2017 at 1:34 PM
I have these bees around my porch and love watching them as i sit outside. I noticed the female going into her tunnel and, when she stopped before climbing in, i saw what looked like a second set of wings that were yellow. Im assuming its pollen but cant find anything online about how she carrys the pollen.. Is it under the wing? Why are they yellow? Its peeked my intrest but no answeres found :( thanks!
by Anna Nimus
on April 16, 2017 at 8:14 PM
Um Kristen, where did the article say "your house is less important that flowers"?  
 
Did you read a word of it? Do you seriously think pollination creates flowers? Did you show up to any of your high school science classes?  
 
Flowers exist to attract pollinators. Pollinators (bees/bats/birds) enable reproduction and the creation of fruits/nuts/seeds. These are things that people and animals eat. This is important because people and animals need to eat to survive. (In fact, while we can NOT survive without food, we CAN survive without houses.)  
 
So we can kill off all the pollinators and cut off our food supply and all die of malnutrition, but your house will still be there without you. Good job.  
 
*sigh*  
 
Go back to the beginning and read the article over again before you say something publicly and embarrass yourself (again).
by Katharina Ullmann
on April 21, 2017 at 9:54 AM
Interesting observation Lynds tut! Female carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa) carry their pollen on their hind legs using dense, branched hairs called scopa. The pollen is packed on dry. They can also transport pollen internally in their crop according to Robbin Thorp (UCD Professor Emeritus and expert on all things bee related). Like all bees, they have four wings but I've never seen a case where the wings are yellow. Instead, wings tend to be translucent with a brownish tint. That all being said, depending on the flower they are visiting, carpenter bees can get dusted with pollen (see top photo of this article). This dusting can make the bee's color markings look very different from what they are!
by Marcus
on April 28, 2017 at 12:12 PM
An alternative to destroying them is to make a bait structure for them. Basically, give then a more preferred choice than your home. My friend set up a "sacrificial" Japanese style entrance of redwood, they left his logcabin style house alone for the most part. Citrus oils and simple bleach work well as prohibitors
by Paula
on April 30, 2017 at 9:33 AM
Just relocated a colony of carpenter bees that decided to nest in a cypress mount for a dead staghorn fern. Took it to a far corner of the yard and hung out on the fence in a protected area. Hope they like it there and that they leave the fence alone and do not become a problem. My brave husband put on gloves and carried it to its new location. My hero! It was at dusk. We were trying to leave it where it was, (above the garage entrance door) but when I stood below it and heard the sounds eminating from it, it freaked me out a bit. Trying to save it rather than deter them.
by Jack
on May 8, 2017 at 7:49 AM
I saw dust on floor of patio coming from beams supporting my roof.I thought it might be carpenter ants  
.I sprayed WD 40 and out came what I thought was  
Bee  
I went online and discovered it to be a carpenter bees.I have a vegetable garden and will try citrus oil next time  
I recycle and try not to get in Mother Nature's way.
by Dan
on May 20, 2017 at 4:34 PM
Interesting feedback. Let's just coexist with Mother Nature and all she has to offer, because she might not be around long. There's already a species of bumble bees that are on the endangered species list and this should be enough for anyone to do their part to let good insects live amongst us. After all, they were here way longer than we were. Let's keep it that way.
by Carol
on May 28, 2017 at 8:58 AM
Our house, made of logs, has been inundated with carpenter bees. After years of trying to figure out how to deal with these bees in a humane way, I think I have finally found a solution. Since their galleries are re-used every year, last year, I waited until October (I live in Massachusetts) to be sure the galleries were empty, then I filled them with powdered poison and crammed steel wool in the openings and filled the opening with caulking. As a precautionary measure, I also purchased and hung two carpenter bee traps. By this time every year, I'm usually finding new sawdust and new holes/galleries. So far though, there's been no new activity.
by kate
on June 22, 2017 at 8:29 PM
Re: Anna Nimus  
 
I agree with you wholeheartedly and at the same time, Kristen simply didn't know any better. That's unfortunately the world we live in ~ people don't have a connection to the life cycle. It takes exposure and getting the information out there to bring the people back. She might have received the information more readily without attack. Instead of taking in the good info you offered, she may be distracted by the new one you tore her and missed it altogether. You have a right to be angry at the ignorance in this world, but the only way we're going to help turn it around is by meeting people where they're at.
by Joey1127
on July 5, 2017 at 9:37 AM
I have a massive Wisteria tree growing on my property in Sacramento, CA and I love watching the big Carpenter Bees come around in Spring and Summer. They are really harmless...My house and eves are sided with Vinyl clad Steal so...no worries there. They are really harmless as I mow the lawn walking back n' forth under the Wisteria tree and they never pay me any mind.  
 
I tend to want to keep these bees around as we have seen a huge decline in our honey bees out here in the west. In fact, I've not seen one honey bee this year so far :( and it's kind of odd but they are dying off I fear.
by Mechele
on May 2, 2018 at 3:12 PM
Thanks for all of this feedback. We have hundreds on our property in an old lean-to & was thinking,of relocating them but knowing they aren't aggressive & do pollinate we will all live happily together! We are in Tennessee 🐝🐝
by Suzanne
on May 3, 2018 at 1:17 PM
When I was a child, we had a barn that was built probably around 1930-1940. It was a massive barn and had a long hallway in the center with lean twos on both sides. Then it had a very tall hay loft above it. The barn was taller than a two story house. Each summer, the bees came to the barn and raised their young and we never stopped them from using the structure. The barn stood strong for many years with the bees using the rafters for their homes. We lost the barn around 1980 from a tornado. Now I have two barns that the bees use. There are so many and I have co-existed with them. I read in a Farmers Co-op publication where 80% of the honey bee colonies were wiped out this year. I do hope the carpenter and bumble bees can help pick up the slack. Lets hope for a return of the honey bee colonies and hope they find better chemicals to control the varroa mites and other harmful insects that destroy the colonies.
by Dani
on May 18, 2018 at 8:32 PM
Thank you for the information. I have had a fat buzzing bee examining a woodpile for days. Yesterday I went over to the pile when I heard the buzzing again, and saw a fat black rump disappearing into a perfect hole. This morning, I saw another disappear into a separate hole. I was going to remove the wood, we never used it for fires because it's pepper wood, and smells bad when burning. Examining the pile more, I see all kinds of smaller holes. I'm hoping to make the pile smaller without using the logs in use. This is awesome. Bees make me happy. Oh, and I live in the high desert. Question...as it gets hotter, with fewer resources, is there something to feed them, like people do for honeybees when food is scarce? Will they hit up my hummingbird feeder like the wasps and honeybees do sometimes?
by Rachael Long
on May 29, 2018 at 7:31 AM
The big black bee in "a perfect hole" is undoubtedly a female carpenter bee. Smaller holes might house other cavity nesting solitary bees, but are most likely emergence holes of wood boring beetles (which native bees also nest in).  
 
Our native solitary bees often shut down adult activity during hot periods without resources. The life cycle continues in brood developing within previously provisioned nests.  
 
Most solitary bees will not visit hummingbird feeders despite the rewards available.
by Christine
on July 30, 2018 at 9:19 AM
I would like to say the previous comment from Mr. Hover is wildly incorrect and could be a damaging statement if people do not realize the benefits of carpenter bees. Carpenter Bees are 100% pollinators. It only takes observation to see that they carry large amounts of pollen on their legs as they move from flower to flower; i.e. pollinating them. I have had a nest of them on my porch for years and my flowers always look amazing with little effort. For those who are considering this bee as a pest, please consider putting a wedge of wood near where they are nesting, and they will probably take to this as they seem to like to find a new spot to nest (even in the same piece of wood). And yes, these bees will also take over hummingbird feeders, even trying to bully the hummingbirds off of it, but the hummingbirds do not seem to be threatened by them.
by Chavda Apexa
on March 27, 2019 at 6:33 AM
This information is very use full to me ,but the main is how the use full the carpenter bee in pollination ?
by VerminKill
on April 2, 2019 at 5:21 PM
Please can you suggest natural repellents for bees? Thanks.
by Teresa
on April 16, 2019 at 4:50 PM
How do we get read of these.
by Marv Ellsworth
on April 20, 2019 at 11:23 AM
The attack by Anna Nimus did more damage to the bee population than any sprays, made me want to go out and kill a few.
by Brandy
on April 24, 2019 at 2:31 PM
If you're worried about your structures give them a place to burrow that isn't your deck or eaves. They like bamboo but do better with natural reeds that can be purchased online for like 6.99 a bundle. It will give them a place to lay their eggs and hibernate safely and naturally. Do a quick google search, you will find options that will help both species live in harmony.
by Clifford
on April 28, 2019 at 6:03 AM
In South Carolina we have the Eastern version. Right now they are burrowing into wood that I plan to remove. I cannot tell if they are burrowing into the structure which appears to be treated. It is good to know that they winter over in the tunnels. I did not know that.  
 
I want to put a couple of posts into the ground near the house but away from where we normally go. I am going to attach some untreated boards so they can nest in there. We will see what happens.
by Betzaida
on April 30, 2019 at 3:38 PM
🌺🌺🌺🌸😍😍😍😍
by Susan L
on May 4, 2019 at 9:39 AM
I love living in East TN...and I am all in when it comes to helping all species human and otherwise coexist. Any natural solutions to repel the bees from nesting in untreated wood? I cannot paint right now and they are demolishing my new back deck. I wish I would have known they did not bother treated wood, the contractor and I would have had a different conversation :(
by Becky Rautine
on May 8, 2019 at 7:26 AM
I found a carpenter Bee on the floor of my deck, I live in Palmyra, NY, she looked to be on death's door step. The previous day the temp was up to about 70-73, then over night the temp dropped to a very chilly low 40's. I picked her/him up found a small-ish box picked some flowers and placed her on the blooms in the box in a sunny location. She seems to be doing much better today. My question is, is there anything else I can for the poor thing. And I can definitely vouch that yes they most definitely docile.
by Emarsha5
on May 19, 2019 at 6:05 AM
Heard through the grapevine that filling a small brown paper bag (school lunch type bag) and hanging it near where you don't want carpenter bees flying works. My daughter's daycare put them around the swingsets. The bees will turn around once they see it, thinking it's a wasp nest. I put one in my garden, because there was a bee apartment in some old wood there, and it seemed to contain the bees to one general area... they're no longer swarming through my entire backyard.
by John W
on May 20, 2019 at 10:32 PM
I have a nest of them in the old schoolhouse out back of my house. The house was built in '78, that would be 1878, and the schoolhouse is made of logs.  
 
At first I tried to get rid of them, but eventually I noticed that they were doing most of the pollinating of my fruits and vegetables. That, and these little buggers are much tougher than they look.  
 
They are docile and will fly right up to about 18 inches from my face. If they get in the way, I'll wave them off and they go about their business. The only individual that got stung was my dog Mollie, who thought catching bees out of the air was great fun until she got stung.  
 
So these critters have been around my house since before *we* could fly, yet the schoolhouse is no worse for wear. The colony seems to be the same size every year, so attrition seems to be keeping the population in check.  
 
The kids have learned that there is nothing to be afraid of, and have got to the point where they just ignore them.  
 
They feed the birds and keep the wasps away, what more could you ask for?
by Carole Coates
on May 24, 2019 at 8:34 AM
Susan, we live in northwestern NC close to TN line. Our carpenter bees do not mind treated wood at all! We'll try paint next to see if that helps.
by Beth Hyneman
on June 19, 2019 at 1:23 PM
A larva fell out of its hole how can i help keep it alive til it turns into carpenter bee.
by David E Clayton
on June 29, 2019 at 6:49 PM
I have carpenter bees in my backyard and I love them. They are totally harmless even if you are working around their homes. They spend their days going about their business of pollinating, never bothering anyone, including pets. Years ago I had to have two large cottonwood trees in my backyard cut down. I instructed the tree surgeons to leave four to five feet of stump. I did this for the stray cats who like my yard for its habitat (and food and water that I leave out) but discovered an alternative benefit -- the carpenter bees love them. There is always lots of sawdust at the base of the stumps, evidence of home building by the bees. And they are always flying about, going in their little holes in the stumps and then flying out and pollinating all of my flowers. They mind their business and I mind my business. It all works out great.
by Kathryn
on July 5, 2019 at 5:22 PM
Beth, sometimes the larvae or pupae fall out because they're dead or sick and another bee pushes them out. There's also a fly parasite that gets in the bees' nest, and looks a lot like the larva of a bee. In any case, the larva is harmless to humans. If you're curious to see if the larva grows up, here's something you can try: place it on a paper towel or coffee filter, and put one drop of clean water on the paper. Store all of the above in a ventilated container, such as an empty disposable coffee cup with lid (no coffee residue!). Check each day and re-dampen as it dries out. The larva will turn into a white pupa, then a black pupa, then an adult! It should take around a month. Good luck!
by Donna
on August 6, 2019 at 9:40 AM
I can confirm that the carpenter bees are pollinators. I am watching them pollinate right outside my window in Maryland. We have tons of butterflies and a fair share of carpenter bees
by Meet
on September 14, 2019 at 7:50 AM
Does anyone know how foraging area / distance cover by carpenter bee by flying ?
 
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