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Extension Entomology

Carpenter Bees

–Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

These large bumble bee look a-likes have been relatively active across the state in the last week.  The reproductive adults, especially the’ bald-faced’ males are quite noticeable around wooden structures.  These males are very territorial and their behavior of ‘dive-bombing’ any intruders, including humans and pets, is what draws attention to their presence.  These males are totally harmless as they do not have the ability to sting, and will die shortly after mating with females that emerge in the area.

carpenter vs bumble carpenter bee femalecarpenter bee male

Carpenter bees do not consume wood but do tunnel into untreated wooden structures to create nests for oviposition and larval development.  Please see the KSU, Carpenter Bees, for biology and management information:

http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2946.pdf

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