Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter bees look like bumble bees. Carpenter bees from the Central Valley may grow more than an inch long, making them the state’s most prominent species. The males have a golden blond color, while the females are a solid black. The males are commonly referred to as “teddy bears” as a nickname due to the soft, beefy, and fluffy look of the species.


Carpenter bees resemble bumblebees in size and overall appearance. Their dorsal gaster is predominantly polished black, and they don’t have the fuzzy look or yellow coloring of bumble bees. Wooden structures such as window sills, eaves, railings, and fence posts are common nesting sites for these bees. Female carpenter bees seldom sting humans; when they do, it’s not very painful. Males may be observed flying toward nesting areas rather often, and they may produce a loud buzzing sound and look frightening. However, they cannot sting.

Life Cycle

Giant, solitary carpenter bees Females dig a wood burrow to deposit eggs, thus their name. Carpenter bees have egg, larva, pupa, and adult phases. The egg-to-adult process takes seven weeks.

Carpenters begin as eggs like other bees. Before laying eggs, the mother bee works hard. She excavates a half-inch hole in a wooden item with her mandibles for two inches before turning right and forming a four- to a six-inch tunnel. She nests in this tube. She feeds and seals each egg’s brood chamber.

Carpenter bees’ larval stage follows. Larvae hatch from eggs. This larva is secure in its brood chamber, eating the nourishment its mother provided there. Bee bread is pollen and regurgitated nectar.

Carpenter bees pupate to become adults. Inactive juvenile bees are vulnerable. Its elaborate nest makes it safer than other metamorphosing animals. Carpenter bee larvae don’t produce cocoons like moths and butterflies; they metamorphose in the brood cell.

Carpenter bees mature seven weeks after hatching. The newborn bee escapes the brood chamber to face the world. It will winter in its previous nest or another abandoned one. After mating, men die, and females lay eggs next year.


Because of their efficiency as pollinators, carpenter bees contribute much to ecological health. Carpenter bees may wreak havoc on softwoods like pine and cedar if allowed to nest in or near your house. Learn from this manual how to exterminate carpenter bees and keep them from returning to your home.

To deter bees from swarming over your house, paint or varnish any exposed wood surfaces. Windowsills, railings, decks, fences, doors, eaves, and wooden lawn furniture are particularly at risk.

Install fine mesh screens or caulk any cracks you see outside your house to keep the bees out. Carpenter bees tend to avoid hardwoods because of their unappealing texture.