Carpenter Bees Vs. Honey Bees
May 12, 2017
What are the principal differences between carpenter bees and honey bees? Carpenter bees, or wood-boring bees, are often mistaken for large bumblebees. Though both stinging insects are relatively harmless and help to pollinate flowers, carpenter bees can cause cosmetic damage to your home and other wooden structures. Differentiation between these two species can be made through the identification of color, size, and living habits.
Carpenter bees have shiny black bodies covered in fuzzy hair, while large bumble bees have black and yellow stripes and are the largest in size of the bee species. Carpenter bees are also oval in shape, with short, straight antennae. Male carpenter bees have black bodies with white or yellow heads and do not have a stinger, and are therefore harmless.
Females, however, are completely black, and though they do have stingers it is rare that a female becomes aggressive unless physically handled. If a female does choose to become aggressive then she may sting several times due to the fact that female carpenter bees’ stingers are not barbed and the stinger does not become unattached from the body after a single sting. Each bee is around 3/4th – 1 inch in length, about the relative size from a person’s cuticle to the first knuckle.
Boring bees are solitary insects and do not have a social lifestyle unlike honey bees, which live in nests and interact with other members of their hives. Due to their solitary lives, wood-boring bees do not have queens, instead, after mating the females will choose to construct new homes for their offspring. Each female bee will bore a perfectly round hole in a tree, or in an unpainted wooden structure. These holes are too small to cause structural damage, only cosmetic damage.
Once the initial entrance is made the female will then create tunnels that will be used to store eggs, and then the female will close up the tunnels with nectar to be eaten when the eggs are newly hatched. Hatching happens in the month of August, seven weeks after being laid. After a short growth period from larvae to pupae and then to full adulthood, these insects will go into hibernation for the winter and emerge again in the spring between the months of March and April.
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If bees or other pests have made unwanted appearances around your home or business, call Cantu Pest & Termite and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced bee control experts.