Carpenter Bees are large bees that look very much like bumble bees but can be easily distinguished by noticing that the back end of a bumble bee is black and fuzzy and the back end of a carpenter bee is black and shiny. Carpenter bees are wood destroying as female carpenter bees bore into sound wood or sometimes into decaying wood to make nests most often beneath the roof line fascia boards as they prefer wood that is unfinished or unstained. Nests usually consist of tunnels in wood ½ inch in diameter and 6 to 10 inches deep with several chambers each containing an egg or supply of food (pollen). Carpenter bees may use old tunnels for their nests, which they sometimes enlarge and several bees may use a common entry hole connecting to different tunnels. Over a period of time, tunnels may extend as far as 10 feet into wood timbers. Tunnels are vacated after the brood’s larval and pupal stages complete their development which may take up to 3 months. Carpenter bees often return to the same site annually as they return to their pheromone left in the nesting site. Carpenter bee treatment is effective yearly but the only long term solution is sealing their access points.
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