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Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 11:53 AM
So, I was sitting behind our garage apartment in one of my favorite shady spots, and I heard the faint sound of "munching" overhead. Having had this experience before, I looked down on the concrete around my feet, and saw sawdust.

Yup - the carpenter bees were back. They're actually quite fascinating, as they "drill" a hole into (usually) unpainted wood, at a very consistent distance from the edge of the wood, and a very consistent diameter.

They don't eat the wood, just chew it out and drop the sawdust below. While they're entertaining, they can be quite destructive, because, over time, they'll burrow into different directions inside the wood, somewhat similar to ants digging tunnels in the ground.

Here's the sawdust:

7026

Here's the critter:

7027

Here's the hole:

70287029

mossrose
06-05-2015, 11:55 AM
What do they do with the holes? Is that where they lay eggs and stuff?

rogue06
06-05-2015, 12:00 PM
What do they do with the holes? Is that where they lay eggs and stuff?
They bore nests in the wood. They resemble honey bees but are much larger, seem more curious and do not sting.

mossrose
06-05-2015, 12:01 PM
Thanks. I don't know if we have them here. Will have to look it up.

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 12:02 PM
What do they do with the holes? Is that where they lay eggs and stuff?

Yup. Nests, so to speak.

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 12:05 PM
Thanks. I don't know if we have them here. Will have to look it up.

The first time I encountered them, it was quite interesting. I had been remodeling a room in the house, and was using a circular saw in walkway between the house and garage. After I cleaned up, even using my electric leaf blower, I subsequently noticed more sawdust. I figured I must have missed it, so I cleaned up again. About an hour later, more sawdust. Like the twilight zone. As I was standing there trying to figure it out, I heard the crunching sound, then noticed the holes in the wood cover over the walkway. I looked up, and sawdust fell into my eyes. :smile:

That was my indoctrination into the wonderful world of carpenter bees!

mossrose
06-05-2015, 12:07 PM
The first time I encountered them, it was quite interesting. I had been remodeling a room in the house, and was using a circular saw in walkway between the house and garage. After I cleaned up, even using my electric leaf blower, I subsequently noticed more sawdust. I figured I must have missed it, so I cleaned up again. About an hour later, more sawdust. Like the twilight zone. As I was standing there trying to figure it out, I heard the crunching sound, then noticed the holes in the wood cover over the walkway. I looked up, and sawdust fell into my eyes. :smile:

That was my indoctrination into the wonderful world of carpenter bees!

Yikes.

They are not listed under insects of Alberta. But we have 18 species of honeybees!

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 12:08 PM
Yikes.

They are not listed under insects of Alberta. But we have 18 species of honeybees!

I don't know of any beneficial trait of the carpenter bees, other than being fascinating to watch. Honeybees, on the other hand... :smile:

mossrose
06-05-2015, 12:36 PM
I don't know of any beneficial trait of the carpenter bees, other than being fascinating to watch. Honeybees, on the other hand... :smile:


All bees must play a part in pollination?

You would think........

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 12:38 PM
All bees must play a part in pollination?

You would think........

Hmmmm... you would think.... lemme check on that.

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 12:45 PM
All bees must play a part in pollination?

You would think........

And you would be right!

From our Master Gardener friends...
As pollinators, carpenter bees are generalists in our gardens and landscapes. They may be found foraging on a number of different species. Like their close cousins, the bumblebees, carpenter bees are early morning foragers. Carpenter bees are excellent pollinators of eggplant, tomato and other vegetables and many types of flowers.

mossrose
06-05-2015, 12:46 PM
They just need to find wood that isn't part of your buildings, right?

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 12:49 PM
And we learn even more from the US Forest Service (http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/carpenter_bees.shtml). They chew into dead, but non-decaying wood. :idea:

Here's an example of the tunnels they dig inside the wood. It fascinates me that they have to chew the wood, then push the sawdust all the way out the hole.

7030

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 12:49 PM
They just need to find wood that isn't part of your buildings, right?

It's OK - we're probably moving in a couple months. :smug:

mossrose
06-05-2015, 01:03 PM
Like most insects, they are pretty industrious, it seems.

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 01:17 PM
And you would be right!

From our Master Gardener friends...
As pollinators, carpenter bees are generalists in our gardens and landscapes. They may be found foraging on a number of different species. Like their close cousins, the bumblebees, carpenter bees are early morning foragers. Carpenter bees are excellent pollinators of eggplant, tomato and other vegetables and many types of flowers.

Hey, it looks like this article was STOLEN (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-63_pollinators-_carpenter_bees.htm) from the one I posted from the US Forest Service (http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/carpenter_bees.shtml)!!!! :rant::mob::rant:

Deborah Rankin, you need to hide your head and be shamed! :yes:


:smile:

mossrose
06-05-2015, 01:18 PM
:stunned:

Teallaura
06-05-2015, 04:50 PM
FYI: A can of cheap spray paint can do wonders for prevention. Spray anything that isn't already painted (like the underside of swings, porch ceilings (actually, these usually are painted) et al. It doesn't show (depending) and the bees usually avoid paint like the plague.

Cow Poke
06-05-2015, 05:15 PM
Just for grins, I wanted to see how far these tunnels went, so I slipped a long skinny cable tie (because it can bend easily) in the hole, and it went in SEVEN INCHES before I heard the buzzing inside that indicated I was approaching the bee.

In all of the holes, the tunnel goes up about half an inch, then turns West, horizontally.

Jedidiah
06-05-2015, 10:33 PM
Yikes.

They are not listed under insects of Alberta. But we have 18 species of honeybees!

You have 18 species of "bumble bees." We only have one honeybee in North America, Apis mellifera.

mossrose
06-06-2015, 08:24 AM
You have 18 species of "bumble bees." We only have one honeybee in North America, Apis mellifera.

:blush:

I can't read, neither.